Goodspeed Musicals Announces New Online Education Programs Featuring Casey Hushion, Parker Esse and More

Registration is now open for Fall 2020!

By: Sep. 02, 2020
Goodspeed Musicals Announces New Online Education Programs Featuring Casey Hushion, Parker Esse and More

Beginning this month, Goodspeed Musicals will offer robust performing arts education and training programs for students 7 years of age and older - all from the comfort and safety of home.

Goodspeed is proud to continue its enduring commitment to education and outreach in the performing arts with a host of virtual offerings during this time. Now, the Home of the American Musical will also serve as a virtual creative center for artists of all experience levels accessible from anywhere in the world.

This fall, youth and teen artists will thrive in our Kids Company's new small group Virtual Ensembles as well as Private Studio offerings both taught by a trio of exceptional teaching artists. Advanced musical theatre students will receive professional training and coaching with our Break Out Series led by Broadway's Casey Hushion, Parker Esse and Goodspeed's Resident Music Director Adam Souza.

In addition, Goodspeed will offer the Seminar Series, a collection of professional development seminars for Arts Professionals looking to enhance their skills during this time. These seminars provide the opportunity to learn directly from Goodspeed staff members who put their expertise into practice every single day. This series will cover a variety of topics that are relevant to the operation of a regional theatre like Goodspeed, from design to nonprofit management to breaking into the industry.

New this fall, schools and organizations can take advantage of the Goodspeed Classroom, now available in a virtual format. This program offers arts-based curriculum and workshops surrounding a recent Goodspeed production - which students will access virtually - that are specifically designed for a remote performing arts learning experience.

"We at The Goodspeed are so excited to offer a virtual version of our Kids Company as well as new and expanded educational programming for student artists, professionals and our partners," shared Education Director Erin Coffey. "The necessity of virtual programming has enabled us to reimagine arts education in an innovative and more inclusive way, allowing artists to collaborate meaningfully with our faculty and each other despite our physical distance." Ms. Coffey added.

Registration is now open for all programs. Please visit Goodspeed Education for complete list of class schedules, detailed descriptions, online enrollment and more.


Kids Company VIRTUAL ENSEMBLES: The fall semester of the Kids Company will be divided into two 6-week sessions. In our Virtual Ensembles, youth and teen students will participate in weekly sessions focused on acting, vocal performance, and dance. With a different theme each week, young performers will explore different styles of performance while strengthening their skills as an artist. Ages 7-18. Virtual Ensembles: $145 per student.

Kids Company PRIVATE STUDIO: is for students who prefer a private learning environment, where students can train with Goodspeed Teaching Artists one-on-one and at their own pace. Weekly lessons are available for coaching in acting, vocal performance, or dance in 30- or 45-minute increments, depending on your child's age. Each 6-week session will culminate in an informal virtual showcase for family, friends, and the Goodspeed community. Private Studio: $165 per student (30 minutes weekly) or $225 per student (45 minutes weekly).

Goodspeed's BREAK OUT SERIES: is a brand new opportunity for high school and college aged advanced musical theatre students to learn from industry professionals, strengthen audition technique in a variety of styles, and connect with fellow emerging theatre artists. Each Break Out will focus on a specific musical and will consist of three 3-hour master classes - Choreography, Vocal Coaching and Mock Audition - and a 1-hour Q&A with a member of Goodspeed's Artistic Staff. In each master class, our faculty of working artists will demonstrate how they as creative leaders honor the styles of the past for today's productions. Taught by Resident Music Director Adam Souza, Choreographer Parker Esse and Director Casey Hushion, this is a don't-miss opportunity! Ages 18-24, or currently enrolled in an undergraduate training program. $180 per student, per Break Out.

SEMINAR SERIES: For arts and nonprofit professionals and students, Goodspeed is also offering our inaugural Seminar Series. Open to all experience levels, these seminars provide the opportunity to learn directly from Goodspeed staff members who put their expertise into practice every single day. This series will cover a variety of topics that are relevant to the operation of a regional theatre like Goodspeed, from design to nonprofit management to breaking into the industry. The Seminar Series is perfect for professionals who wish to deepen their knowledge of a specific topic and connect with peers from across the country, all from your work-from-home set up! Ages 18+. $40 per seminar.

GOODSPEED CLASSROOM: Goodspeed believes in the value and impact of the arts in education and community building, and we are thrilled to make our Goodspeed Classroom available virtually to schools and organizations. Whether you choose one of our Show Packages or opt for a Customized Show Experience, your school or group will enjoy arts-based activities, workshops, and discussions surrounding a recent Goodspeed production and specifically designed for a remote performing arts learning experience. Your group will receive access to view an archival video of a Goodspeed production, while our slate of workshops and activities pull back the curtain on the inner workings of live theatre. Recommended for middle school and up. Show Packages: $750. Customized Show Experience: $1,500.

For more information on all these programs please visit


Parker Esse (Break Out Series, Choreographer) is a multi-award-winning, dynamic, high impact and story-driven director-choreographer. After performing regionally in national tours and being a featured performer on Broadway in the Tony Award-winning Fosse, which was taped for PBS Great Performances, Parker followed his passion to the other side of the creative table. Having worked closely with mentor Baayork Lee for six years as her assistant choreographer, he then teamed up with Warren Carlyle for over six years as associate director/choreographer. He and Carlyle collaborated on Broadway's critically-acclaimed and Tony nominated Finian's Rainbow and A Tale of Two Cities; five New York City Center Encores! productions including Girl Crazy, Finian's Rainbow, On the Town, Juno and Stairway to Paradise; The National Tour of 101 Dalmatians The Musical; World Premieres such as Lucky Guy at Goodspeed's Terris Theatre; Pirates! at Goodspeed Musicals and Paper Mill Playhouse; Dancing in the Dark at The Old Globe; and tearing it up with Mame and the pre-Broadway run of Follies at The Kennedy Center. Branching out on his own, Parker exploded onto the scene choreographing Oklahoma!, which was internationally acclaimed as the first of a generation of reimagined revivals, for the grand re-opening of the historic Tony Award-winning Arena Stage at The Mead Center for American Theatre, directed by artistic director Molly Smith. The two have gone on to forge a long artistic collaboration at Arena Stage for the past 14 years, reimagining over a dozen musicals out of the fourteen Parker has currently choreographed for Arena Stage. Since Oklahoma!, Parker went on to choreograph such shows as Stephen Sondheim and Wynton Marsalis' A Bed and a Chair: A New York Love Affair, directed by John Doyle at New York City Center Encores! and Jazz at Lincoln Center; the high-octane and critically-acclaimed productions of Anything Goes at Arena Stage starring Corbin Bleu and Soara Joye-Ross; La Traviata, directed by Francesca Zambello at The Kennedy Center for Washington National Opera; and the world premiere of Jukebox Hero, featuring the music of Foreigner at the Ed Mirvish Theatre in Toronto. He directed and choreographed Lyrics & Lyricists Celebrates Oklahoma! at 75 for the 92nd St. Y, with a subsequent encore performance at Bucks County Playhouse for their Annual Gala, and The Buddy Holly Story at Casa Mañana. Recently, he choreographed a record-breaking Newsies starring Jason Gotay, Grand Hotel for his 4th production at Shaw Festival Canada where he also choreographed the internationally-acclaimed Me and My Girl, and served as associate choreographer to Josh Bergasse and director John Rando on The Royal Family of Broadway for Barrington Stage. Parker just completed choreographing another record breaking and highly-acclaimed Newsies for Arena Stage while directing/choreographing the Physicians Mutual Omaha Symphony Christmas Celebration for his 7th season.

Parker is an eight-time Helen Hayes nominee for Best Choreography, winning for Oklahoma! as well as the star-studded The Pajama Game starring Broadway legend Donna McKechnie at Arena Stage. This past season, Parker received his third Helen Hayes Award for Best Choreography on Anything Goes starring Corbin Bleu also with Arena Stage. Parker choreographed the new, highly-acclaimed "Revisal" of Rags with Stephen Schwartz at Goodspeed Musicals where he choreographed another five musical revivals. He is a two-time CT Outer Critics Circle nominee for Best Choreography for Fiddler on the Roof and Carousel, which was taped and archived for The New York Public Library of Performing Arts at Lincoln Center. Parker was director/choreographer for Crazy for You and West Side Story at FLMTF and for the Pre-Broadway workshops/NYC readings of Chasing Rainbows, Hazel The Musical and Chéri (based on the classic French novel by Colette. Parker received his BFA from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. He is also the co-founder and artistic director of The Broadway Master Class Series and a proud member of Actors Equity Association and Stage Directors and Choreographers Society.

Casey Hushion (Break Out Series, Director) Casey is currently the Resident Director of Mean Girls and Disney's Aladdin. Other Broadway credits include The Prom, Elf (2012, 2010), In The Heights (Broadway/National Tour), The Drowsy Chaperone (Broadway/National Tour/West End), To Be or Not To Be and Good Vibrations. Most recently, Casey directed the new play Clue at the Cleveland Playhouse, which broke box office records and will go on to future productions at Paper Mill Playhouse and on tour. Casey served as the choreographer for two episodes of the final season of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Off-Broadway, she directed Call Me Madam at City Center Encores! and Fat Camp at the ATA Theatre. Casey directed Nerds at Philadelphia Theatre Company and the Broadway production of Nerds (almost). A graduate of New York University, Casey was the Artistic Director of North Carolina Theatre for ten years. She is also currently developing the new musical Mystic Pizza.

Adam Souza (Break Out Series, Music Director) Mr. Souza, a native of Killingworth, Connecticut, began his career at 17 as the music assistant at Goodspeed Musicals and attended the Boston Conservatory, majoring in musical theater. He spent his college summers continuing to train at Goodspeed, having performed in the ensembles of George M! and Brigadoon at The Goodspeed, and acting as Associate Music Director for Great Expectations and The Road To Hollywood at The Terris Theatre, as well as conducting the revival of Very Good Eddie. After four seasons and over 15 shows with Goodspeed Musicals, Adam began touring with the Broadway National Tour of Les Misérables in 2004. Continuing his road career, he then began work as Associate Conductor for the First National Tour of Monty Python's Spamalot, later taking over as Music Director/Conductor. In early 2009, Adam conducted Wicked on Broadway; and then began his third tour, acting as Music Director/Conductor for the original company of the Second National Tour of Wicked. He later worked as Associate Supervisor for the North American companies of Wicked, then acted as Associate Music Supervisor for the mounting of the Spanish translation of Wicked in Mexico City and the Portuguese translation in São Paolo, Brazil. He also served as Music Director/Conductor for the original National Tour of Kinky Boots and as an arranger/conductor for The Midtown Men in Concert. Adam returned to Goodspeed's Terris Theatre as Music Director of The Great American Mousical, with Julie Andrews; Snapshots by Stephen Schwartz and The Roar of the Greasepaint, The Smell of the Crowd, as well as serving as Dance Arranger for Goodspeed's acclaimed production of Rags and Music Director/Conductor for Because of Winn Dixie, by Duncan Sheik and Nell Benjamin. He also served as Music Director for the critically acclaimed TheaterWorks Hartford production of Next To Normal. Out of the pit, Adam has taught at the Goodspeed's Music Direction Intensive and also serves as Associate Artistic Director for Destination Broadway, a renowned summer theater intensive in New York that brings the best of New York City's talent to pre-professional youth. Adam is proud of his association with Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids and other vitally important organizations, having produced and arranged countless benefit concerts throughout North America over the past 15 years.

ERIN COFFEY (Kids Company Dance Instructor) is the Education Director at Goodspeed Musicals. For the past 8 years, Erin has worked as an educator in the fields of dance, musical theatre and creative drama, and as a choreographer in regional, community and educational theatre. She began her teaching career in San Jose, California and has since had the pleasure of working with students in Marin County, California (Marin Theatre Company); Syracuse, New York (Redhouse Arts Center); Connecticut (Goodspeed Musicals and Oddfellows Playhouse); Quincy, Illinois (Quincy Community Theatre); Chinandega, Nicaragua (Teatro Catalina); and Monteverde, Costa Rica (Far Corners Community Musical Theatre). From 2014 to 2016, Erin was the Resident Choreographer at Redhouse Arts Center; some of her favorite Redhouse credits include The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, A Man of No Importance*, Seussical, 13, Big Fish, Dreamgirls*, and Ragtime. Other favorite choreography credits include Oliver!, Little Shop of Horrors, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (FCCMT - Central American/Bilingual Premieres); and Gypsy: A Musical Fable. Favorite performance credits include Crimes of the Heart* (Meg); Elegies for Angels, Punks, and Raging Queens (Joanne); Cabaret (Rosie), and Carousel (Featured Soloist). (*indicates SALT Award Nomination)

ELIZABETH GUILBERT (Kids Company Acting Instructor) is thrilled to be serving as the acting instructor for Goodspeed's Kids Company Academy. Prior to joining the staff of Goodspeed Musicals, Elizabeth completed two postgraduate Education Apprenticeships at McCarter Theatre Center in Princeton, New Jersey and Asolo Repertory Theatre in Sarasota, Florida. As a teaching artist, she has had the opportunity to work with students of all ages and backgrounds, from elementary school to senior citizens, and specializes in scene study, creative drama, playwriting and devised work. She has served as an assistant director and dramaturg for Onstage Seniors and Faces of Change, two documentary theatre projects that creates a fully realized theatrical work from personal stories and interviews with the Princeton and Sarasota communities. In addition to her work in the classroom, Elizabeth is Goodspeed Musicals Education Assistant, aiding in the running of educational programming for students and arts professionals alike. Elizabeth is a proud graduate of Loyola University Chicago.

SPENCER REESE (Kids Company Vocal Instructor) recently completed his Doctoral of Musical Arts degree in Voice at the University of Connecticut, where he studied with Connie Rock. Born and raised in Enfield, he also holds a bachelor's degree in voice from UConn and a master's degree in stage directing from the Eastman School of Music, where he was a student of Steven Daigle. He developed his passion for teaching at Eastman, and in his return to UConn, oversaw the opera studio as well as all outreach productions and programs. Equally at home in the styles of musical theatre, operetta, and opera, he also served as the Artistic Director for the Connecticut Gilbert and Sullivan Society 2019 season. He has spent the last six summers in Wooster, Ohio where he is a resident artist with the Ohio Light Opera for their seven-show repertory season. Also an active performer, recent highlights include Don Lockwood in Singin' in the Rain, Georg Nowack in She Loves Me, Danny Churchill in Gershwin's Girl Crazy, Frederic in Pirates of Penzance, and Billy Crocker in Anything Goes. When not teaching or singing, Spencer enjoys competing as a ballroom dancer.

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