Goodspeed Musicals Awards Andrew A. Isen Prize to Keirsten Hodgens

The award gives young people who are in the early stages of professional development financial assistance and encouragement to focus on artistic excellence.

By: Mar. 27, 2024
Goodspeed Musicals Awards Andrew A. Isen Prize to Keirsten Hodgens
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Goodspeed Musicals has announced that Keirsten Hodgens has been selected as this year's recipient of The Andrew A. Isen Prize at Goodspeed Musicals. This award is funded through a generous gift given by DC-based entrepreneur and musical theatre devotee Andrew A. Isen and was created to give young people who are in the early stages of professional development financial assistance and encouragement to focus on artistic excellence in musical theatre.

Hodgens, an actor who recently performed in Goodspeed Musicals' Dreamgirls, said this upon learning of the decision, "Describing how much winning this award means to me in so few words is incredibly difficult. I am so grateful and honored! To be awarded a gift that has been set in place to aid aspiring artists like myself is so inspiring and has fueled me in ways unimaginable. I was very specific in the ways that I intend to use the award, and I plan on achieving each and every goal. My wish is to continue to embody every element of what this award stands for. I will continue to grow and pour into my craft, to inspire, and give back in all of the ways that have been given to me! I am so thankful to Andrew Isen and the entire team at Goodspeed! My gratitude is endless."

Isen served on the selection committee and is thrilled with the recipient.  "This was our dream – to acknowledge young theatre artists in the beginning stages of their career, especially those who are rarely recognized for their vital contributions," Isen said. "Keirsten has a vision that is unique and vital. I am pleased we are able to facilitate an important step in her pursuit of a career in musical theatre. She has a rare talent, a strong vision for her future and a passion to make a difference in the world through her art." 
The Andrew A. Isen Prize at Goodspeed Musicals is the first-of-its-kind prize dedicated to supporting emerging musical theatre professionals across all disciplines. Given annually, this prize recognizes a young person between the ages of 20 and 29 who has demonstrated excellence in their work during the previous Goodspeed Musicals' season. Chosen by a committee of theatrical professionals, the honoree will be awarded $5,000 to aid in their pursuit of a career in musical theatre. The establishment of this award with Goodspeed Musicals will also serve to enhance Goodspeed's efforts to recruit exceptional technicians, designers and other theater professionals.

For more information about employment opportunities at Goodspeed Musicals, please visit


Keirsten Hodgens was most recently seen as Lorrell in Dreamgirls at The Goodspeed. Prior to that, she made her Broadway debut as an alternate queen in the original Broadway cast of SIX. Her other credits include: National Tour: Jesus Christ Superstar; Regional: Master Class (Timeline Theater), Ragtime (Marriott Theater), Smokey Joe's Café (Drury Lane).


Goodspeed Musicals has achieved international acclaim and is the first theatre in the nation to receive two Tony Awards for outstanding achievement in musical theatre. Under the leadership of Donna Lynn Hilton, Artistic Director, and David B. Byrd, Managing Director, Goodspeed Musicals is dedicated to the celebration, development and advancement of musical theatre. Goodspeed creates powerful, world-class productions of enlightening new and established works to delight, inspire and challenge audiences on its two stages – The Goodspeed in East Haddam, Conn., and The Terris Theatre in Chester, Conn. From Goodspeed, 21 musicals have gone to Broadway (including Man of La Mancha, Annie, Shenandoah and Holiday Inn) and 88 world premieres have been launched. Goodspeed's Festival of New Musicals, GoodWorks commissioning program and the Johnny Mercer Foundation Writers Grove at Goodspeed are distinguished cornerstones of the organization that highlight its commitment to nurture creators and the creative process. Goodspeed also maintains The Scherer Library of Musical Theatre and The Max Showalter Center for Education in Musical Theatre. The organization is supported in part by the Burry Fredrik Foundation; the Connecticut Office of the Arts, which also receives funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency; The Hoffman Auto Group; Masonicare; The Richard P. Garmany Fund at the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving; The Shubert Foundation; and WSHU Public Radio. Additional support is provided by Sennheiser, the official audio sponsor; and United Airlines, the official airline of Goodspeed Musicals. For more information, visit