An initiative of Goodspeed's Max Showalter Center for Education in the Musical Theater, the Musical Theatre Institute "creates a bridge between emerging writers and early career performers with seasoned performers and professional artists," according to the two-time Tony Award-winning organization. "Together they experience the process of creating a new musical."
The 2008 institute includes two major programs:
The New Artists Program will culminate with the Fourth Annual Goodspeed Festival of New Artists. The New Artists program "offers new and emerging artists the rare opportunity to thoroughly work on their projects with the help of Goodspeed's renowned resources and artistic environment, while affording senior students from The Hartt School (in Hartford, CT) real-world experience in new musical development and performing new musicals." The New Artists Program will be held throughout the Goodspeed campus in East Haddam, CT, Jan. 6-18, 2009. During the first week of the program, three teams of writers and composers will dedicate their time to further writing and composing their musicals in development. In the second week, senior students from The Hartt School will join them for rehearsals and continued development of the material.
The New Artists program culminates with the Fourth Annual Goodspeed Festival of New Artists to be held at the Goodspeed Opera House on Jan. 16-18, 2009.
The Festival will showcase staged readings of the new musicals developed during the New Artists Program and is open to the general public.
"The Fourth Annual Musical Theatre Institute with its expanded programs and wonderful new talents highlights our commitment to developing new musicals," stated Michael P. Price, executive director of Goodspeed Musicals. "It's exciting for us to see the Goodspeed campus bustling in wintertime. During the Festival the community comes alive as host to the best and brightest new writers and students as they work together to create the future of musical theatre."
Readings and events of Goodspeed's Jan. 16-18, 2009, Festival of New Artists include:
Meet the Writers Reception, 3:30 PM Jan. 18, 2009, Gelston House. "Gain insight into the inspirations and processes of the writers." *
As part of its mission to foster emerging artists, Goodspeed's Showalter Center will also host students from NYU's Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program Jan. 25-31, 2009 for its New Writers' Residency. NYU's Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program "offers an intense curriculum of seminars, labs and rehearsals on writing for the musical theatre taught by professionals in the industry. Twenty-three current students and five alumni will be participating in the 2009 program. This is the tenth year that Goodspeed and NYU have collaborated on this residency."
While at Goodspeed, the New Writers' Residency participants will work with each other on their thesis projects with the help of industry leaders including Goodspeed executive director Michael P. Price, music director Michael O'Flaherty, line producer Donna Cooper Hilton and education director Will Rhys.
The students will cap off the week with an informal cabaret of their original material to an invited audience on Jan. 30, 2009, at 7 PM. In total, 16 projects will be represented at the evening's performance.
Created in 2002, the Showalter Center "inspires and nurtures musical theatre artists and students by providing a unique and comprehensive range of training and educational programs to serve both the national and local academic communities."
Festival tickets are available at the Goodspeed box office or by calling (860) 873-8668 or online at www.goodspeed.org. Tickets are $15 each for one show, $10 each for students.
This year Goodspeed has expanded the Festival offerings to create a new Weekend Program. The $75 package includes admission to all 3 shows; The Noel Coward Foundation Symposium; the Saturday evening pre-show dinner at The Gelston House with an engaging post dinner discussion hosted by a special guest speaker; and a Meet the Writers Reception which will complete the weekend's festivities. Also included in the special weekend program is admittance to the Festival of New Artists Cabaret showcasing new songs by new artists.
Dedicated to the preservation and advancement of musical theatre, Goodspeed Musicals produces three musicals each season at the Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam, CT, and additional works at The Norma Terris Theatre in Chester, CT, which was opened in 1984 for the development of new musicals. The only regional theatre to receive two Tony Awards (for outstanding achievement), Goodspeed also maintains The Scherer Library of Musical Theatre and The Max Showalter Center for Education in the Musical Theater.