Goodspeed Musicals Will Bide Its Time With New Theatre; Actor Housing Among Plans

News   Goodspeed Musicals Will Bide Its Time With New Theatre; Actor Housing Among Plans
 
Goodspeed Musicals' plan to build a new theatre complex in East Haddam, Connecticut, to complement its work at the historic Goodspeed Opera House, is on the back burner.

A spokesman for the Tony Award-honored regional theatre that creates new musicals and revives classic ones told Playbill.com that the troupe owns property near the Opera House and has a wish to build, but "the timing isn't right for fundraising at the moment."

The more immediate (though not imminent) plan is to build new actor housing to accommodate New York actors (and creative teams) who stay in the picturesque hamlet while creating shows. "We're just starting to look at actor housing as one of the goals in our long-range plan, which also includes new rehearsal facilities, the consolidation of administrative offices and more," Goodspeed spokesman Dan McMahon told Playbill.com.

No timeline has been announced for any of these plans yet, he said.

"The good news is that we are committed to staying in our long-time home in East Haddam," McMahon confirmed.

Costly engineering and architectural studies are the next steps toward building a new theatre facility. Unlike the Opera House, a new venue would have a stage large enough to allow easy transition of shows from Goodspeed to Broadway or the road. The tiny 19th-century Opera House stage forces designers to rescale or rebuild sets if Goodspeed shows are to have future life in large contemporary theatres. A possible move to Middletown, CT, was scuttled when the city didn't get hoped-for state funding for the theatre project.

No plan or capital campaign for a new East Haddam venue has been announced by Goodspeed. For now, as with many theatres, Goodspeed will wait until funding sources emerge.

The new facility would be built across the street from the Opera House, on land that formerly housed a car dealership.

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Goodspeed Musicals is the company that gave early life to Annie, Man of La Mancha and other hit shows.

Visit www.goodspeed.org .

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