Tony Award-winning composer William Finn will shepherd 20 students from New York University's Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program for a weeklong residency at Goodspeed Opera House beginning Dec. 7.
As part of its mission to foster emerging artists, Goodspeed Musicals (as the Goodspeed Opera House organization likes to be known) invited the student composers and lyricists for a weeklong residency, a project of the National Theatre Artist Residency Program. Composer-lyricist Finn, Goodspeed's artist in residence, will work in conjunction with Goodspeed staff. Finn (Falsettos and A New Brain) is an adjunct faculty member in the NYU musical theatre program.
The students will also work with director Bill Castellino (Jolson, Heartbeats), Goodspeed music director Michael O'Flaherty and professional actors to present, in the culmination of the week, an evening of cabaret songs and a presentation of 20-minute musicals. The cabaret will be performed at the Goodspeed Opera House, 10:30 PM Dec. 10, following Goodspeed's The Apple Tree. The 20-minute musical readings will take place at Goodspeed-at-Chester/The Norma Terris Theatre, in Chester, CT, 2:30 PM Dec. 11. Both events are open by invitation only.
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. Chaired by librettist Sarah Schlesinger (Swing Shift, Love Comics), the two-year program is the only one of its kind in the country to award an MFA degree. The National Theatre Artist Residency Program is administered by Theatre Communications Group and funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts. Dedicated to the preservation and advancement of musical theatre, Goodspeed Musicals produces six musicals each season at the Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam, CT, and at its second stage, Goodspeed-at-Chester, which opened in 1984 and is devoted to new and/or developing works . Recipient of two Tony Awards for its achievements, Goodspeed also maintains the Library of Musical Theatre and publishes Show Music, a quarterly magazine that covers musical theatre around the world.
-- By Kenneth Jones