Musicals Nine Wives, Come From Away and Princesses Will Find Voice in Goodspeed Readings in January

By Kenneth Jones
05 Dec 2012

Three new musicals — including one by 13 writer Dan Elish — will be presented in readings in January 2013 in the Eighth Annual Goodspeed Festival of New Artists, produced by Goodspeed Musicals' Max Showalter Center for Education in Musical Theatre.



The three-day festival, which matches professional writers with student musical-theatre performers for their mutual benefit, runs Jan. 18-20 (following writing and rehearsals from Jan. 7) at Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam, CT.

Various ticket packages are available to the public. The festival includes three staged readings; Friday and Saturday Night Cabarets; the New Musical Preview, a short preview of a new musical headed to The Norma Terris Theatre in 2013; the Symposium panel discussion with musical theatre luminaries; seminar sessions; a Saturday evening pre-show dinner at the Gelston House and a Meet the Writers Reception.

Goodspeed Opera House tours will be offered throughout the weekend for both Festival Package and single ticket holders.

Get ticket information at goodspeed.org.

"The Eighth Annual Goodspeed Festival of New Artists, with its expanded programs and wonderful new talents, highlights our commitment to developing new musicals," said Michael P. Price, executive director of Goodspeed Musicals. "It's thrilling for us to see the Goodspeed campus bustling in wintertime. Our community comes alive when hundreds of musical theatre fans from around the country join the best and brightest new writers and performers as they work together to create the future of musical theatre."

Productions from the three composing teams included in the Goodspeed Festival of New Artists and the schedule of Special Events include:

Friday, Jan. 18

Nine Wives
7:30 PM, Goodspeed Opera House 

Music & Lyrics by Douglas J. Cohen
Book & Lyrics by Dan Elish
Based on the novel, "Nine Wives" by Dan Elish

"Nine Wives tells the story of Henry Mann, a 32-year-old bachelor who discovers that the love of his life has met someone new and is about to get married. What's worse, he's been invited to her wedding! What follows are Henry's frantic attempts to find a woman he can take as his date — a potential future wife — to prove to his ex-fiancée (and the world) that he too is ready to move on."

Festival Cabaret
10 PM., Gelston House

Showcasing new songs by new artists.

Saturday, Jan. 19

Festival Seminars
10 AM-12:45 PM, Gelston House

New Musical Preview
2:30-3:30 PM, Goodspeed Opera House

"A preview of a new musical headed to Goodspeed's Norma Terris Theatre in 2013."

Noël Coward Symposium
4 PM, Goodspeed Opera House

This event is free and open to the public.

Festival Dinner
5:30 PM, Gelston House

A three-course meal with fellow festival goers.

Come From Away
7:30 PM, Goodspeed Opera House
Book, Music and Lyrics by David Hein and Irene Sankoff

"Come From Away is a rocking musical about when 38 planes from around the world were diverted to a small, Canadian community on Sept. 11, 2001 — doubling its population in an instant. While the world witnessed the worst acts of humankind, the stranded passengers had their faith in humanity restored by the spirited people who comforted those who had come from away."

Festival Cabaret
10 PM, Gelston House

Sunday, Jan. 20

Princesses: A New Rock Musical
1 PM, Goodspeed Opera House
Book by Janece Shaffer, Emma Lively and Tyler Beattie
Music and Lyrics by Emma Lively and Tyler Beattie

"Four outrageous princesses escape the confines of their castle walls and shock the fairy tale world with their unconventional ways. Princesses is inspired by the Brothers Grimm's 'The Twelve Dancing Princesses' and features a contemporary rock score."

Meet the Writers Reception
3:30 PM, Gelston House

Gain insight into the inspirations and processes of the writers. Complimentary hors d'oeuvres and cash bar.

Lodging and dining information for Festival attendees as well as up-to-date information on the weekend's events may be found at goodspeed.org.

Created in 2002, Goodspeed's 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."

The New Artists program is being held throughout the Goodspeed campus Jan. 7-20, 2013. 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," according to the two-time Tony-honored resident musical theatre company. "Senior students from The Hartt School and Boston Conservatory join them for rehearsals and continued development of the material. The New Artists program culminates with Goodspeed's Festival of New Artists to showcase staged readings of the new musicals developed during the New Artists Program, one of the Showalter Center's major endeavors. It 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 prominent conservatory programs real-world experience in new musical development and performing new musicals."

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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 first regional theatre to receive two Tony Awards (for outstanding achievement), Goodspeed celebrates another milestone, its 50th Anniversary, in 2013.