Goodspeed Festival, With New Musicals by Alexander Sage Oyen, Michael Kooman and Christopher Dimond
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News Goodspeed Festival, With New Musicals by Alexander Sage Oyen, Michael Kooman and Christopher Dimond
, Begins The 10th annual Goodspeed Festival of New Musicals, produced by Goodspeed Musicals' Max Showalter Center for Education in Musical Theatre, is held Jan. 16-18 at the Goodspeed Opera House.

Alexander Sage Oyen
Alexander Sage Oyen

The Festival features a staged reading of Alexander Sage Oyen and James Presson's Outlaws, a new Americana-infused musical inspired by the rise and fall of infamous outlaw, robber and murderer Jesse James; Christopher Dimond 
and Michael Kooman's musical comedy The Noteworthy Life of Howard Barnes; and the indie-rock/folk musical For Tonight, which explores the indelible power of home.

Read more about the work of Oyen and Kooman and Dimond in's Contemporary Musical Theatre Songwriters You Should Know.

Tickets are available by calling (860) 873-8668 or visiting

Productions from the three composing teams included in the Goodspeed Festival of New Musicals and the schedule of special events for festival package ticket holders include:

Jan. 16 Outlaws
7:30 PM, Goodspeed Opera House
Music and lyrics by Alexander Sage Oyen
Book by James Presson
Directed by Noah Himmelstein
"Frustrated with Washington and hard-up for cash, Jesse James and his brother Frank take matters into their own hands - robbing banks, courting the press, and killing anyone who gets in their way. Alternating between sprawling epic and intimate family drama, Outlaws examines the blurred lines between hero and villain, bravery and recklessness, and man and god."

Festival Cabaret
10 PM, Gelston House
Showcasing new songs by festival writers.

Jan. 17

10 AM-12:45 PM, Gelston House

Untold Stories of Broadway
"Heralded author Jennifer Ashley Tepper will share stories from her new book 'The Untold Stories of Broadway: Volume Two,' the follow-up to her hugely successful first book. Meet the author and book signing will follow the session."

How Do They Do That?
"Set Designer Paul Tate dePoo will debut his designs for Goodspeed's upcoming production of Guys and Dolls and share his secrets for just how to make a night club, a mission, steamy Havana, and Times Square fit in our jewel-box theatre."

Vocal Arranging 101
"Learn the process of vocal arranging from Goodspeed's Resident Music Director Michael O'Flaherty with demonstrations performed by festival participants from The Hartt School."

The Business of Show
"Ever wonder how writers get their musicals into the hands of producers and eventually into a theatre? Jonathan Mills, Theatrical Literary Agent at Paradigm Talent Agency, will explain how he helps to move his clients’ work from the page to the stage."

The Importance of Live Theatre in the Digital Age 
"As technology pushes more and more changes in our world, Actor's Equity President and Goodspeed alum Nick Wyman will discuss why now, more than ever, we need live theatre."

New Musical Preview
2:30-3:30 PM, Goodspeed Opera House
A preview of a new musical set for Goodspeed in 2015.

Symposium (free and open to the public)
4 PM, Goodspeed Opera House

The New Musical Challenge
"Ever wonder what it takes to write a musical? WNPR's Colin McEnroe will host a conversation with the writing teams represented in this year's Festival, along with a team currently writing-in-residence at Goodspeed and Festival favorites Marcy Heisler and Zina Goldrich (upcoming production of Ever After at Papermill and Goodspeed's The Great American Mousical). Learn first-hand about the challenges of writing a new musical and be the first to hear a brand new song written on-the-spot by one of the teams willing to take our New Musical Challenge."

Festival Dinner
5:30 PM, Gelston House - or - La Vita
A three-course meal with fellow festival goers.

The Noteworthy Life of Howard Barnes
7:30 PM, Goodspeed Opera House
Book and lyrics by Christopher Dimond

Music by Michael Kooman
"Howard Barnes is a perfectly average man until he discovers that his life has become a musical. Equal parts satire, romantic comedy, and love letter to the American musical, The Noteworthy Life of Howard Barnes is a musical for people who love musical theater and their spouses who hate it."

Festival Cabaret
10 PM, Gelston House
"Sam Carner and Derek Gregor's songs have been presented in concert hundreds of times each year in venues around the world. Their musical Unlock’d was produced Off-Broadway in 2013 and won a Richard Rodgers Award. Elizabeth A. Davis is a Tony-nominated actor for her portrayal of Réza in Once. She participated in Goodspeed's JMF Writer’s Colony to develop the new musical Indian Joe and will present songs from that work."

Jan. 18

Tour of Goodspeed's Costume Collection
11 AM, The Cynthia Kellogg Barrington Costume Center

For Tonight
1 PM, Goodspeed Opera House
Music and lyrics by Shenelle Williams and Spencer Williams
Book by Whitney Rhodes, Spencer Williams and Shenelle Williams
"When their parents die of a mysterious illness in their small Welsh village, surviving siblings Thomas, Haydon, and Nettie are forced to fend for themselves. Inspired by the gypsies who once shared their home, Haydon heads off to Liverpool, guitar in hand, to find what he's been missing. There he meets Mirela who speaks to his wandering soul. Through a riveting indie-rock/folk score, For Tonight explores the indelible power of home."

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.

For more information, visit

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