Band Geeks!, Factory Girls, Life on the Mississippi Will Be Sung in Goodspeed Institute | Playbill

News Band Geeks!, Factory Girls, Life on the Mississippi Will Be Sung in Goodspeed Institute
New show music will warm up a Connecticut January. Programming has been announced for Goodspeed Musicals' 2009 Musical Theatre Institute including the Fourth Annual Goodspeed Festival of New Artists.

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, in collaboration with The Hartt School at the University of Hartford.
  • The New Writers' Residency, in collaboration with the Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program at New York University, Tisch School of the Arts.


    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:

  • Life on the Mississippi, book and lyrics by Douglas M. Parker, music by Denver Casado, Jan. 16, 2009, 7:30 PM Goodspeed Opera House. "Young Samuel Clemens leaves home to learn steamboat piloting on a Mississippi riverboat in 1858 and unexpectedly finds himself learning about life. And death. And love. And writing. All while navigating his way from boy to man and from Samuel Clemens to Mark Twain. Based on Twain's autobiographical coming-of-age tale."
  • New Artists Cabaret, 10 PM Jan. 16, 2009. "Showcasing new songs by new artists."
  • Symposium: Writing Musicals for a New Generation, 4 PM Jan. 17, 2009, Gelston House.
  • Festival Dinner, 5:30 PM Jan. 17, 2009, Gelston House. "Enjoy a three course meal and an informative discussion about musical theatre legend Noel Coward."
  • Band Geeks!, book by Tommy Newman, music and lyrics by Mark Allen, Gaby Alter and Tommy Newman, 7:30 PM Jan. 17, 2009, Goodspeed Opera House. "Enrollment is down, the budget is tight, and a cool new kid threatens tradition in the Cuyahoga High School Beavers Marching Band. Elliott, the husky tuba-playing band captain, must find a way to overcome his pride, unite this band of misfits, and help them win back their respect at the Festival of Champions!"
  • Factory Girls, music, lyrics and book by Sean Mahoney and Creighton Irons, 1 PM Jan. 18, 2009, Goodspeed Opera House. "At the dawn of the Industrial Revolution the factory girls of Lowell, MA, must fight to maintain their country values and their humanity as they become America's first independent working women. Fueled by the revolutionary spirit of her forefathers, one girl secretly rallies her co-workers against the burgeoning 'soulless corporation.' Her choice affects not only the girls and their community but also the fate of the American worker."
  • 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 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.


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