Goodspeed's Festival of New Artists

Audience members get the rare opportunity to see these new shows for the first time ever on stage.


East Haddam will be bustling with musical activity this weekend as the Eighth Annual Goodspeed Festival of New Artists gets underway. The three day event, which is open to the public, is a celebration of emerging artists who will be heating up the Goodspeed with three staged readings; ultra popular Friday and Saturday Night Cabarets; a New Musical Preview, a Symposium panel discussion with musical theatre luminaries, a pre-show dinner at the Gelston House, a Meet the Writers Reception, tours of the expansive Goodspeed Scene Shops and more.

This year marks the Goodspeed’s 50th Anniversary. Over the years, the famous
theatre has been committed to developing new musicals and fostering new talent; this Festival is one way to achieve that goal. Audience members get the rare opportunity to see these new shows for the first time ever on stage. They also have the unique occasion to then interact with the writers, letting them know what they thought worked and did not work; helping to shape the shows for future success.

“There are several steps and many years of work that go into getting  a show from its start to the Broadway stage. This Festival is designed to help these shows along the way and bring awareness to new talent,” explains Elisa Hale, public relations manager for the Goodspeed.

This year’s three New Musical Previews are “Nine Wives,” “Come From Away” and “Princesses.” “Nine Wives,” is based on the novel of the same name by Dan Elish. It tells the story of a 32 year-old bachelor who has been invited to the love of his live’s wedding. “Come From Away,” is a tale about 38 planes from around the world that converged at a small Canadian airport on September 11, 2001 when they had nowhere else to land. The event instantly doubled the population of the small Canadian community and gave witness to the kindness of humanity while the world was dealing with the worst acts of humankind. And “Princesses” is a rock musical about four outrageous princesses who conjure up some very unconventional ways to escape the confines of their castle walls

“They are all great,” raves Hale. “I love each one of them for different reasons and I think the audience will as well. There is definitely something for everyone to enjoy here.”

Fanatical about preserving the essence of musical theatre, the Goodspeed produces three musicals each season at the Opera House in East Haddam and additional works at The Norma Terries Theatre in Chester, which was opened in 1984. 

The first regional theatre to receive two Tony Awards (for outstanding
achievement), the Goodspeed also maintains The Scherer Library of Musical
Theatre and The Max Showalter Center for Education in Musical Theatre.

“Our hope is to continue growing this Festival and the events we have to offer in the years to come,” adds Hale, who encourages everyone to stop by the Opera House this weekend and enjoy a one of a kind musical experience that is not offered anywhere else, but in the small town of East Haddam.

Lodging and dining information, as well as a detailed schedule ofevents can be found at www.goodspeed.org.

Single tickets are $15 and $10 for students. Gold Package tickets are $89 and include; one ticket for all three stage readings, two festival cabarets, three seminar sessions, the symposium, a festival dinner, the new musical preview and the meet the writer reception.

Silver Package tickets are $69 and include; one ticket for all three stage
readings, choice of three seminar sessions, the symposium, new music preview
and the new writers reception. For more information call, 860-873-8668.


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