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10th Annual Festival of New Musicals

10th Annual Festival of New Musicals

JAN 16-18, 2015


Every musical got its start somewhere—for many, it was at Goodspeed. Don't miss your chance to see the next big hit at Goodspeed's Tenth Annual Festival of New Musicals. Hundreds of musical theatre lovers will gather on the Goodspeed campus for staged readings of brand new works as the brightest new writers and performers collaborate to create the future of America's greatest art form. It's something different...come join us!



FRIDAY, JAN 16, 7:30 PM 

Music & 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.

Click thumbnails to enlarge photos of Outlaws



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.

Click thumbnails to enlarge photos of The Noteworthy Life of Howard Barnes


SUNDAY, JAN 18, 1:00 PM

Book by Whitney Rhodes, Spencer Williams, and Shenelle Williams
Music and Lyrics by Shenelle Williams and Spencer 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.

Click thumbnails to enlarge photos of For Tonight


Exclusive Silver Package Event
Exclusive Gold Package Event


SEMINAR TICKET DISTRIBUTION | 5:00 - 7:15 p.m. | Goodspeed Opera House Porch Bar
All Gold Package holders will be able to pick up their Seminar tickets before Friday's staged reading. Tickets will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis so arrive early to get your top choices!

OUTLAWS | 7:30 p.m. | Goodspeed Opera House

FESTIVAL CABARET | 10:00 p.m. | Gelston House
Showcasing new songs by our Festival writers.

Saturday, January 17

SEMINAR TICKET DISTRIBUTION | 9:00 - 12:00 p.m. | Gelston House Lobby

GOODSPEED OPERA HOUSE TOURS | 10:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m. | Opera House Lobby
Go behind the scenes of our award-winning theatre on the Goodspeed Opera House tour and learn about its vibrant history.

SEMINAR SESSIONS | 10:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m. | Gelston House & La Vita    

  • Vocal Arranging 101
  • The Importance of Live Theatre in the Digital Age
  • The Untold Stories of Broadway
  • The Business of Show
  • How Do They Do That?

SCREENING: GOODSPEED'S BAND GEEKS! | 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. | The Scherer Library
Band Geeks! is truly a Festival success story. It began as a Festival Cabaret presentation in 2008, recieved a staged reading at the 2009 Festival, moved to Goodspeed's Norma Terris Theatre in 2010, and has since been produced in regional theatres and at high schools around the country.

EXHIBIT: CELEBRATING 10 YEARS OF THE FESTIVAL | 1:00 - 4:00 pm | The Scherer Library
Take a look back at the past 9 years of Goodspeed’s Festival of New Musicals and how this annual tradition has grown.

NEW MUSICAL PREVIEW | 2:30 p.m. | Goodspeed Opera House
Attend a preview of selections from the exciting new musicals headed to Goodspeed's Norma Terris Theatre in 2015.

MUSICAL THEATRE SYMPOSIUM | 4:00 p.m. | 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 p.m. | Gelston House or La Vita
Enjoy a three-course meal with fellow Festival-goers. Check ticket for location.

THE NOTEWORTHY LIFE OF HOWARD BARNES | 7:30 p.m. | Goodspeed Opera House

FESTIVAL CABARET: Carner & Gregor and Elizabeth A. Davis | 9:30 p.m. | 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.

The Johnny Mercer Writers Colony at Goodspeed Musicals - See more at: http://www.goodspeed.org/education-library/writers-colony#sthash.K2ZS4aEy.dpuf

Sunday, January 18

BARRINGTON COSTUME CENTER TOUR | 11:00 a.m. | Barrington Costume Center
Tour Goodspeed's brand-new, state-of-the-art costume facility. Home to more than 250,000 garments from over 30 Broadway shows. There will be a shuttle van leaving from Goodspeed's main parking lot promptly at 10:45 am.

FOR TONIGHT | 1:00 p.m. | Goodspeed Opera House

MEET THE WRITERS RECEPTION | 3:30 p.m. | Gelston House  
Gain insight into the inspirations and processes of the writers. Complimentary hors d'oeuvres and cash bar.


Click thumbnails to enlarge photos of Festival events

Lead Corporate Sponsor:
 RisCassi & Davis


 Additional Support by:
Adolph & Ruth Schnurmacher Foundation  





Pictured are (front row l to r): Teri and Don Coustan, Jessica and Carl Thompson, Joanna Hamby, Colette Trohan, and E. Marie Wilson; (middle row l to r):  Richard and Mary Valinski, Amy Campbell, Tracy Weed, Susan Gonsalves, John Hamby, Mark Planner, Chris Joy, and Cathy Velenchik;( last row l to r):  Frank Campbell, Chris Weed, Jeff Riley, Margaret Saxe, and George Vinick.  Not pictured are Anne Rothstein, Jane Hellman, and Mary Wilson. 

Goodspeed Musicals Festival of New Musicals

Goodspeed Musicals Max Showalter Center for Education in Musical Theatre