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11th Annual Festival of New Musicals

11th Annual Festival of New Musicals

JAN 15-17, 2016


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 Eleventh 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 15, 7:30 PM 

By Ryan Scott Oliver

Set in 1945 Missouri, this Southern Gothic musical tells the story of Willa—a tough, unmannered orphan adopted by the sheriff’s wife—and the bloody domestic war that ensues between them when Willa uncovers the secrets lurking beneath the floorboards. It is the story of intense human struggle, deliverance, and salvation that can only be found from within.



Book by Tom Diggs
Music & Lyrics by Mark Gaylord

Milo and Dexter thought they’d make a killing in vaudeville, but thanks to silent movies, they’d have better luck getting arrested than getting on stage. So when Milo’s gumption lands the duo an unexpected gig, the brothers figure they’ve struck gold: a regular gig, good dough, and a pretty dame to boot! As long as they can avoid the censor, the cops, the fiancé, and each other, everything’ll be just fine.


SUNDAY, JAN 17, 1:00 PM

Book & Lyrics by John Dietrich
Music by Will Buck

It’s Jane Austen meets Downton Abbey in this musical update of her popular novel Persuasion, set in 1920s Britain at the dawn of the Jazz Age. Anne Elliot is forced to confront the sacrifices she made for her family when she finds herself face-to-face with the highly-regarded Admiral Frederick Wentworth, the once-penniless true love she was persuaded to abandon. Only Anne maneuvers through a landscape of miscommunications, misperceptions, and, ultimately, the search for love in a rapidly changing world.


Exclusive Silver Package Event
Exclusive Gold Package Event


SEMINAR TICKET DISTRIBUTION | 5:00 - 7:15 p.m. | Porch Bar, The Goodspeed
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!

WE FOXES | 7:30 p.m. | The Goodspeed

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

Saturday, January 16

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

TOUR OF THE GOODSPEED | 10:00 a.m. | The Goodspeed Lobby
Go behind the scenes of our award-winning theatre on the Goodspeed Opera House tour and learn about its vibrant history.

SEMINAR SESSION I | 10:00 a.m. | Gelston House or La Vita   

  • Selling the Show 101
  • How Do They Do That? (How Musical Writers Make a Living on Their Way to Broadway)
  • Orchestrating 101

SEMINAR SESSION II | 11:00 a.m. | Gelston House  

  • Selling the Show 101
  • How Do They Do That? (How Musical Writers Make a Living on Their Way to Broadway)
  • Razzle Dazzle: The Battle for Broadway

SEMINAR SESSION III | 12:00 p.m. | Gelston House  

  • Orchestrating 101
  • A History of Dance in the Musical Theatre
  • Razzle Dazzle: The Battle for Broadway

SCREENING: Goodspeed's Man of La Mancha | 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. | The Scherer Library
Man of La Mancha premiered at Goodspeed 50 years ago before becoming a hit on Broadway. Celebrate the golden anniversary of this classic musical by watching Goodspeed’s revival production from 2000.

Explore The Scherer Library's journey to becoming the largest musical theatre library in the nation.

NEW MUSICAL PREVIEW | 2:30 p.m. | The Goodspeed
Attend a preview of selections from exciting new musicals headed to Goodspeed in 2016.

MUSICAL THEATRE SYMPOSIUM | 4:00 p.m. | The Goodspeed
Elevator Pitch Challenge: The Writer’s Audition
Musical Theatre writing teams only have a few minutes to pitch a panel of Goodspeed producers on a new musical project. How will each team make their pitch attention-grabbing, compelling and concise? What does it take to persuade a producer to invest? After the teams make their pitches, a panel led by WNPR’s Colin McEnroe will ask questions and give feedback.

FESTIVAL DINNER | 5:30 p.m. | Gelston House or La Vita
Enjoy a three-course meal with fellow Festival-goers. Check ticket for location.

MILO AT THE MOVIES | 7:30 p.m. | The Goodspeed
FESTIVAL CABARET: Brian Lowdermilk, Alan Zachary & Michael Weiner | 10:00 p.m. | Gelston House
Goodspeed Alum Brian Lowdermilk’s musical, The Bad Years, appeared in the Festival of New Musicals in 2008. More recently, The Unauthorized Autobiography of Samantha Brown was developed at The Terris Theatre in 2012. He and writing partner Kait Kerrigan have released two albums of original music. Alan Zachary and Michael Weiner wrote songs for Broadway’s First Date. They have also created songs and shows for Disney theme parks around the world. Upcoming projects include 17 Again, and an adaptation of the ballroom dance film Take The Lead. Zachary and Weiner are recipients of the Richard Rodgers New Horizons Award.

Sunday, January 17

MID-CAMPUS TOUR | 11:00 a.m. | The Scherer Library 
Tour Goodspeed’s Rehearsal Studio, Costume Shop, Library and Music Department. Limited parking is available in the Library lot. There will be a shuttle van leaving from Goodspeed’s main parking lot at 10:45 am.

ONLY ANNE | 1:00 p.m. | The Goodspeed

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

Lead Corporate Sponsor:
 RisCassi & Davis


Front row, l to r: Susan Gonsalves, Amy Campbell, Joanna Hamby, Jane Hellman,  Jessica Thompson, Richard and Mary Ann Valinski, Don Coustan; middle row l to r:  Goodspeed Executive Director Michael Gennaro, Tracy Weed, Cathy Velenchik, Megan Stine, Pat Loeven, Carl Thompson, Denise Bernardo, Eddie Muentes, Terri Coustan, Colette Trohan, and E. Marie Wilson; last row l to r:  Chris Weed, Chris Joy, Mark Planner, Bill Stine, Koen Loeven, John Hamby, George Vinick, Margaret Saxe, Anne Rothstein, Stu Kazin, Ellen Kazin, Jon Lukomnik, Lynn Davidson, Michael Chaiklin.  Not pictured: Frank Campbell, Jeff Riley, Mary Wilson.

Goodspeed Musicals Festival of New Musicals

Goodspeed Musicals Max Showalter Center for Education in Musical Theatre