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13th Annual Festival of New Musicals

13th Annual Festival of New Musicals

JAN 12-14, 2018


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 Thirteenth 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 12, 7:30 PM 

Music by Ethan Pakchar and Douglas Lyons
Lyrics by Douglas Lyons
Book by Harrison David Rivers

New York City. 1863. Set amidst the tumult of the Civil War, Five Points chronicles the journeys of two men - Willie Lane, a young black performer at the famed Almack’s Dance Hall, and John Diamond, an Irish immigrant and former jig champion - as they risk everything in pursuit of the American Dream.


SATURDAY, JAN 13, 7:30 PM 

Music by Sean Mahoney
Book & Lyrics by Patricia Noonan

As World War II shakes the nation, sisters Beth and Frankie join women from across America to fly for the US Army. Leaving home to train in Sweetwater, TX, these Women Airforce Service Pilots risk their lives without military status. From history’s margins, Sweetwater brings the WASP center stage in an epic story about the joys and costs of being female pioneers.


SUNDAY, JAN 14, 1:00 PM 

Music & Lyrics by Brett Ryback
Book by Eric Ulloa
Based on the work “Walking to Listen” by Andrew Forsthoefel

Passing Through tells the incredible true story of a young man who journeys on foot from Pennsylvania to California, collecting stories as he goes. When his trek brings to light a repressed family trauma, he must use the lessons he’s gathered to confront his past. Set against the backdrop of America, it’s a musical about community and the healing power of forgiveness.

Follow writer Eric Ulloa's experience at the Festival on BroadwayWorld.com:
Blog #1: Have You Heard the Story of the Walking Man?
Blog #2: Many Strands
Blog #3: Song Of The Soul
Blog #4: Lost
Blog #5: These Days Are Gone
Blog #6: I Don't Want This Road To End
Listen to Eric & Brett's Spotify playlist of songs inspiring their music


Goodspeed's Festival Packages get you access to exclusive events all weekend long!

Call the Box Office to order packages: 860.873.8668




• 1 Ticket for all 3 Staged Readings   • 1 Ticket for all 3 Staged Readings
• CHOOSE: Friday or Saturday Cabaret
  • Interview with David Krane
• 3 Seminar Sessions
  • Symposium
• CHOOSE: Festival Dinner at Gelston House or La Vita
  • Meet the Writers Q&A
• Interview with David Krane
• Symposium
• Meet the Writers Q&A

Single Tickets: $25
Students: $15


Exclusive Silver Package Event
Exclusive Gold Package Event


SEMINAR TICKET DISTRIBUTION | 5:30 - 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!

FIVE POINTS | 7:30 p.m. | The Goodspeed

FESTIVAL CABARET: Adam Gwon | 10:00 p.m. | Gelston House
Adam Gwon was named one of "50 to Watch" by The Dramatist magazine and hailed "a promising newcomer to our talent-hungry musical theater" by The New York Times. His musicals have received more than 200 productions on five continents and his songs have been performed by such luminaries as Audra McDonald, Kelli O’Hara, and Brian d'Arcy James.. Off-Broadway: Ordinary Days (Roundabout Theatre), Old Jews Telling Jokes (Westside Theatre); Regional: Cake Off (Signature Theatre, Helen Hayes Award nomination), Cloudlands (South Coast Repertory), The Boy Detective Fails (Signature Theatre), Bernice Bobs Her Hair (Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma); West End: Ordinary Days.

Saturday, January 13

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

SEMINAR SESSION I | 10:00 a.m. | Gelston House or La Vita
Choose one from the options below:    

  • a) Festival Alumni Success Stories: Catch up with some of your favorite student performers from Festivals past. Douglas Lyons, Matt Faucher, and Mike Millan will detail their journeys from Festival readings, to Goodspeed productions, national tours, and Broadway.
  • b) Marionette Master: Goodspeed audiences saw his masterful work as Paul (the dog) this summer in Darling Grenadine. Now, Phillip Huber, world-renowned marionette artist and puppeteer, will give you a peek inside his craft and a chance to get up close and personal with Paul (the dog)!
  • c) Dramaturgy 101: The job of the dramaturg can encompass many things. They may be responsible for reading and evaluating new scripts, contextualizing the world of a musical, or establishing connections between the text and the audience. Goodspeed’s new Artistic Associate Anika Chapin will speak about the importance of dramaturgy and its effect on a play or musical.

SEMINAR SESSION II | 11:00 a.m. | Gelston House or La Vita
Choose one from the options below:    

  • a) The Life of A Child Actor: Nancy Carson, whose agency represents young actors, will discuss what life is like for a working child actor with special guest Robert Berson (Tiny Tim in A Connecticut Christmas Carol) and his mom.
  • b) You Saw It Here First: Come From Away: From Goodspeed to Broadway, to a National Tour, and now the Silver Screen! Irene Sankoff and David Hein, writers of Come From Away, will talk about the incredible journey of this Tony Award-winning musical.
  • c) The NEA & Musical Theatre: How will the National Endowment for the Arts’ budget affect the overall climate for non-profit theatre? Greg Reiner, Director of Theatre and Musical Theatre at the NEA will discuss the state of the arts in the US.

SEMINAR SESSION III | 12:00 p.m. | Gelston House or La Vita
Choose one from the options below:    

  • a) Marionette Master: Goodspeed audiences saw his masterful work as Paul (the dog) this summer in Darling Grenadine. Now, Phillip Huber, world-renowned marionette artist and puppeteer, will give you a peek inside his craft and a chance to get up close and personal with Paul (the dog)!
  • b) The Business of Show: How to Produce Commercially: Do you want to be a producer? Tom Viertel, Executive Director of the Commercial Theatre Institute, will discuss the world of commercial theatre and what it takes to become a Broadway producer.
  • c) Show and Tell: Did you know that Frank Sinatra was nearly considered for the original production of Fiddler on the Roof? Author and Broadway aficionado-in-chief Ken Bloom reveals little known-tidbits about Broadway’s biggest personalities from his book Show and Tell: The New Book of Broadway Anecdotes.

MOVIE SCREENING: Goodspeed's On the Town | 1:00 - 2:30 p.m. | The Scherer Library
New York, New York! Sing along as we celebrate Leonard Bernstein’s 100th birthday with this screening of Goodspeed’s 1993 production of On the Town.

LIBRARY EXHIBIT: Noël Coward | 1:00 - 2:30 p.m. | The Scherer Library
Referred to as “The Master” by his close friends, Noël Coward was a successful playwright, actor, director, film producer, painter, songwriter, and author. Learn more about this man of many talents in our library exhibit.

THE MUSIC MAN: DAVID KRANE | 3:00 p.m. | The Goodspeed
You’ve heard his dance music and arrangements in 29 Broadway musicals, at Goodspeed and on the silver screen. He was also Meryl Streep’s song coach and Michael Douglas’ piano coach. Now meet the man behind the music in this up close interview.

SYMPOSIUM: A Critic's Role | 4:00 p.m. | The Goodspeed
What is the role of a theatre critic in the modern age? A panel of esteemed critics led by WNPR’s Colin McEnroe will explore the topic.

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

SWEETWATER | 7:30 p.m. | The Goodspeed 

FESTIVAL CABARET: Zoe Sarnak | 10:00 p.m. | Gelston House
Zoe Sarnak is an award-winning composer, lyricist and playwright who participated in the 2016 Johnny Mercer Writers Colony at Goodspeed. Sarnak’s A Lasting Impression was produced off-Broadway and The Years Between was performed at 54 Below and workshopped at the Musical Theatre Factory. Winner of the 2015 Davenport Songwriting contest and finalist for NY Stage & Film’s Founders award, Sarnak’s music has been featured at The Lilly Awards, Women of Note (NYMF), Cutting Edge Composers and more, and in venues from Playwrights Horizons and New York Theatre Workshop to Joe’s Pub and the Highline Ballroom.

Sunday, January 14

PASSING THROUGH | 1:00 p.m. | The Goodspeed

MEET THE WRITERS Q&A | 3:30 p.m. | The Goodspeed  
Gain insight into the inspirations and processes of the writers.

Lead Corporate Sponsor:
 RisCassi & Davis
With Support From:
Burry Fredrik Foundation
ARS Foundation
Noel Coward Foundation 
Webster Private

2018 Friends of the Festival

Shawn Amdur & Dale Woods
Denise Bernardo & Eddie Muentes
Anne & Leon Calanquin
Amy & Frank Campbell
Kevin Condrin
Don & Terri Coustan
Susan Gonsalves
Bill Gratz & Jay Bruno
John & Joanna Hamby
Peter Hoyle
Chris Joy & Cathy Velenchik
Stu & Ellen Kazin


Pat & Koen Loeven
Jon Lukomnik & Lynn Davidson
Dave & Judith Macri
Mark Planner
Anne Rothstein & Jane Hellman
Jeff Riley & Mary Wilson
Megan & Bill Stine
Russ Tait & Lee Anderson
George Vinick & Margaret Saxe
Jessica Waldman & Carl Thompson
Chris & Tracy Weed
Marie Wilson & Colette Trohan

Michael Chaiklin, Honorary Friend


Goodspeed Musicals Max Showalter Center for Education in Musical Theatre