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15th Annual Festival of New Musicals

15th Annual Festival of New Musicals

JAN 17-19, 2020


Don't miss your chance to see the next big hit at Goodspeed’s 15th Anniversary Festival of New Musicals! The Festival has launched more than 40 new musicals into the universe, sending them across the country, to Broadway, and around the world! Join us for a weekend filled with insider events, seminars, cabarets, and three staged readings of brand-new works as the brightest writers and performers collaborate to create the future of America's greatest art form.


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




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

Call the Box Office to order packages: 860.873.8668


Single Tickets: $25
Students: $15

Friday, March 18, 7:30pm

Book by Anna Ziegler
Music & Lyrics by Anna Jacobs
Music Direction by Vadim Feichtner
Directed by Jenny Koons

Barbara Hewhall Follett was the child prodigy author of a celebrated novel about a young girl who runs away from her family and vanishes into nature. Twelve years after its publication, on December 7, 1939, Barbara walked out of her apartment with $30 and a light overcoat, and was never seen or heard from again. She was twenty-five years old. A House Without Windows is a meditation on the mystery of Barbara’s disappearance, the ways in which art imitates life and vice-versa, and what can happen when the life that seemed promised never materializes, especially to those for whom the line between reality and fantasy is already gossamer-thin.

A House Without Windows was developed in part at Rhinebeck Writers Retreat

Saturday, January 18, 7:30pm

Book, Music & Lyrics by Marshall Pailet

Private Gomer tells the story of a young WWI soldier who has suffered profound hearing loss. Hiding his deafness, Gomer displays remarkable skill as a sniper—skill which carries him from his home in Wales to the Western front. As he bonds with the colorful characters in his unit, he must face the brutality of war and wrestle with the nature of violence. Private Gomer is based on actual events and was conceived at the Johnny Mercer Writers Colony.

Sunday, January 19, 1:00pm

Book by Matt Murray
Music by Colleen Dauncey
Lyrics by Akiva Romer-Segal

Before they are baptized into their faith forever, twin sisters Hannah and Ruth go on Rumspringa—the ancient rite of passage for Amish teenagers to explore the modern world. But when the girls find themselves stranded in a scary Toronto neighborhood, their beliefs are tested as they team up with a down-on-his-luck marijuana dealer to run his grow-op. Grow is an outrageously fun, big-hearted musical that examines sisterhood, community and the new horizons that await us all.


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!

THE TATTOOED LADY | 7:30 p.m. | The Goodspeed

FESTIVAL CABARET: Grace McLean and Special Guest Jonathan Brielle | 10:00 p.m. | Gelston House •  
Called “electrifying” by The Huffington Post and “phenomenal” by The New York Times, Grace McLean is a multi-hyphenate actress-singer-writer-teacher on the rise. Her sound combines Regina Spektor’s quirkiness, Nellie McKay’s jazz sensibilities, Fiona Apple’s irreverence, Kimbra’s sass and Merrill Garbus of tUnE-yArDs’ rhythm. Grace performed in Broadway’s Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 and also makes time for her acclaimed original music, both as a solo artist and with her band Grace McLean & Them Apples. Grace developed her musical In The Green at Goodspeed’s 2016 Johnny Mercer Writers Colony.

Saturday, January 18

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)

  1. From Non-Profit to Broadway: As a general manager with more than 40 years of experience, Nancy Gibbs knows how to shepherd a show from a non-profit theatre to Broadway. Her company 321Theatrical Management boasts many Broadway credits, including Wicked, Fun Home, Peter and the Starcatcher and Next To Normal.  
  2. Drama Nerd: Anne of Green Gables: Goodspeed’s Artistic Associate Anika Chapin will take a deep dive into Goodspeed’s upcoming world premiere musical with the show’s writers, Matte O’Brien and Matt Vinson.
  3. Setting the Stage: You’ve seen Wilson Chin’s scenic designs on Goodspeed’s stage for Oklahoma! and Anything Goes, but this season he’ll take on something new with Anne of Green Gables. Chin will discuss the challenges and thrills of designing a new musical. 

SEMINAR SESSION II | 11:00 a.m. | Gelston House or La Vita
(Choose one)

  1. New and Diverse Voices in Musical Theatre: As a queer immigrant from Singapore, Mei Ann Teo will shed light on elevating and nurturing diverse perspectives in musical theatre. Teo is the Producing Artistic Director of the Musical Theatre Factory in New York City.  
  2. Theatre Goes Virtual: In this interactive presentation, you’ll discover how Apples & Oranges Studios uses virtual reality technology to support new musical development.
  3. I Got The Title Right Here: Get an inside look at how Samuel French, the world’s leading publisher and licensor of plays and musicals, acquires titles for licensing.

SEMINAR SESSION III | 12:00 p.m. | Gelston House 
Exit Interview: Michael O’Flaherty: Upon his retirement, Michael O’Flaherty will reflect on his 28-year career as Goodspeed’s Resident Music Director.

MOVIE SCREENING: BAND GEEKS! | 1:00 - 2:30 p.m. | The Alice
It was a fan favorite at the 2009 Festival and now you can reconnect with your favorite band geeks in this screening of the 2010 Terris Theatre production of the show. Bring your lunch and eat while you watch!

LIBRARY EXHIBIT: Where Are They Now? | 1:00 - 2:30 p.m. | The Scherer Library

SYMPOSIUM: 15 Years of Festival | 3:00 p.m. | The Goodspeed
Producer Donna Lynn Hilton and former Education Director Will Rhys wil take a look back at the evolution of the Festival of New Musicals and discuss challenges, changes and accomplishments from the last 15 years. 

A NEW VISION FOR NEW WORKS: 2020 AT THE TERRIS | 4:00 p.m. | The Goodspeed
2020 at Goodspeed’s Terris Theatre will look a little different than it has in the past. We’ll share our new vision for new works and unveil next season’s shows with some of the writers.

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

PRIVATE GOMER | 7:30 p.m. | The Goodspeed 

FESTIVAL CABARET: It's The Bear and Special Guest Jonathan Brielle | 10:00 p.m. | Gelston House
Connor Gallagher, Nadia Quinn, Aaron Quinn, Rebekah Greer Melocik, and Dave Adamick will share selections from their new musical It’s The Bear, which they have developed in a Goodspeed residency. It’s the Bear is about six co-workers who take a team-building retreat to Bear Mountain to sort out workplace tensions but are soon picked off one by one by an unseen killer. Will they survive their interpersonal drama and this mysterious murderer? It’s the Bear is a cautionary tale is told by a folksy band of merry woodland creatures, and is equal parts Agatha Christie, Bear Jamboree and Twin Peaks.

Sunday, January 19

GROW | 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.

Thank you to our Festival Sponsors

Lead Corporate Sponsor:
With Support From:
Burry Fredrik Foundation
ARS Foundation

Webster Private

Presented with funding from The Jessica Waldman Thompson Endowment in Support of The Festival of New Musicals

Thank you to our Friends of the Festival

Shawn Amdur & Dale Woods
Denise Bernardo & Eddie Muentes
Anne Calanquin
Amy & Frank Campbell
Robert & Patricia Carroll 
Kevin Condrin & Bonnie Sala
Don & Terri Coustan
Susan Gonsalves
William Gratz & James Bruno
John & Joanna Hamby
Regina Hausmann
Peter Hoyle
Chris Joy & Cathy Velenchik
Stu & Ellen Kazin
Jon Lukomnik & Lynn Davidson
Dave & Judith Macri
    Ed & Sonya Mangan
Linda Morasutti & Robert Lee
Roy O’Neil
Mark Planner
Jeff Riley & Mary Wilson
Hila & Saul Rosen
Anne Rothstein & Jane Hellman
Wyn & Karen Seymour
Bert Silverberg
Megan & H. William Stine
Russ Tait & Lee Anderson
Carl Thompson
James Trail & Nancy Kline
George Vinick & Margaret Saxe
Chris & Tracy Weed
Marie Wilson & Colette Trohan

Goodspeed Musicals Max Showalter Center for Education in Musical Theatre