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GoodSpeed Musicals

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Education & Library

Education & Library

Goodspeed Musicals The Max Showalter Center for Education in Musical Theatre

Please visit these pages on our web site for more information on the programs offered by the Showalter Center.


In keeping with Goodspeed's mission to advance the understanding and appreciation of musical theatre and to develop the talent of artists, Goodspeed established The Max Showalter Center for Education in Musical Theatre in 2002. The Center encourages and nurtures musical theatre artists and students by providing a unique and comprehensive array of training and educational programs to serve both the national and local academic communities. Goodspeed is committed to the belief that arts education is a vital component of a well-rounded education and crucial for long-term audience development. Understanding this, Goodspeed’s education programs engage young people in the creative process of musical theatre, and by doing so, make the art form accessible to new generations of theatergoers. 


Dedicated to new musicals, the Goodspeed Institute is comprised of a number of educational initiatives that take place throughout the year: 

  • Music Direction Intensive
    week-long intensive, participants will use the latest technology to receive hands on training from internationally renowned Music Direction experts in the management and implementation of the audition, rehearsal, and orchestration processes. - See more at:
    the only program of its kind which provides a limited number of individuals with practical training in all aspects of Music Direction.
  • College Audition Master Class - A one-day program taught by Brent Wagner, Chair of the Musical Theatre Department at University of Michigan, which focuses on preparing high school students for a successful college audition.
  • Intro to Scenic Painting Intensive & Charge Scenic Painting Intensive – programs which provides participants with expert instruction from a team of esteemed scenic artists.
  • Observership Program – allows talented young theatre artists to work alongside a director, choreographer, or music director throughout the rehearsal process of a Goodspeed Opera House or Norma Terris production. 
  • Professional Development - A seminar series designed especially for teachers to address the challenges that arise in directing high school productions. 
  • The NYU Writers’ Residencya week-long residency at Goodspeed facilities and 13-year collaboration with the Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program at New York University Tisch School of the Arts whereapproximately 30 second-year MFA students work with professional directors, music directors, and actors provided by Goodspeed to compose and write original material for musical theatre pieces.


The Festival of New Musicals is a unique collaboration between emerging writers and students from The Hartt School at the University of Hartford and The Boston Conservatory. Three teams of writers and composers, joined by senior students from the schools, continue the development of new musicals through staged readings that are performed to the public on the Opera House stage. In addition to the book-in-hand readings, festival-goers are treated to a Symposium, break-out sessions, cabarets, and a Meet-the-Writers session.


Since 2006, Goodspeed’s Arts Education Collaboration has provided access each year to nearly 800 underserved elementary, middle, and high school students to a musical theatre production and gives them a special “behind-the-scenes” look into the making of a show. Students immerse themselves in an educational program that includes in-school and out-of-school workshops, hands-on learning activities, access to Teacher Instructional Guides (Goodspeed’s education guide intended for teachers and influenced by state and national standards associated with the arts, language arts, and social studies), tickets to Goodspeed performances, student lunches, and bus transportation to and from East Haddam.


In existence since the re-opening of the Opera House in 1963, the Internship and Apprenticeship Program offers a “hands on” approach to learning and represent Goodspeed’s commitment to excellence and its investment in the future of musical theatre. The programs assist undergraduate and graduate students in gaining experience in technical, production, company management, and administrative musical theatre operations. These programs offers students and aspiring theatre professionals experiential learning, networking opportunities, regular seminars taught by staff members, and monthly meetings with members of the senior staff.


In addition, Goodspeed offers Kids Nights for each production, which enables thousands of youngsters to see the magic of live, musical theatre at a deeply reduced rate and also provides them with Study Guides, aligned with state standards, as well as a literary component associated with the production.

For more information on any of these programs, please contact Josh Ritter at 860.873.8664 ext. 745 or

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