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Education & Outreach

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.

For more information on any of the program listed below, please contact Nick Palazzo at 860.873.8664 x522 or

The Festival of New Musicals is a unique collaboration between emerging writers and students from The Hartt School at the University of Hartford and Western Connecticut State University. 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 Goodspeed 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, tickets to Goodspeed performances, student lunches, and bus transportation to and from East Haddam.

Throughout the season, the Goodspeed welcomes groups from schools, corporations, service organizations, and group facilities to experience the magic of live theater. To enrich your group’s experience when visiting the Goodspeed or attending a show, book additional activities such as tours, master classes, or post-show talkbacks for your group members to enjoy. We offer additional activities à la carte or as packaged deals for groups of up to 25 or 50 participants. More info

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.

The NYU New Writers Residency is offered each year in collaboration with the Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program at the Tisch School of the Arts. During their week-long stay on the Goodspeed campus, second-year NYU students are provided the time, serenity, guidance, and resources to develop original full-length musicals as part of their graduation requirements. Living and working in Goodspeed’s Artists Village, the students focus on their diverse new musicals while retreating from the hustle and bustle of New York to take advantage of the unique and tranquil setting that Goodspeed provides.

At the end of their week on campus, the students perform selections from their pieces at a cabaret for Goodspeed staff and producers. This gives them the opportunity not only to demonstrate their progress, but to hear their work out loud and gauge audience reaction. The New Writers Residency encourages today’s NYU students to become tomorrow’s artists, and builds the future of the art form here on The Goodspeed campus. NYU participants continually express how rewarding this time at Goodspeed is to the creative process, and several writing teams have been invited to apply to our annual Johnny Mercer Foundation Writers Grove.