Goodspeed’s Artists Village
After decades of dreaming, many years of planning and nearly two years of construction, Goodspeed Musicals’ Artists Village became a reality in 2012. Located near the Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam, Connecticut, seventeen gleaming new houses are now part of the fabric of this scenic New England town.
What Goodspeed has created is a unique musical theatre campus where actors, directors, choreographers, designers and other theatre professionals can live and work together to create musicals of the grandest scale. The centerpiece of this campus is the venerable Goodspeed Opera House supported by facilities for rehearsing actors, building sets and costumes, preparing vocal and music arrangements as well as researching the archives in its Scherer Library of Musical Theatre. By adding its Artists Village, the first of its kind in the nation, Goodspeed can house over 100 people who will fill the air with creativity and share their passion for musical theatre.
Nestled in a village of historic buildings and within walking distance to the Goodspeed Opera House, the Artists Village consists of 17 new homes and five older homes. Each of the new houses was designed specifically with artists in mind: every bedroom has a private bathroom, extra insulation was added between walls to ensure quiet rooms, and large common areas were provided to encourage camaraderie and a sense of community. The new houses were also constructed with many “green” features like geothermal heating and air conditioning, energy efficient windows and appliances and groundbreaking technology used in paving the Village driveway.
The Artists Village initiative represented the largest capital project in Goodspeed history. In total, the project cost $5.5 million, $2.5 million of which was provided through a grant from the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development and the remainder through private donations. Over 120 jobs were created as part of this project, most in the construction field and all within the state of Connecticut. It is estimated that the creation of Goodspeed’s Artists Village caused an economic impact of $17.5 million on the local economy.
The effects of this accomplishment cannot be overstated as it allows Goodspeed to continue to attract top tier talent, produce more musicals and run shows longer. It has also spurred the creation of the one-of-a-kind Johnny Mercer Writers’ Grove where musical theatre writing teams can retreat from daily life to concentrate solely on writing new musicals, transforming Goodspeed’s East Haddam campus into a year-round hub of creativity.
Goodspeed’s future is secure as a place where the creative process continues to rule and commitment to discovery shows up in new approaches to classic works, new ways to share Goodspeed’s knowledge with the industry, new methods to mine genius and enrich the field with the next generation of musical theatre artists.
Learn more about the Artists Village project:
For project information, contact:
Capital Campaign Steering Committee
John Barlow, Chair
Francis G. Adams, Jr.
John P. Connolly
Robert B. Friedman
Michael P. Price
David J. Viola, Sr.
John F. Wolter