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On the banks of the beautiful Connecticut River, just beyond the East Haddam Swing Bridge, the Goodspeed Opera House is a picturesque historic building with a vibrant history that dates back to 1876. 

The building, which we now refer to as simply “The Goodspeed,” became home to Goodspeed Musicals in 1963. The inaugural season kicked off with Oh, Lady, Lady!, and since then, 200 musicals have been produced. 

Under the direction of Michael Price from 1968 to 2014, Goodspeed transformed from a struggling entity into a non-profit arts organization with a mission. At first, Goodspeed’s commitment was to discover rarely-produced musicals from the repertoire, reworking them and bringing them to life. We were also intent on adding to the repertoire by discovering and nurturing promising new musicals such as Man of La Mancha, Shenandoah, Annie, Holiday Inn, and the list goes on…

The Goodspeed serves as Goodspeed Musicals’ mainstage and is an intimate 398-seat theatre with a “jewel-box” proscenium stage, measuring only 29’x20’. 


the mystery of edwin drood poster

April 5 - June 2, 2024

The Goodspeed

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south pacific poster

Now - Aug 11, 2024

The Goodspeed

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maggie poster

Aug 23 - Oct 20, 2024

The Goodspeed

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a christmas story poster

Nov 1 - Dec 29, 2024

The Goodspeed

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July 2024

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30 Sunday
1 Monday
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4 Thursday
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8 Monday
9 Tuesday
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18 Thursday
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South Pacific

The Goodspeed

24 Wednesday

South Pacific

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25 Thursday

South Pacific

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26 Friday

South Pacific

The Goodspeed

27 Saturday

South Pacific

The Goodspeed

28 Sunday

South Pacific

The Goodspeed

29 Monday
30 Tuesday
31 Wednesday

South Pacific

The Goodspeed

1 Thursday

South Pacific

The Goodspeed

2 Friday

South Pacific

The Goodspeed

3 Saturday

South Pacific

The Goodspeed

All sales are final. No refunds. Ticket exchanges are an exclusive Member benefit and must be made at least 48 hours prior to a performance.

All events, performance dates, and cast are subject to change without notice.

Ticket Prices are subject to change without notice.

Every person entering the theatre must have a ticket regardless of age.

Children under the age of five will not be allowed in the theatre. Visit the web page of any Goodspeed show for recommendations on age-appropriateness.

Ticket Exchange Vouchers issued by the Goodspeed Box Office may be used to purchase tickets to any performance. Ticket Vouchers issued beginning October 1 of the current year, expire on December 31 of the following year. Once a Ticket Exchange Voucher expires, it cannot be revived or otherwise used for a ticket purchase. Ticket Exchange Vouchers may not be refunded for cash or used to purchase gift cards.

Firearms are strictly prohibited on Goodspeed property.

For the safety and security of our customers and staff, backpacks are not allowed in the theatre. Purses and bags larger than 12”x12”x6” are also not allowed in the theatre. Please leave backpacks and large purses in your car.

Directions if bridge is closed

Approximate Drive Times
Hartford/New Haven: 45 minutes
Providence, RI: 1 ½ hours
Boston, MA: 2 hours
New York, NY: 2 ½ hours

The Goodspeed
6 Main Street, East Haddam, CT 06423

Download a printable version of these directions

Free Parking: Go past the theatre, turn right just after the Gelston House. Parking is on right. A path along the river leads from the parking lot across a foot bridge to the theatre. ACCESSIBLE PARKING is located in front of the Gelston House and in the spaces closest to the footbridge along the stream in the Main Parking Lot.

From New York/New Haven (via I-95)

  • North on I-95 to Exit 69.
  • Follow Route 9 to Exit 10 (Old Exit 7).
  • Turn left at the end of the ramp (ramp is three miles long).
  • At first stoplight, turn right.
  • Theatre is on right-hand side, just over the bridge.

From Boston/Rhode Island (via I-95)

  • South on I-95 to Exit 69.
  • North on Route 9 to Exit 10 (Old Exit 7).
  • Turn left at the end of the ramp (ramp is three miles long).
  • At first stoplight, turn right.
  • Theatre is on right-hand side, just over the bridge.

From Hartford/Springfield (via I-91)

  • South on I-91 to Exit 22S (left-hand exit).
  • South on Route 9 to Exit 10 (Old Exit 7).
  • Turn left at the end of the ramp (ramp is three miles long).
  • At first stoplight, turn right.
  • Theatre is on right-hand side, just over the bridge.

From Upstate New York, Danbury or Waterbury (via I-84)

  • East on I-84 to Exit 27 (691 to 66 to Middletown).
  • Follow through Middletown to Route 9.
  • South on Route 9 to Exit 10 (Old Exit 7).
  • Turn left at the end of the ramp (ramp is three miles long).
  • At first stoplight, turn right.
  • Theatre is on right-hand side, just over the bridge.

Alternate Route from New York City to The Goodspeed

  • Take the Hutchinson River Parkway to the Merritt Parkway (Route 15).
  • Follow into Meriden, CT and take Exit #68N-E to the ramp for Route 66 East.
  • Follow Route 66 through Middletown.
  • South on Route 9 to Exit 10 (Old Exit 7) in East Haddam.
  • At end of ramp (ramp is three miles long), turn left.
  • At first traffic signal, take a right.
  • Theatre is on right-hand side, just over the bridge.

Getting Here Without A Car

By Train: The closest stop to both theatres is Old Saybrook, Conn. on the Shore Line East rail service, which connects in New Haven with MetroNorth and Amtrak routes. Taxi and bus services from the station are available – see below.

By Bus: The #4 Mid-Shore line between Middletown and Old Saybrook, run by 9 Town Transit, wil stop by request in front of The Goodspeed.

By Taxi: Essex Taxi Company (860.767.7433) services the Old Saybrook train station.

Car Rental: Enterprise Rent-A-Car in Old Saybrook (860.395.0758) services the Old Saybrook train station and can meet you at the train station with a car.

For A Special Arrival

  • You may also choose to dock your boat on Goodspeed's private dock on the Connecticut River, just steps away from the theatre. Please call 860.873.8664, ext. 333 for information and docking reservations.
  • Take the Chester-Hadlyme Ferry across the river for a quaint and charming journey.
  • Fly into Goodspeed Airport, within walking distance of the Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam.

Charter A Bus

If you want to visit the theatre with a group, rely on Ally Charter Bus for private bus rentals during the week or over the weekend. Contact them at 860-730-2133 to learn more! Other Connecticut-based bus providers in the area include Shofur and GOGO Charters, which offer shuttles from any location in Connecticut directly to the Goodspeed Opera House.

Goodspeed Members may enjoy intermission drinks and view the Connecticut River in the Libby Metzger Kaye Members’ Lounge at The Goodspeed. This unique space provides an example of what an actors’ theatre lounge may have looked like in the 19th century, and has been made available for the enjoyment of our Members. Visit our Membership Information page or call the Box Office at 860.873.8668 for more information about becoming a Goodspeed Member. Members may pre-order drinks in the bar and they will be waiting for you in the Members' Lounge at Intermission

A full service bar, as well as a candy and gift shop, are located in the lobby of each theatre and are open one hour prior to curtain and during intermission. Patrons may pre-order intermission cocktails before the show. Your order will be waiting in the lobby or in the Members' Lounge.

A variety of dining and lodging options can be found near The Goodspeed and The Terris Theatre.

Learn more

The Goodspeed has endured as a majestic presence on the Connecticut River since it was built as the Goodspeed Opera House in 1876 by William H. Goodspeed, shipping and banking magnate and avid theatre lover. Since that time The Goodspeed has lived two lives: the first as a bustling center of commerce housing a theatre, professional offices, steamboat passenger terminal, and a general store; and the second, after a period of neglect and deterioration, as a magnificent professional musical theatre fully restored in 1963 to its original splendor.

Goodspeed's history goes back to its opening night on October 24, 1877, when a repertory group presented the comedy Charles II and the farces Box and Cox and Turn Him Out. Featured performers of the day were brought to East Haddam by steamboat, many directly from theatres in New York.

After William Goodspeed's death, the theatre was eventually sold and used as a storage depot for the State Highway Department. The building was marked for demolition in 1958, but local preservationists became interested, and in 1959 the Goodspeed Opera House Foundation was organized to restore and reactivate the theatre. With the cooperation of the State of Connecticut and the support of donor-members of the Foundation, The Goodspeed was restored and rededicated on June 18, 1963, with the opening of the musical Oh, Lady! Lady!!

The theater in the Victorian-style building is located on the fourth floor of the tallest wooden structure on the Connecticut River, and was constructed in 1876. A new stage was built over the original and incorporates what were formerly audience boxes into the downstage left and right areas. The boxes now serve as actor entrances below and lighting positions above.

The stage is raked 3/16" to the foot and has three permanent motorized winch tracks, in-one, in-two, and in-three. The in-one and in-two tracks are generally split on center to provide independent left and right tracks, while the in-three is rigged to travel full-stage. All three configurations have some flexibility and all winches are independent variable-speed DC drives, controlled from various positions in the wings.

The grid at The Goodspeed consists of 2" x 7" microlam joists installed in January 1995, which resemble the original wooden beams. Drops are flown using 6" diameter roll tubes and traveler track is used extensively to move sliders, drapes, and other scenery. Electrics and hard scenic masking are flown using block and falls and are dead hung below the grid; all flying units and drops are custom rigged for each production.

Learn more about The Saviors of the Goodspeed Opera House who spearheaded the campaign to save the building from the wrecking ball.

Goodspeed Musicals donates a limited number of tickets to charitable organizations for fundraising events. We try to help as many local nonprofits as possible, but are limited in the number of tickets that we may provide each season. Please review these donation eligibility guidelines:

  • All donation requests must be submitted on organization letterhead and emailed directly to donationrequests@goodspeed.org.
  • Requests must specify how donation will be used and the date by which the donation is needed.
  • Requests must clearly state to whom and where the donation should be sent.
  • Requests must be received by Goodspeed a minimum of six (6) weeks in advance.
  • Out of state requests will not be considered.
  • Please do not send multiple requests.
  • Please do not call to follow up on your request.

We apologize that, due to the high volume of donation requests we receive, we are unable to honor every request. If your organization is selected to receive tickets you will receive a gift certificate in the mail with two weeks. If your organization is not selected, please feel free to submit a request next year.

For Wedding Parties Having Their Ceremony / Reception at the Gelston House:

On the Day of Your Event:

We are pleased to allow wedding photography inside and outside the Gelston House, as well as outside The Goodspeed. No photos will be allowed inside The Goodspeed. Additionally, the lawn behind The Goodspeed along the water may be used. Goodspeed Musicals and our affiliates are in no way obligated to section off the lawn for your personal use. Visitors to East Haddam use that space frequently and will not be required to leave the area. Visitors should not experience any use restrictions due to photo set-up or equipment.

For Goodspeed Members Only:

On the day of the event only, with prior approval, photographs may be taken inside The Goodspeed lobby (main staircase). There will be ABSOLUTELY NO photos taken onstage. Only professional photography is allowed. When taking photos inside The Goodspeed, the wedding party must have a Goodspeed escort at all times and remain together as a group.

No inside photos will be permitted on matinee show days. Subject to performance schedule and facility availability.

Members should contact our Development & Membership Assistant, Laura Hook (lhook@goodspeed.org), for requests/approvals and submit a Wedding Photography Request Form.

For Brides and Grooms / Wedding Parties Not Having Their Ceremony / Reception at the Gelston House:

Wedding photography is allowed in following locations outside The Goodspeed: outside the front of the opera house (except during matinee performances) and on the back lawn.

Important Note Regarding Secondary Re-sellers

Please be advised that the ONLY authorized ticket sellers for The Goodspeed and The Terris Theatre are the Goodspeed Box Office, the official Goodspeed website: goospeed.org, and our direct sales partner Smart Marketing. Ticket buyers who purchase tickets from a ticket broker or any third party other than Smart Marketing should be aware that Goodspeed Musicals is unable to reprint or replace lost or stolen tickets and is unable to contact patrons with any pertinent updates regarding the performance.