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HomeFeaturesEntertainment17th Annual Festival of New Musicals at Goodspeed Begins March 17th

17th Annual Festival of New Musicals at Goodspeed Begins March 17th

Submitted by Dan McMahon, Goodspeed Musicals

(January 26, 2023) — Come in from the cold and check out what’s hot at the 17th Annual Goodspeed Festival of New Musicals. The much-anticipated three-day festival of brand-new works will light up the Goodspeed campus with a weekend filled with insider events, seminars, cabarets and staged readings.

The Festival kicks off on Friday, March 17, 2023 at The Goodspeed with a staged reading of Double Helix.  This exciting new tuner features book, music and lyrics by Madeline Myers. Saturday, March 18th will be highlighted by a staged reading of The Great Emu War, a humorous new musical based on true events, which has a book by Cal Silberstein and music and lyrics by Paul Hodge. The final day of the Festival features Little Miss Perfect, a new musical inspired by the viral single song of the same name with book, music and lyrics by Joriah Kwamé. Additional Festival events―including seminars, symposium and exclusive cabarets―will round out this exciting weekend.   Single tickets are $25 for each staged reading, $15 each for students. Goodspeed’s ever-popular Festival Package will offer patrons a weekend full of special events. The $100 package includes admission to all three staged readings, three Festival seminar sessions, the Festival Symposium, a season preview of the 2023 Terris Theatre offerings and the Meet the Writers Q&A.  Package add-ons include Saturday evening pre-show dinner at the Gelston House ($40), and Friday evening and Saturday evening Cabarets – informal gatherings showcasing new songs by new and established artists ($15 each). Single show tickets and Festival packages are available through the Goodspeed Box Office 860-873-8668. Single Show tickets can also be purchased online at  All tickets are on sale now. “Every year we are amazed by the breadth and depth of the talented writers who join us on the Goodspeed campus to share their work with our audiences―and this year is no exception. We are so proud to highlight each of these writers and to foster their collaboration with directors, music directors and students,” said Donna Lynn Hilton, Goodspeed’s Artistic Director. “The Festival is a key part of Goodspeed’s new works development program and we invite all musical theatre fans to join us,” she added. “We are thrilled to kick off Goodspeed’s 2023 season with a weekend dedicated to the future of musical theatre,” said David B. Byrd, Goodspeed’s Managing Director. “Bringing together leading professionals from our industry with fans from our community is something musical theatre-lovers look forward to every year.” Preparations for the Festival begin on March 6th when the three teams of writers and composers arrive on the Goodspeed campus and dedicate their time to further writing and composing their musicals in development. They are joined by musical theatre students from The Hartt School, Boston Conservatory at Berklee and Montclair State University, who take part in rehearsals and continued development of the material.  The intensive retreat culminates with Goodspeed’s Festival of New Musicals, which showcases staged readings of the new musicals developed during the two-week long program. The Festival of New Musicals is produced by Goodspeed Musicals’ Max Showalter Center for Education in Musical Theatre. Created in 2002, Goodspeed’s Showalter Center inspires and nurtures musical theatre artists and students by providing a unique and comprehensive range of training and educational programs to serve both the national and local academic communities.  The Goodspeed Festival program offers new and established artists the rare opportunity to thoroughly work on their projects with the help of Goodspeed’s renowned resources and artistic environment. At the same time, the Festival affords junior and senior students from prominent conservatory programs real-world experience in new musical development and performing new musicals. This year’s Festival is sponsored in part by lead sponsors RisCassi & Davis, P.C. and the Burry Fredrik Foundation with support from the Frank Young Fund of New Musicals, a program of National Alliance for Musical Theatre, the Adolph and Ruth Schnurmacher Foundation, The Jessica Waldman Thompson Endowment in Support of The Festival of New Musicals, Webster Private Bank and the National Endowment for the Arts.    For Covid safety, Festival attendees are strongly encouraged to wear masks at all events. Any updates to this policy will be posted at Lodging and dining information for Festival attendees as well as up-to-date information on the weekend’s events can be found at Friday, March 17 Double Helix7:30 p.m. The GoodspeedBook, Music, & Lyrics by Madeline MyersIn the mid-20th century, the race to find the structure of DNA grips the scientific community. One brilliant young researcher, Rosalind Franklin, will stop at nothing to uncover one of life’s great mysteries. But will she sacrifice what makes her human to discover what makes us human? Festival Cabaret: Artist to be announced10:00 p.m., Gelston HouseSaturday, March 18Seminars10:00 a.m.  – 1:00 p.m., Gelston House and other locationsSeminar titles to be announced. *2023 Terris Theatre Season Announcement3:30 p.m., The Goodspeed *This event is free and open to the public. *Symposium: Topic and speakers to be announced4:30 p.m., The Goodspeed *This event is free and open to the public. Festival Dinner5:30 p.m., Gelston HouseEnjoy a three course meal with fellow festival goers. The Great Emu War7:30 p.m. The GoodspeedBook by Cal SilbersteinMusic & Lyrics by Paul HodgeRemember that one time that the Australian government sent their army with machine guns to wage war on emus in Western Australia? Neither do most people…but when Edith, the headstrong warbler, and her flock begin to feed on the wheat of local farmers—the humans take up arms against Australia’s favorite feathered friends. Think of it as Cats, but with emus…and less dancing…and a plot. Festival Cabaret: Artist to be announced9:30 p.m., Gelston House  Sunday, March 19Little Miss Perfect1:00 p.m. The GoodspeedBook, Music, & Lyrics by Joriah KwaméInspired by the viral single of the same name, Little Miss Perfect tells the story of Noelle, a bi-racial teen navigating her senior year of high school after her mom and stepdad invite a study abroad student to be her roommate. But when a classmate becomes the victim of systemic racism at her school, Noelle must decide whether she will be true to herself and an ally to her peers, or if she will settle for simply being “Little Miss Perfect.” Little Miss Perfect is a commission of Goodspeed Musicals’ GoodWorks program. Meet the Writers Q&A3:30 p.m., The GoodspeedGain insight into the inspirations and processes of the writers during this lively festival wrap-up discussion.

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