Is Connecticut becoming the home of music theater residencies?
This will make a third residency and development program for music theater artists in the state. The Eugene O'Neill Theater Center has run for 25 years the National Music Theater Conference during the summer months in Waterford.
In New Haven every June, there's the Yale Institute for Music Theatre, established in 2009 and now under the Binger Center for New Theatre at Yale, which was created with a $18 million gift in honor of James H. Binger
The new Goodspeed program will begin this year and will allow about six to eight creative teams of composers, lyricists and librettists -- totaling 14 to 20 creators -- who will be in residence in February, to use the rehearsal halls, library and theater to develop their work.
Throughout the residency members of the Goodspeed and Mercer Foundation staff, as well as guest mentors and industry leaders will be available for the artists.
Public performances or readings are not expected for the program.
The 2013 artists have not yet been selected.
The new program is part of the East Haddam-based producing entity to establish a creative colony of artists during the winter months when the theater is not producing shows.
The new program will be called The Johnny Mercer Writers Colony at Goodspeed Musicals, named after the lyricist, who mentored many other composers during his career.
The Goodspeed producing season begins in mid March when rehearsals begin for the first show of its three-show season of revivals at the Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam. It also produces three new shows at the Nora Terris Theatre in Chester. Shows at the two theaters run through early December.
The new artists housing that opened this year now allows year-round activity at Goodspeed.
Goodspeed Musicals also runs its "New Artists Program" which is held throughout the Goodspeed campus Jan. 7 to 20.It is now in its eight year.
During the first week of the program, three teams of writers and composers will dedicate their time to continue writing and composing their musicals in development. Senior students from The Hartt School at the University of Hartford and Boston Conservatory join them for rehearsals and continued development of the material. The New Artists program culminates with Goodspeed's Festival of New Artists Jan. 18 to 20 and three staged readings will be presented at the Opera House that will be open to the public, along with other activities such as symposium, panel discussions and cabarets featuring works of the participating artists
Opera House begins its 50th anniversary year in January.
Information of the Festival of New Artists: 860.873.8668 and www.goodspeed.org.