EAST HADDAM, CT - Today, Goodspeed Musicals Executive Director Michael Gennaro announced programming for the Tony Award-winning theater’s 2021 season. “As we prepare for the 2021 season, safety is our priority. We continue to spend countless hours researching, planning and talking with state officials and leaders in the healthcare community to ensure that when we reopen, it will be as safe as possible for our audience, staff and performers” he said. “Based on everything we know to date,” he continued, “the goal is to safely reopen The Goodspeed in June 2021.”
Goodspeed Musicals will open in 2021 with a two-show season that begins with the long-overdue and much-anticipated production of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s South Pacific. This musical theatre classic based on James A. Michener’s Pulitzer Prize winning novel and featuring an extraordinary and irresistible score will be directed by Rob Ruggiero (Show Boat, Carousel, Oliver!). With Music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, and book by Oscar Hammerstein II and Joshua Logan, South Pacific will run June 11 - August 22, 2021.
In the fall Goodspeed will produce the World Premiere of Anne of Green Gables, based on the beloved novel by L.M. Montgomery. The new folk-rock musical with multi-generational appeal features book and lyrics by Matte O’Brien and music by Matt Vinson and will be directed by Jenn Thompson (The Music Man, Oklahoma! and Bye Bye Birdie). Anne of Green Gables is a fresh and exciting musical that not only illustrates Goodspeed’s long-standing commitment to new musicals, but also has a very bright future beyond Goodspeed. Anne of Green Gables will run September 10 – November 14, 2021.
Exclusively for 2021, audiences will have the option to attend a live performance or watch from the comfort of their own home. “We all know that it will take time to get comfortable going out in public again, especially to a theater” Gennaro shared. “To make things easier, we have made special arrangements with the unions representing the actors, directors, choreographers and designers to allow us to record our shows and make them available for members, subscribers and single ticket buyers to watch online,“ he said.
Additional changes have been made with regards to the organization’s plans for 2021. Closing both theatres for over a year has put extreme pressure on Goodspeed’s financial resources, leading to a conservative approach to restarting and reopening operations. As a result, the launch of Goodspeed’s new Worklight Series at The Terris Theatre in 2021 has been postponed until 2022.
Gennaro stated, “It is hard to believe that our theatres are dark and will be for the rest of this year. We miss the great performances, the singing and the dancing and most of all, we miss our patrons. Yet we are filled with excitement and hope for the day when we can all be back in the Opera House to enjoy musical theatre at its best.“