Please visit these pages on our web site for more information on the programs offered by the Showalter Center.
In keeping with Goodspeed's mission to advance the understanding and appreciation of musical theatre and to develop the talent of artists, Goodspeed established The Max Showalter Center for Education in Musical Theatre in 2002. The Center encourages and nurtures musical theatre artists and students by providing a unique and comprehensive array of training and educational programs to serve both the national and local academic communities. Goodspeed is committed to the belief that arts education is a vital component of a well-rounded education and crucial for long-term audience development. Understanding this, Goodspeed’s education programs engage young people in the creative process of musical theatre, and by doing so, make the art form accessible to new generations of theatergoers.
Dedicated to new musicals, the Goodspeed Institute is comprised of a number of educational initiatives that take place throughout the year:
The Festival of New Musicals is a unique collaboration between emerging writers and students from The Hartt School at the University of Hartford and The Boston Conservatory. Three teams of writers and composers, joined by senior students from the schools, continue the development of new musicals through staged readings that are performed to the public on the Opera House stage. In addition to the book-in-hand readings, festival-goers are treated to a Symposium, break-out sessions, cabarets, and a Meet-the-Writers session.
Since 2006, Goodspeed’s Arts Education Collaboration has provided access each year to nearly 800 underserved elementary, middle, and high school students to a musical theatre production and gives them a special “behind-the-scenes” look into the making of a show. Students immerse themselves in an educational program that includes in-school and out-of-school workshops, hands-on learning activities, access to Teacher Instructional Guides (Goodspeed’s education guide intended for teachers and influenced by state and national standards associated with the arts, language arts, and social studies), tickets to Goodspeed performances, student lunches, and bus transportation to and from East Haddam.
Goodspeed’s Musical Minds program seeks to expand the understanding and appreciation of musical theatre through direct in-school outreach. To achieve that goal, world class performers in residence at Goodspeed Musicals visit community-based organizations such as schools, camps, and religious institutions to deliver educational presentations that will expose students to the essential elements of musical theatre in an exciting way. Lively performance pieces paired with instruction are geared to maintain student interest, enhance their knowledge of the art form, and ensure that they leave inspired to learn more.
In existence since the re-opening of the Opera House in 1963, the Internship and Apprenticeship Program offers a “hands on” approach to learning and represent Goodspeed’s commitment to excellence and its investment in the future of musical theatre. The programs assist undergraduate and graduate students in gaining experience in technical, production, company management, and administrative musical theatre operations. These programs offers students and aspiring theatre professionals experiential learning, networking opportunities, regular seminars taught by staff members, and monthly meetings with members of the senior staff.
In addition, Goodspeed offers Kids Nights for each production, which enables thousands of youngsters to see the magic of live, musical theatre at a deeply reduced rate and also provides them with Study Guides, aligned with state standards, as well as a literary component associated with the production.
For more information on any of these programs, please contact Josh Ritter at 860.873.8664 ext. 745 or firstname.lastname@example.org