EAST HADDAM, Conn. (March 21, 2023) – Two-time Tony Award-winning Goodspeed Musicals announces its first season of new musicals since 2019 at The Terris Theatre in Chester, Conn. Opened in 1984 for the development of new musicals, Goodspeed’s Terris Theatre will welcome back audiences this year with a musical celebration of the wit and humor of Dolly Parton followed by an exciting and innovative musical inspired by the true story of a deaf Welsh sniper in World War I.
The season will open with Here You Come Again, a rollicking and touching new musical that brings Dolly Parton together with a diehard fan going through a trying time. With her wit, humor and trademark charm, Dolly teaches him a whole lot about life, love and how to pull yourself up by your bootstraps… even if your bootstraps don’t have rhinestones! Packed with hits like “Jolene,” “9 to 5,” “Islands in the Stream” and more, this is one musical that is sure to make you smile!
Here You Come Again is written by Emmy-Award winner Bruce Vilanch (The Terris: A Sign Of the Times, Broadway: Hairspray) who was also a Hollywood Square for six years; Gabriel Barre (Goodspeed: Billy Elliot, Sweeney Todd, Finian’s Rainbow; The Terris: A Sign of the Times, Amazing Grace; Broadway: Amazing Grace); and Tricia Paoluccio (The Terris: Camille Claudel; Broadway: Fiddler on the Roof, The Green Bird, A View from the Bridge) featuring songs written or recorded by Dolly Parton (And Others). Best known for creating original musicals, Barre will also direct and choreograph Here You Come Again, which will run July 26 – August 27.
Next will be Private Jones, running from October 13 – November 5. Private Jones is inspired by the true story of a deaf solider in World War I who displays remarkable skill as a sniper while hiding his profound hearing loss. Driven by an ensemble of deaf, hearing and hard-of-hearing actors and a dynamic Celtic score, witness how one man’s journey through war becomes all the more treacherous because he―and we―can’t hear what’s coming next.
Private Jones is written and will be directed by Marshall Pailet (Off-Broadway: Regina Comet, Who’s Your Baghdaddy, Triassic Parq). Music direction will be by Madeline Benson (Broadway: Waitress, Six). Choreography will be by Misha Shields (Off-Broadway: Baghdaddy, Wonderland, Who’s Your Baghdaddy). Director of Artistic Sign Language for the production will be Alexandria Wailes (Broadway: For Colored Girls…, Spring Awakening, Big River).
Now in her third season as Goodspeed’s Artistic Director, Donna Lynn Hilton shared, “We are thrilled to re-open our Terris Theatre for the first time since 2019. Please join us as we develop our next big hit so you can say ‘I saw it first at Goodspeed!’ With our GoodWorks commissioning program, Mercer Writers Grove and Festival of New Musicals all serving as a direct pipeline to the Terris stage, Goodspeed’s commitment to new musical theatre development is stronger than ever.”
Goodspeed has supported the development of Private Jones since its inception and as it has moved through Goodspeed’s new musical pipeline. It was conceived at the Johnny Mercer Foundation Writers Grove on the Goodspeed campus, presented in Goodspeed’s 2020 Festival of New Musicals, continued developing through creative workshops and now it will make its debut at The Terris Theatre.
For over 30 years, The Terris Theatre has been Goodspeed’s home for developing fresh, innovative and original new musicals. Many new and reimagined musicals have been developed in Chester, Conn., before moving on to Broadway, Off-Broadway, National Tours and other Regional Theatres. Because this is a developmental theatre, the show can change on a day-to-day basis. New scenes are added, songs are moved, costumes are changed, dialogue is tweaked ― all based on audience response and feedback.
Season tickets for both shows at The Terris Theatre are available now and start at $90. Single tickets will go on sale April 5th Goodspeed Memberships for 2023 provide many benefits to donors at both The Terris Theatre and at The Goodspeed. For more information, call the Goodspeed Box Office (860.873.8668), open weekdays at 10 a.m., or visit goodspeed.org.
ABOUT GOODSPEED MUSICALS:
Goodspeed Musicals has achieved international acclaim and is the first theatre in the nation to receive two Tony Awards for outstanding achievement in musical theatre. Under the leadership of Donna Lynn Hilton, Artistic Director and David B. Byrd, Managing Director, Goodspeed Musicals is dedicated to the celebration, development and advancement of musical theatre. Goodspeed creates powerful, world-class productions of enlightening new and established works to entertain and inspire audiences on its two stages – The Goodspeed in East Haddam, CT and The Terris Theatre in Chester, CT. From Goodspeed, 21 musicals have gone to Broadway (including Man of La Mancha, Annie, Shenandoah and Holiday Inn) and more than 90 new musicals have been launched. Goodspeed’s Festival of New Musicals, GoodWorks commissioning program and the Johnny Mercer Foundation Writers Grove at Goodspeed are distinguished cornerstones of the organization that highlight its commitment to nurture the talents of new and established artists and support the creative process. Goodspeed also maintains The Scherer Library of Musical Theatre and The Max Showalter Center for Education in Musical Theatre. Goodspeed gratefully acknowledges the support of The Shubert Foundation, Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development, CT Humanities, and the National Endowment for the Arts. For more information, visit www.goodspeed.org.
MORE ABOUT GOODSPEED MUSICALS 2023 PRODUCTIONS AT THE TERRIS THEATRE
Here You Come Again
July 26 – August 27
By Bruce Vilanch, Gabriel Barre and Tricia Paoluccio
Featuring Songs Written or Recorded by Dolly Parton (And Others)
Directed and Choreographed by Gabriel Barre
This rollicking and touching new musical brings Dolly Parton together with a diehard fan going through a trying time. With her wit, humor and trademark charm, Dolly teaches him a whole lot about life, love and how to pull yourself up by your bootstraps… even if your bootstraps don’t have rhinestones! Packed with hits like “Jolene,” “9 to 5,” “Islands in the Stream” and more, this is one musical that is sure to make you smile! Rating: PG
October 13 – November 5
Written and Directed By Marshall Pailet
Director of Artistic Sign Language Alexandria Wailes
Music Direction by Madeline Benson
Choreographed by Misha Shields
Private Jones is inspired by the true story of a deaf solider in World War I who displays remarkable skill as a sniper while hiding his profound hearing loss. Driven by an ensemble of deaf, hearing and hard-of-hearing actors and a dynamic Celtic score, witness how one man’s journey through war becomes all the more treacherous because he―and we―can’t hear what’s coming next. Rating: 15+ (strong language, depictions of war)