Friday, December 14, 2012

Goodspeed, Johnny Mercer Foundation Join to Form Residency for Musical Theater Writers

Goodspeed Musicals begins its 50th Anniversary Season with the announcement of a major new four-week residency program for musical theater theater writers.

The Johnny Mercer Writers Colony at Goodspeed Musicals is the first of its kind in the country as it is dedicated solely to the creation of new musicals. In partnership with the Johnny Mercer Foundation, Goodspeed will offer established and emerging writers the unique opportunity to research, develop, and create new musicals.

“Goodspeed Musicals’ unique focus is musical theatre so it is fitting that we are finally able to realize the long-held dream of establishing a home for the creators of new musicals," said Michael Price, executive director of Goodspeed Musicals. "Thanks in part to our expanded campus and our good fortune in finding such a perfect partner in the Johnny Mercer Foundation to help fund it, this safe haven for artists will launch in 2013.”

The Writers Colony is a unique, long term residency program devoted exclusively to musical theatre writing. It will provide a sanctuary for composers, lyricists, and librettists to embark on new musical theatre work or to devote a substantial amount of time to a work-in-progress in an environment rich with creative energy. For four weeks each year, 14 to 20 writers will be immersed in this stimulating environment with the singular purpose of allowing the writers to write. 

At Goodspeed Musicals, writers will find the freedom to work without the distractions of daily life, while receiving the support and encouragement needed to develop their works in progress. Each project will be assigned a creative mentor drawn from the highest levels of musical theatre professionals. The Writers Colony will afford the artists unlimited access to research materials in the Scherer Library of Musical Theatre, one of the most extensive musical theatre libraries in the US; composition time in Goodspeed’s music studios; and collaborative exchange with their peers through a series of informal salons for presenting and sharing their work.

Throughout the residency, members of Goodspeed’s artistic staff and professionals from the Johnny Mercer Foundation will be on site to offer guidance and support for the writers. Each year, writers will be invited by Goodspeed’s panel of industry leaders to participate in this prestigious program. A select group of participants have been invited for the inaugural residency and will be announced at a later date.

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Lauren Yarger with playwright Alfred Uhry at the Mark Twain House. Photo: Jacques Lamarre)
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