Goodspeed Opera House Relocating

Plans Call For 2008 Move to Middletown, CT

Fans of The Goodspeed Opera in East Haddam, Connecticut, will be interested to know that the venerable theatre has plans to move to Middletown.

According to theatre sources, for the past six years it has been the desire of the Board of Trustees for the Goodspeed Opera House Foundation to build a larger, more comfortable theatre.

A new theatre will allow Goodspeed to: provide more modern comforts for its patrons, including better seating and visibility; produce in a facility that is specifically designed for staging musicals; produce on a larger stage that will allow Goodspeed to send shows on tour to other cities; and allow more flexibility and creativity in programming.

Recently, the town of Middletown, Connecticut, presented a proposal to Goodspeed offering to build the theatre and provide land for an administration and production center. Assistance with building actor housing was also offered.

The Trustees voted overwhelmingly to select Middletown as the location for the new theatre, subject to three conditions: The City of Middletown will construct the theatre on the Main Street site that satisfies Goodspeed’s needs and plans at no cost to Goodspeed; title to the land and theatre will be given to Goodspeed Musicals; and the DeKoven Drive site will be given to Goodspeed for construction of its support facilities.

Final details of the financial package for building the theatre are still pending and the Goodspeed Board has made it clear that the project must be fully funded before it will proceed. In addition to the Middletown offer, Goodspeed estimates that it will need to raise another $20 million for construction of offices, production shops, a new library and additional facilities so that its entire staff can be relocated within steps of the new theatre.

The new theatre is projected for a Spring 2008 opening. Longtime fans of the current facility, a charming Victorian theatre nestled on the banks of the Connecticut River, will be glad to learn that the Board plans to keep the historic Opera House open and active by producing what they term a “tourist-oriented” musical there each summer.

Dedicated to the preservation and development of musical theatre in America, Goodspeed has produced more than 180 musicals since 1963. 43 were world premieres and 16 moved on to Broadway (among them, "Annie" and "Man of La Mancha"). Goodspeed Musicals currently produces six musicals each season at the Opera House and their sister Norma Terris Theatre (located in Chester).

For information on the season at Goodspeed, visit

-- OnStage Boston



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