EAST HADDAM – Michael Price, who has led Goodspeed Musicals for 45 years, has decided to retire from the position of executive director at the end of 2014, but will remain active with Goodspeed in advisory and fundraising roles through 2016.
“Michael Price has been an extraordinary and tireless leader of Goodspeed Musicals for virtually its entire existence. In 1968, he arrived at a small, struggling summer theater and built it into one of the most respected, artistically successful and financially secure theaters in the country. The institution he entrusts to his successor is among the elite of American artistic institutions, having shaped musical theater for generations of audiences and artists from our East Haddam and Chester stages to Broadway and beyond,” said John F. (Jef) Wolter, president of the Goodspeed Board of Trustees in making the announcement.
“I have had the honor and the privilege of leading Goodspeed Musicals for more than 45 years but believe with my whole heart that the time has come to pass the reins on to someone new who will lead the institution into its next phase,” said Price. “The greatest joy is working with the most incredible theatrical team ever assembled, a team that together will take Goodspeed to even greater heights. I look forward to working with our Board of Trustees and staff during the transition period.”
Goodspeed Musicals produces three musicals each season at the Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam, and additional works at The Norma Terris Theatre in Chester, which was opened in 1984 for the development of new musicals. The first regional theater to receive two Tony Awards, Goodspeed also maintains The Scherer Library of Musical Theatre and The Max Showalter Center for Education in Musical Theatre.
For Goodspeed, Michael has produced over 235 classic and new musicals, 75 world premiere musicals, and transferred 19 shows to Broadway (including Man of La Mancha, Annie, and Shenandoah). Goodspeed productions have garnered 13 Tony Awards and 33 Tony nominations, and Goodspeed itself was honored with two special Tony Awards – the first regional theater to receive such an honor twice.
In addition to numerous theater credits, Price is currently on the Oversight Committee of the Union for Reform Judaism and serves as a trustee of the Foundation for Jewish Culture. He has also served as chairman of the Jewish Federation Association of Connecticut (JFACT), past president of the Connecticut Jewish Community Relations Council, trustee of the New Haven Jewish Federation and Foundation, trustee of the PEF Endowment Funds, and a member of the American Jewish Committee’s Commission on Contemporary Jewish Life.
Price is the recipient of two honorary doctorates in fine arts, from Connecticut College and the University of Hartford. He is also a recipient of the State of Connecticut Arts Award for service to the arts and serves as the chairman of the Connecticut Culture and Tourism Advisory Committee. He and his wife Jo-Ann Nevas have two children and a grandson.
The Goodspeed Board of Trustees will conduct a national search for a new Executive Director who is expected to assume leadership of the theater in late 2014.