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The new musical process at Goodspeed's Terris Theatre is changing

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Goodspeed Musicals has announced the 2020 lineup at its Terris Theatre in Chester: "Ghost Brothers of Darkland County" with a book by Stephen King and music and lyrics by John Mellencamp, from Oct. 21 to Nov. 8; "Johnny & the Devil's Box" by Douglas Waterbury-Tieman, from May 27-June 7; and a summer title to be announced.

While the fact that a musical from legendary horror novelist King and roots-rock superstar Mellencamp will be developed at The Terris is big news, so is another aspect of what will be happening at Terris this year. Goodspeed will be presenting the shows at The Terris as staged readings.

Goodspeed Executive Director Michael Gennaro said, "Our new musical process at The Terris has been redesigned and will be relaunched as 'The Worklight Series.' In our first season, we will develop three musicals and present them to our audience as staged readings. Audiences will still experience great stories and music, but since the shows will be more actively in progress, the performances will look different — focusing not on costumes, scenery or props — but the musical on the page, oftentimes with book-in-hand."

This will give authors more flexibility to change the show daily and test it with an audience. Gennaro noted that, over the years, Goodspeed discovered that not all shows came to The Terris ready for a full production, and the more things like scenery and choreography were added, the more difficult it became to change the shows.

Another new element worth noting: Goodspeed plans to create content that will offer audiences glimpses inside the rehearsal studio.

The three-show packages are available now for $99. Single tickets, at $39, go on sale starting April 1. Call (860) 873-8668 or visit www.goodspeed.org

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