Executive Director Michael Price stands in front of the Goodspeed Opera House, his home for the past 45 years.
Executive Director Michael Price stands in front of the Goodspeed Opera House, his home for the past 45 years.
(© Diane Sobolewski)

The board of trustees of East Haddam, Connecticut's Goodspeed Musicals has announced that Michael Price, the theater's executive director for the past 45 years, will retire from his position following the 2014 season. He has, however, promised to remain active with Goodspeed in advisory and fundraising roles through 2016.

"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 onto someone new who will lead the institution into its next phase," said Price. "It has been my privilege and thrill to lead Goodspeed and help make theatre magic. Every Goodspeed production has been a joint effort between our audience members, our Board of Trustees, our supporters, our amazing staff and some of the most talented artists — both on the stage and behind the scenes — to ever work in theatre. I know that with their continued passion and support, Goodspeed's future is brighter than ever."

The longest-serving artistic director in American theater, Price has produced over 235 musicals, 75 world premieres, and transferred 19 shows to Broadway. In addition to helming Goodspeed Musicals, he holds leadership positions in various nonprofit organizations and has served as the chairman of the Connecticut Commission on the Arts under Republican and Democratic governors.

Goodspeed's board of trustees will now commence a national search for a new executive director, expected to assume leadership of the theater in late 2014. "The Board of Trustees and our staff have been preparing for this transition and are extremely confident that Goodspeed's future is bright and secure," said John F. (Jef) Wolter, president of the Goodspeed board of trustees. "We are also excited about the search process and the prospect of bringing a worthy successor to Michael into the Goodspeed family. Goodspeed will continue to provide the world-class musical theatre experience that our audiences expect at the Goodspeed Opera House and The Norma Terris Theatre."