Grow selected to participate at the Goodspeed Festival of New Musicals

December 16, 2019 - The Grand Theatre is excited to announce that Grow, a musical in development through their COMPASS New Play Development program, has been chosen to participate in the esteemed Goodspeed Festival of New Musicals to be held January 17-19th, 2020 in East Haddam, Connecticut. With only three new musicals included in the program, this announcement marks an incredible opportunity for the Grand, and also for the future of new, Canadian theatre. The Festival, which will be celebrating its 15th anniversary in 2020, features students from the Hartt School and the Boston Conservatory performing staged readings of three brand new musicals, along with industry-related seminars, a symposium, and cabaret performances.

Artistic Director, Dennis Garnhum says, “We are thrilled that Grow has been invited to participate in the renowned Goodspeed Festival of Musicals. Since joining forces with the writers of Grow over a year ago, the Grand has worked closely with them in order to develop and imagine the life that the new script and score could entail. Goodspeed is a company I have long admired, and I look forward to directing this workshop in Connecticut this January.”

Garnhum workshopped Grow with Sheridan College’s Canadian Music Theatre Project (CMTP) in the fall of 2019, culminating in its presentation on October 11, 2019 at the Winter Garden Theatre in Toronto, during the CMTP Festival of New Musicals. “A great deal of insight and considerable new direction emerged as a result of our time together at Sheridan—and this next workshop at Goodspeed provides a further opportunity for me to work closely with the writing team as we prepare it for the world premiere on the Grand Theatre’s Spriet Stage in the spring,” says Artistic Director Dennis Garnhum.  

Michael Rubinoff, Producing Artistic Director of the Canadian Music Theatre Project at Sheridan College, also notes the significance of this opportunity. “Goodspeed is a prestigious theatre that has been at the forefront of the development of new musicals for decades. They have nurtured many of the writers and composers whose work appears on Broadway. We are proud that Grow will be our third Canadian Music Theatre Project work to be further developed through Goodspeed’s Festival, following in the footsteps of Come From Away, and The Theory of Relativity.”

Written by Matt Murray, with music and lyrics by Colleen Dauncey and Akiva Romer-Segal respectively, Grow is a funny and heart-warming story that follows 19-year-old twin sisters, Hannah and Ruth, who leave the comfort of their sheltered Amish community to explore the outside world for the first time. After finding themselves stranded in one of Toronto’s roughest neighbourhoods, all their plans go up in smoke and they end up working at an illegal marijuana grow-op. Grow is an outrageously fun, big-hearted musical, which explores sisterhood, community, and the legalization of a once-forbidden weed.

Grow will be presented at the Goodspeed Opera House on January 19, 2020 and will then make its premiere on the Grand Theatre’s Spriet Stage, from April 14 to May 2, 2020. For more information on Goodspeed Festival of New Musicals, please visit their website at:

About the Grand Theatre – World Curious. London Proud.

Under the leadership of Artistic Director Dennis Garnhum and Executive Director
Deb Harvey, the Grand is a leading cultural hub located in the heart of downtown London, Ontario. The Grand offers diverse, relevant, and original stories from around the globe through collaborations with national and international performing arts organizations and is committed to developing, producing, and premiering original stories through COMPASS New Play Development program. The Grand supports educational programming with The High School Project, the only program of its kind in North America, and 100 Schools, a community initiative that brings professional theatre to London-area schools at no cost. The Grand’s season runs from September to May.


For more information please contact:
Jennifer Matthews, Communications Manager, Grand Theatre
jmatthews [at] (jmatthews[at]grandtheatre[dot]com)
519-672-9030 ext. 411