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Podcast 026: The Illimitable Generosity of Idris Goodwin

Hey Playwright talks with Idris Goodwin

In the Season 2 finale, Tori and Mabelle talk with Idris Goodwin about his life as an art-maker. He shares his journey from Detroit to Chicago and beyond and how all of the places shaped his life’s work and play. Along the way, he drops knowledge around freestyle cyphers, finding your tribe, expanding narratives, the empowerment of educators and students, as well as how the teacher acts as DJ, fostering the energy of students.

Show Notes

Writing prompt (courtesy of Idris Goodwin)

Long-form Monologue. Write an entire play (8-12 minute play) that is one character speaking in present tense. This character should be in a situation that is happening right now and that they are the only voice speaking. They should acknowledge that they are speaking to someone, whether that be the audience or another character. The three types of “I” monologues are: a character speaking to another character; a character speaking to an audience or a soliloquy where the character speaks to themselves. Idris adds, “Don’t be nice. Make a mess.”

Check out Idris Goodwin’s website here: www.idrisgoodwin.com

Sign up to stream Idris Goodwin’s Pick Me Last for free (streaming begins May 24, 2021) on the La Jolla Playhouse site.

Check out more info on the History of Maxwell Street in Chicago here: https://www.chicago.gov/city/en/depts/dca/supp_info/maxwellstreetmarket0.html

Idris gives a shout out to Beau O’Reilly and Rhino Fest. Check out their work here: https://rhinofest.com/about-us

Idris’s first commission was with Free Street Theatre in Chicago: https://freestreet.org

Check out Edutainment by Boogie Down Records here: https://www.amazon.com/Edutainment-Boogie-Down-Productions/dp/B0000004WO

Check out more about Felicia Rose Chavez and The Anti-Racist Writing Workshop here: https://www.antiracistworkshop.com/

Learn more about ReImagine: New Plays in TYA, of which Idris Goodwin is an advisory council member, here: http://writenow.co/reimagine/

Idris Goowdwin’s Full Bio:

Across two decades Idris Goodwin has forged an impactful career as a multiple award-winning playwright, breakbeat poet, director, educator, and organizer.

Passionate about cultivating new audiences in the arts, Idris is The Director of The Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College, the first Black man to hold the position in its 100 year history.

Prior to this, Goodwin served two seasons as Producing Artistic Director at StageOne Family Theatre in Louisville, Kentucky. He actively serves on both the advisory boards of Theatre for Young Audiences USA and Children’s Theatre Foundation Association.

Idris is the author of over 50 original plays ranging from his Hip Hop inspired breakbeat series to historical dramas to works for young audiences.  Works like And In This Corner Cassius Clay, How We Got On,  Hype Man: A Break Beat Play  and the ground breaking Free  Play: open source scripts for an antiracist tomorrow, are widely produced across the country by a diverse mix of professional theaters, academic environments, and non-traditional spaces alike.  

Several of his plays are published and licensed through Playscripts Inc. Other works like the poetry books  Can I Kick It?, Human Highlight: Ode To Dominique Wilkins, and the play This Is Modern Art  are available from Haymarket Books. Goodwin has appeared on HBO Def Poetry, Sesame Street, NPR, BBC Radio, and the Discovery Channel. 

Idris is a 2021 United States Artist Fellow, recognized as a culture bearer who celebrates community values and cultivates histories with care. Supported by prestigious institutions like The Kennedy Center, The Eugene O’Neill Conference, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Arena Stage, and The Playwrights’ Center Goodwin uses his full creative powers to galvanize people to the community square to sculpt better tomorrows.