Idris Goodwin

Idris Goodwin

IDRIS GOODWIN is a playwright, rapper and essayist. His plays include HOW WE GOT ON, REMIX 38 (Actors Theater of Louisville); AND IN THIS CORNER: CASSIUS CLAY(StageOne Family Theater), THIS IS MODERN ART (Steppenwolf), BARS AND MEASURES ( B Street Theatre, NNPN RWP), BLACKADEMICS (MPAACT, Crowded Fire), THE REALNESS: a breakbeat play, and THE RAID (Jackalope Theatre). Goodwin is one of the six playwrights...
IDRIS GOODWIN is a playwright, rapper and essayist. His plays include HOW WE GOT ON, REMIX 38 (Actors Theater of Louisville); AND IN THIS CORNER: CASSIUS CLAY(StageOne Family Theater), THIS IS MODERN ART (Steppenwolf), BARS AND MEASURES ( B Street Theatre, NNPN RWP), BLACKADEMICS (MPAACT, Crowded Fire), THE REALNESS: a breakbeat play, and THE RAID (Jackalope Theatre). Goodwin is one of the six playwrights featured in HANDS UP an anthology commissioned by The New Black Fest. HANDS UP has been presented across the country. He is the recipient of Oregon Shakespeare’s American History Cycle Commission and InterAct Theater’s 20/20 Award. Goodwin has been a writer in residence at The Eugene O'Neil Playwrights Center, Berkeley Rep's Ground Floor Program, The Lark Playwriting Center and New Harmony Project. An accomplished Hip Hop poet, his albums include BREAK BEAT POEMS and RHYMING WHILE BLACK. Goodwin was featured on HBO, Sesame Street and Discovery Channel. He is the author of the pushcart nominated essay collection THESE ARE THE BREAKS (Write Bloody, 2011). Idris is the co host and contributor to CRITICAL KARAOKE, a radio show and podcast about music and culture. Idris teaches performance writing and Hip Hop aesthetics at Colorado College.

Plays

  • The Blueprint
    A competition between two young writers of color combusts into a series of concentric conflicts over friends, family, fortune, and fame, framed by the tracks of a contemporary playlist. A world-premiere play.
  • Black Flag
    A one act play. Sydney is from Georgia. Deja is from Detroit. These two new dorm-mates cannot wait to start their freshman year together. That is, until Sydney decides to decorate their room with a little piece of "Southern pride." Now, all bets are off. BLACK FLAG is a biting new play about allegiance, censorship and the price of honoring the past.
  • HYPE MAN: a break beat play
    A controversial police shooting causes tensions between an interracial hip hop trio. HYPE MAN is a rhythmically woven drama exploring race, representation, fame and friendship.
  • #matter
    a racially motivated misunderstanding on social media prompts a reunion between two old friends
  • WE WANT THE FUNK: a rustbelt lullabye on the one!
    It’s the early 1970s and the fourth largest auto company in the Midwest just laid off more than half its workers. Chuck is one of them, but he’s not worried. Chuck is convinced that “the funk” will bring prosperity. Only thing, Chuck can’t play no instrument. But somewhere in this sea of the recently unemployed and rejected—those morphine addicted Vietnam vets—those ex militants turned public servants—gear...
    It’s the early 1970s and the fourth largest auto company in the Midwest just laid off more than half its workers. Chuck is one of them, but he’s not worried. Chuck is convinced that “the funk” will bring prosperity. Only thing, Chuck can’t play no instrument. But somewhere in this sea of the recently unemployed and rejected—those morphine addicted Vietnam vets—those ex militants turned public servants—gear heads, burnouts, labor activists, Motown woulda coulda beens, and hustlers—somewhere in all that is Chuck’s band. This psychedelic rhythmic verse drama follows one ordinary man’s pursuit of a new working class frontier.
  • THE RAID
    John Brown is convinced only bloodshed will dismantle American Slavery. After fighting alongside his sons in Kansas, Brown plots to make real his vision: To free and arm black slaves across the south. With Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman conflicted, Brown heads to Harpers Ferry. A tragedy of dissenting heroes, The Raid investigates the line between civic disobedience and civic duty, ultimately asking...
    John Brown is convinced only bloodshed will dismantle American Slavery. After fighting alongside his sons in Kansas, Brown plots to make real his vision: To free and arm black slaves across the south. With Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman conflicted, Brown heads to Harpers Ferry. A tragedy of dissenting heroes, The Raid investigates the line between civic disobedience and civic duty, ultimately asking whether or not there’s such a thing as justifiable violence.
  • The REALNESS
    It’s 1996, the hip-hop scene is roaring, and T.O. has arrived in the city, eager to immerse himself in a culture he’s only observed from the safety of the suburbs. He falls hard for Prima, an MC who entrances him with her music and her authenticity. When he lies and schemes to stay in her life, is it in the name of true love or just another part of his obsession with the hip-hop lifestyle?
  • Bars and Measures
    Commissioned by B Street Theatre, Bars and Measures is the fascinating tale of two brothers. One a classical pianist. The other a jazz bass player. One a Christian. The other a Muslim. One living in freedom. The other in jail. Separated by bars, the brothers try to reconcile their differences through the language they know best. Music. A beautiful journey through faith, family, melody and time.
  • AND IN THIS CORNER: CASSIUS CLAY
    A drama about a teenage Muhammad Ali coming up in a racially segregated Louisville KY. Before Islam, draft dodging, before Liston and Fraizer and Zaire, he had to learn the stance, and confront his fears.
  • THIS IS MODERN ART
    Co written with Kevin Coval. The crew of Made U Look (MUL) is willing to risk anything for their art. Called vandals, criminals, even creative terrorists, these Chicago graffiti artists set out night after night to make their voices heard and alter the way people view the world. But when the crew finishes the biggest graffiti bomb of their careers, the consequences get serious and spark a public debate asking...
    Co written with Kevin Coval. The crew of Made U Look (MUL) is willing to risk anything for their art. Called vandals, criminals, even creative terrorists, these Chicago graffiti artists set out night after night to make their voices heard and alter the way people view the world. But when the crew finishes the biggest graffiti bomb of their careers, the consequences get serious and spark a public debate asking, where does art belong? This Is Modern Art gives a glimpse into the anonymous lives of graffiti artists and asks us to question the true purpose of art.
  • Blackademics
    Two female African-American scholars break down ideas while breaking bread and celebrating black history month in their favorite bistro. They become deeply engrossed in spirited discourse, weaving personal and political, academic and pop culture, and boasts and criticisms. This metaphysical comedy dramatizes one of our longest running debates: what does it mean to be a Black in America?
  • How We Got On
    Hank, Julian, and Luann are three talented, determined suburban teens coming of age in the 1980s. Dreaming of fame and fortune in the new Hip-Hop music scene, they must overcome cultural isolation, familial dysfunction, and ruthless rivalries to make the music that defines their lives. A sultry DJ spins their stories with her own meta-theatrical perspective in this contemporary ode to the roots of rap. http://...
    Hank, Julian, and Luann are three talented, determined suburban teens coming of age in the 1980s. Dreaming of fame and fortune in the new Hip-Hop music scene, they must overcome cultural isolation, familial dysfunction, and ruthless rivalries to make the music that defines their lives. A sultry DJ spins their stories with her own meta-theatrical perspective in this contemporary ode to the roots of rap. http://www.playscripts.com/play/2542