Idris Goodwin

Idris Goodwin

Idris Goodwin is a playwright, director, break beat poet and educator. He is the Director of the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College and a 2021 United States Artist Fellow. Idris is a highly sought after writer for multi generational audiences, produced and commissioned by Regional, Community and Academic Theater institutions across the country. Idris's play The Way The Mountain Moved was...
Idris Goodwin is a playwright, director, break beat poet and educator. He is the Director of the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College and a 2021 United States Artist Fellow. Idris is a highly sought after writer for multi generational audiences, produced and commissioned by Regional, Community and Academic Theater institutions across the country. Idris's play The Way The Mountain Moved was commissioned and produced as part of Oregon Shakespeare’s groundbreaking American Revolutions series. His work has been produced Off Broadway, The Humana Festival at Actor’s Theater of Louisville, Steppenwolf Theater, The Kennedy Center, The Denver Center for The Performing Arts, Cleveland Playhouse, and Company One. He’s received awards and development support from the NEA, The Ford, Mellon and Edgerton Foundation, Berkeley Rep's Ground Floor Program, The Eugene O’Neill Center, The Lark Playwriting Center and New Harmony Project. Idris is the 2018-2019 recipient of the Playwright Center's McKnight Fellowship. These Are The Breaks (Write Bloody, 2011), his debut collection of essays and poetry, was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Inauguration a chapbook co-written with Nico Wilkinson (Haymarket Books) won the 2017 Literary Arts Award from The Pikes Peak Arts Council. He's performed his poetry on HBO, The Discovery Channel, Sesame Street and National Public Radio. Idris is a member of The Dramatists Guild, serves on the boards of TYA/USA and The Children’s Theatre Foundation of America. You can find many of his plays at Playscripts.Com.

Plays

  • How We Got On: a breakbeat play
    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.
    ...
    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
  • The REALNESS: a breakbeat play
    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?
  • 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.
  • THIS IS MODERN ART
    Co written with Kevin Coval.
    The crew of LOOK OVER HERE (LOH) 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...
    Co written with Kevin Coval.
    The crew of LOOK OVER HERE (LOH) 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.
  • 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.
  • Blackademics
    Two ravenous female African-American scholars arrive for their coveted dinner reservation at a select café. But what starts as a celebration, quickly takes a raucous turn. Banter turns to debate, and debate into battle as the women figuratively and literally vie for a seat at the table.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • THE WAY THE MOUNTAIN MOVED
    In a remote desert in the 1850s, four men—a U.S. Army lieutenant, a sharpshooter, a botanist and an artist—set out to survey a route for the new continent-spanning railroad. After being scattered on separate odysseys, they cross paths with lost pioneers, cautious Native Americans and an African-American Mormon couple unsure whether to befriend, fight or flee the newcomers. Whose dreams will prevail?
  • 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.
  • American Prom
    Set in a small town middle American town called Principal, this is the story of teenaged best friends Jimmy T. and Kia B. Jimmy wants to take Kia to prom, but it’s complicated. Jimmy is white and Kia is black, and Principal has been holding racially segregated proms for decades. In this contemporary coming of age story, filled with music and magic, rhymes and beats, Jimmy and Kia work to hold fast to their...
    Set in a small town middle American town called Principal, this is the story of teenaged best friends Jimmy T. and Kia B. Jimmy wants to take Kia to prom, but it’s complicated. Jimmy is white and Kia is black, and Principal has been holding racially segregated proms for decades. In this contemporary coming of age story, filled with music and magic, rhymes and beats, Jimmy and Kia work to hold fast to their friendship. With a little help from a musical superstar, they both fight to envision a different future for themselves and their town.
  • The Blueprint
    THE BLUEPRINT follows two successful and competitive African American writers as they navigate personal and professional crisis. Framed by the tracks of a contemporary playlist, this rhythmic ensemble piece, examines the heartaches, sacrifices, successes, and the sheer will it takes to pursue the dream.
  • Black Flag
    Part of the Free Play: open source scripts for an antiracist tomorrow series
    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...
    Part of the Free Play: open source scripts for an antiracist tomorrow series
    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.

  • #matter
    Part of the Free Play: open source scripts for an antiracist tomorrow series
    a racially motivated misunderstanding on social media prompts a reunion between two old friends
  • The Water Gun Song
    Part of Free Play: open source scripts toward an antiracist tomorrow
    The Water Gun Song finds a parent trying to find the words to explain to a child why a water gun isn’t simply a toy
  • ACT FREE
    Part of Free Play: open source scripts toward an antiracist tomorrow
    Act Free finds three kids wrestling with the definition of freedom
  • Nothing rhymes with juneteenth
    Part of the Free Play: open source scripts for an antiracist tomorrow series
    A child and a parent trying to complete a rap for a school presentation