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General Information
AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT: Idris Goodwin

By: Keith A. Jones

 

idris-goodwin-photo-by-scott-majorsIdris Goodwin is an innovative playwright with strikingly relevant plays, many of which cover aspects of life as an African- American in modern America. He is the Producing Artistic Director of Stage One Family Theater in Louisville, Kentucky. He also has authored many books as well, coining the term “break beat poet.”

Playscripts Inc. is proud to license many of his plays.

Check out this interview about one of his works, Blackademics and his other contributions to the artistic world.

 

 

 

 

 

Playscripts: How did you initially become interested in playwriting?

Goodwin: I’ve always been hip to live performance and language. All my heroes are preachers, rappers, comedians, and other “real time” wordsmiths. It was the energy and collaborative ethos of playwriting that drew me in.

 

PS: This play (Blackademics) is an interesting look at the dynamics of race in modern America. How were you inspired to create this piece?

Goodwin: I was living in Iowa City, Iowa at the time, home of The University of Iowa. I was surrounded by academics in the midst of corn and humidity. It wrote itself really.

 

PS: A very interesting theme you explore is Georgia’s point system in the play and the literal fight for a seat at the table. What does this represent to you and how is it reflective of modern day academic discourses?

Goodwin: It doesn’t just apply to academia. People on the so called margins but particularly African- Americans are wanted in the room but rarely given the agency to really design a space–which is to say–more than a seat at the table. What if we created the room?

 

PS: Blackademics harkens to the emerging genre of movies like the film Get Out with surreal but shockingly realistic portrayals of the black narrative in America. Where do you envision this new form of storytelling going?

Goodwin: Yo, I wrote Get Out before Get Out! I love that movie though so I’m not mad. I think this is not a new form of storytelling actually. Black stories are rooted in the supernatural, metaphorical and allegorical. And I don’t have to talk about our relationship to psychological terror. Hitchcock aint got nuthin on us!

 

PS:  Do you have any advice for aspiring playwrights?

Goodwin: See plays, read plays, develop an interest in other forms of writing and art and bring those into the realm of theatre along with the specifics of your culture, community and ancestors.


 

Check out Blackademics and other titles at Playscripts!

 

Blackademics

Comedy

55- 65 minutes

3f

Set: An empty café.

There’s something strange about the trendy new restaurant in town. When Ann and Rachelle meet there for dinner, there’s already tension in the friendship they’ve built on their common experience navigating academia as black women: While Ann just got tenure at her tony liberal arts college, Rachelle’s struggling to find her place at the less prestigious state university. So at first it’s easy to overlook odd things like the single water glass they’re offered, or the mysterious server who keeps assigning points to their conversational gambits. But as the hunger sets in, the two professors find themselves the unknowing stars of an absurdist dinner theater performance of black plight. Somebody’s got to get the first bite, after all. A sharp, surreal satire about who gets a place at the table.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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