Playwright Idris Goodwin. Photo: Stage One

By Keith Waits

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Idris Goodwin is a playwright, director, orator, poet, educator, and now he will be the newest Producing Artistic Director for StageOne Family Theatre. Goodwin will succeed current Producing Artistic Director Peter Holloway, who is stepping down after eleven years with the theatre.

Goodwin brings over sixteen years of experience in theatre and the performing arts to StageOne, which opens its 72nd season this August. He joins a long history of prestigious leaders who have led StageOne Family Theatre from its beginnings as the Louisville Children’s Theatre to its current status as one of the nation’s leading professional theatres for young audiences.

“In these times, it’s more important than ever to remember that theatre teaches empathy, fires imaginations and inspires young people,” said Holloway. “StageOne is the Louisville arts organization that is most connected to education and young people, and to be led into the future by an artist and educator like Idris is tremendous for our community.”

Goodwin is the first Person of Color to be Producing Artistic Director at StageOne, and the Louisville Arts Community immediately recognized his selection as a bold, forward-thinking choice.

“Stage One has enriched the lives of young audiences and the communities that surround them for longer than I have been alive. What an incredible honor to be able to further weave myself into its indelible legacy. I look forward to building on all of the great work,” said Goodwin.

Justin Cornwell as Cassius Clay Jr & Bill McNulty as Joe Martin in the Stage One production of Idris Goodwin’s And Now In This Corner, Cassius Clay. Photo-Stage One

Goodwin brings a strong pedigree to the post. For StageOne Family Theatre he wrote American Tales and the widely produced And In This Corner: Cassius Clay, winner of the 2017 Distinguished Play Award from The American Association of Theater and Education. His critically acclaimed play How We Got On developed at the O’Neill National Playwrights Conference, premiered in Actors Theatre of Louisville’s 2012 Humana Festival. It is the first in his “break beat play” series, which includes The REALNESS and Hype Man, winner of the 2017 Blue Ink Playwriting Award. Other widely produced plays include Blackademics, This Is Modern Art co-written with Kevin Coval, and Bars and Measures. Goodwin is one of seven playwrights featured in the widely presented HANDS UP! an anthology commissioned by The New Black Fest and published by Samuel French. His one act Black Flag was produced Off Broadway. The Way The Mountain Moved, commissioned as part of Oregon Shakespeare’s groundbreaking American Revolutions Series, will world premiere in Summer 2018. He’s had work commissioned by or in development with The Public Theatre, Steppenwolf Theater, The Kennedy Center, Seattle Children’s Theater, Nashville Children’s Theater, Berkeley Rep’s Ground Floor Program, La Jolla Playhouse, The Lark Playwriting Center, The Playwright’s Center, Boulder Ensemble Theater and New Harmony Project. Goodwin recently directed Dominique Morriseau’s Detroit ’67 for Colorado’s Curious Theater and This Is Modern Art for Denver Center Theatre. He’s received support from the NEA, The Ford, Mellon and Edgerton Foundation, and is the recipient of InterAct Theater’s 20/20 Prize. “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. Goodwin’s poetry has featured on HBO, The Discovery Channel, The BBC, NPR, Sesame Street and National Public Radio. A seasoned educator, Goodwin has taught across the nation to multiple demographics, and from 2012-2018 was an Assistant Professor in The Department of Theatre and Dance at Colorado College, where he was voted teacher of the year.


Keith Waits is a native of Louisville who works at Louisville Visual Art during the days, where he is Managing Editor of their Artebella blog, and host of LVA’s Artebella On The Radio on WXOX-FM 97.1/ But spends most of his evenings indulging his taste for theatre, music and visual arts. His work has appeared in Pure Uncut Candy, TheatreLouisville, and Louisville Mojo. He is now Managing Editor for