Idris Goodwin awarded 2018-19 McKnight National Residency and Commission

Please help us welcome the recipient of the 2018-19 McKnight National Residency and Commission, Idris Goodwin.

Goodwin’s commissioned play—“a play that’s been whispering over my shoulder for a minute now,” he says—is titled Scarfoot Lives. It is a multigenerational play spanning 150 years, about an interconnected family of black creatives.

“I am honored. I am thrilled. And I am charged up!” Goodwin says about the residency and commission. “Ever since I first set foot into the Playwrights’ Center over 15 years ago, I knew it’s where I belonged. I leap at all opportunities to be within the walls of that building. This is the right play and the right time and now I have the right circumstances to spark its creation.”

The McKnight National Residency and Commission funds the creation and development of new works and comes with a $15,000 commission, $5,750 in workshop funds, and travel and housing stipends. Past recipients include Kia Corthron, Erik Ehn, Kate Fodor, Karen Hartman, Daniel Alexander Jones, Sibyl Kempson, Craig Lucas, Taylor Mac, Ruth Margraff, Dan O’Brien, Betty Shamieh, Kathleen Tolan, Mfoniso Udofia, Francine Volpe, and Mac Wellman.

Idris Goodwin is an award-winning playwright, director, orator and educator who was a Playwrights’ Center Core Writer from 2013 to 2016. Goodwin has long been at the forefront of hip-hop theater, with work such as his “break beat play” series. His play The Way The Mountain Moved—commissioned as part of Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s American Revolutions Series and co-developed through the Playwrights’ Center’s partnership program—will receive its world premiere in the summer of 2018. Other plays include American Tales, And In This Corner: Cassius Clay, How We Got On, This Is Modern Art co-written with Kevin Coval, Bars and Measures, The Raid, Hype Man: a break beat play, and Blackademics. Last month it was announced that Goodwin will become the producing artistic director of StageOne Family Theatre in Louisville, Kentucky.

Also announced today: 2018-19 McKnight Fellows in Playwriting May Lee-Yang and Tori Sampson »


Idris Goodwin