Goodwin answered a few questions for us -- and gave us a playlist to get us through 'til opening night.
Idris: So I wanted to write something familiar (the coming of age story) in an unfamiliar way. It sprung from the well of my experience. I grew up in Michigan and Illinois. I grew up writing and spouting and recording rap music. I know a lot of people who’re similar. I wanted to write a coming of age story drawn from that experience.
Natalie: Have there been differences in audience reactions around the country?
Idris: More or less, the reaction has been the same from Louisville to Boston to Sacramento folks across all walks of life. The play’s themes and spirit seem to resonate.
Natalie: How did you come to start writing plays?
Idris: I went to film school. I was most interested in the writing part. The actors I was using for my bad student films came from the theatre dept. Theatre parties are way better than film parties so I became friends with a lot of people from that realm. It was a natural progression. I believe I wanted community and nobody does theater unless they really love it. My first play was in a fringe festival in Chicago. A 60, maybe 70 seat house—no budget. I loved every second of it. So I kept doing it.
Natalie: What are the essential songs for a How We Got On playlist?
Idris: Well just to get started you gotta have Run Dmc’s Runs House, Big Daddy Kane Set it Off, MC Lyte Paper Thin, Kool G Rap Road to the riches, Salt N Pepa Push It, any and everything from Public Enemy’s It Takes A Nation of Millions album---Children’s Story by Slick Rick, My Philosophy by BDP, Eric B and Rakim Paid in Full---that oughta get you off to a good start.