Boulder Ensemble Theatre commissions Idris Goodwin for new play

Idris Goodwin is the co-writer and director of Off-Center’s upcoming ‘This is Modern Art.’ Photo by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.

Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company expands commitment to parent playwrights with children under age 18

The Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company today announced it has a commissioned a new play by Colorado playwright Idris Goodwin, the co-writer and director of Off-Center’s upcoming This is Modern Art.

“BETC and I share the belief that the theater artists and audiences of the Rockies are hungry for relevant new work,” said Goodwin, also a rapper and associate theatre professor at Colorado College in Colorado Springs.

Goodwin will be working with an ensemble of artists to develop a play about how public schooling in America intersects with race, poverty, civil rights, states’ rights and federal oversight. “We’re going to dive deep into the question of who decides what is worth knowing?” Goodwin said. “I am eager to get to work.”

Jenifer BarclayOn March 22, Goodwin’s production of This is Modern Art, which recounts the true story of the biggest graffiti bomb in Chicago history, opens in the Jones Theatre.

BETC’s new-play development program, called Generations, supports the work of parent playwrights with children under 18. And this year it is being expanded to host a second residency, for University of Maryland assistant playwriting professor Jennifer Barclay. Her play Danny was selected from more than 150 submissions as part of BETC’s annual Generations competition. Danny is a drama about two generations of African-American women set in the Cabrini Green neighborhood of Chicago.

Barclay will receive a week-long residency in Boulder to develop Danny with a professional cast, director and dramaturg — with childcare support provided by BETC. The workshop will culminate in a public reading in August.

“I am thrilled that BETC offers an award and development opportunity that is specifically for parents of young children,” Barclay said. “I am grateful for the commitment that BETC has made to new plays, as well as their commitment to easing the burden of the playwright parent’s work and life juggling act.”

Producing Artistic Director Stephen Weitz said the goal for the Generations program is to welcome all generations into the theater to see new plays, and to empower playwrights to generate new work.  “Our program has a unique focus and demonstrates our commitment to foster new play development here in the Colorado community that will have wide-ranging impact across the country and the theatre industry,” he said. 

This is Modern ArtThis is Modern Art: Ticket information

  • Presented by Off-Center
  • Performances March 22-April 15
  • Jones Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex
  • Call 303-893-4100 or BUY ONLINE

Selected previous NewsCenter coverage of Idris Goodwin:

This is Modern Art will make you look: Cast list, first-day report, photos
Idris Goodwin is going places: From Curious’ Detroit ’67 to Denver Center
Graffiti: Modern art or ‘urban terrorism’?
Vast and visceral: Off-Center season will include This is Modern Art
Video: Victory Jones and the Incredible One Woman Band

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