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Idris Goodwin (Photo by Scott Majors)

Idris Goodwin Is New Artistic Director of Seattle Children’s Theatre

The versatile playwright, breakbeat poet, director, and educator takes the lead at the esteemed TYA theatre this month.

SEATTLE: After a national search conducted in partnership with Management Consultants for the Arts, Seattle Children’s Theatre (SCT) last week announces that Idris Goodwin will be the company’s third artistic director, succeeding Courtney Sale, who left the post in 2020. Goodwin, an award-winning playwright, breakbeat poet, director, and educator, starts his tenure with the organization this month, serving as co-executive alongside managing director Kevin Malgesini.

“We are honored to have Idris join SCT and the Seattle community,” said Anh Nguyen, SCT board president, in a statement. “As demonstrated by his experiences, including presidency of Theatre for Young Audiences, he brings a deep commitment to high-quality, meaningful theatre productions and education, as well as expertise and passion for new works—a cornerstone of SCT’s mission. Idris is a collaborative ecosystem builder, who is unapologetic about the need to increase access, and this combined with his innovative and artistic mindset will help propel SCT as it builds upon its legacy and strives for expanded impact.”

Goodwin joins SCT following his tenure as executive director of the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College, where he also taught for 6 years as a professor in the Department of Theater and Dance. Prior to Colorado College, Goodwin served as producing artistic director of Stage One Family Theatre in Louisville. His playwriting accomplishments encompass more than 60 stylistically diverse works, including his groundbreaking Break Beat Play Series (How We Got On, Hype Man); The Way The Mountain Moved, commissioned as part of Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s American Revolutions series; and Ghost, adapted from the novel by Jason Reynolds. His Muhammad Ali coming-of-age play, And in This Corner: Cassius Clay, penned for Stage One, was featured in SCT’s 2018-19 season. 

Said Goodwin in a statement, “The stars have aligned, my friends! Seattle Children’s Theatre will be a transformative venue for this next chapter of my career. I am so grateful for the trust bestowed upon me to serve as artistic director. I look forward to joining a team of innovative staff and committed board members to spark joy with this art form we love.”

Said managing director Malgesini in a statement, “Idris is a phenomenal addition to SCT at an incredibly important time. His experiences on both the creative and administrative sides of theatre are unprecedented….I can’t imagine a better visionary for the artistic future of Seattle Children’s Theatre.”

SCT will launch the 2022-23 season with the world premiere of Goodwin’s new play, The Boy Who Kissed the Sky, inspired by the boyhood of Seattle rock icon Jimi Hendrix. First commissioned in 2017, this new play featuring music by Divinity Roxx and Eugene H. Russell IV, is a co-production with Alliance Theatre and will be directed by Tim Bond. SCT’s entire 22-23 Season will be announced in July.

Founded in 1975, Seattle Children Theatre’s has premiered 120 plays, and stands as a leading generator of new works for children of all ages. As of 2020, the theatre’s budget was close to $6.2 million.

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ADV – Billboard