FREE PLAY: Open Source Scripts Toward an Antiracist Tomorrow

Award-winning playwright, poet, and changemaker Idris Goodwin offers five short plays for multi-generational audiences to spark conversation about race in America.

TYA/USA is honored to provide a platform for award-winning playwright Idris Goodwin to present five short plays to spark conversation and serve as a catalyst for action. Each of these short works, written to be read across the multi-generational spectrum, offer different insights about disconnects in racial conversation and the Black experience in America. Goodwin hopes that this release also provides a model for open-source theater and storytelling, in which the connection between playwright and community is direct.


Check out a webinar on the impact of FREE PLAY, a conversation with Idris Goodwin and a number of organizations that produced the works. (Webinar recorded December 10, 2020 as part of TYA/USA’s Virtual Reality: Producing and Presenting TYA Online and Offsite. For more info, visit


The plays released include three new works:

  • THE WATER GUN SONG (for audiences age 6 and up) finds a parent trying to find the words to explain to a child why a water gun isn’t simply a toy
  • ACT FREE (for audiences age 9 and up) finds three kids wrestling with the definition of freedom
  • NOTHING RHYMES WITH JUNETEENTH (for audiences age 9 and up)  finds a child and a parent trying to complete a rap for a school presentation

Also included are two previously produced works (both for audiences age 14 and up):



Idris Goodwin offers these 5 plays to be read and produced across communities. To publicly present any or all of these works, they must be offered to the community free of charge. For further conversation about production in a professional setting, inquiries can be directed to Idris Goodwin at


As part of the release of these works, New Victory has created a week-long series of engagement activities called “New Victory Arts Break: Honoring & Celebrating Juneteenth,” part of the Theater’s ongoing series to help families incorporate the performing arts into their learning at home. New Victory invites you to engage with the past and connect to these new plays as a way to utilize the arts to educate, communicate and activate us all towards equality, liberation and justice.

For more resources on how to engage in conversation about race, visit Talking About Race from National Museum of African American History and Culture.




Across two decades Idris Goodwin has forged a multi-faceted career as an award-winning playwright, Break Beat poet, director, educator, and organizer. Idris is the newly appointed Director of The Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College.

A catalyst for culture, Goodwin uses his full creative powers to galvanize people to the community square. He is a creative voice for change, impassioned by art for social good.

His critically acclaimed plays like And In This Corner Cassius Clay, How We Got On, and Hype Man: A Break Beat Play are widely produced across the country at professional theatres, college campuses, and non-traditional spaces alike. He’s been honored to receive developmental support from institutions like The Kennedy Center, The Eugene O’Neill Conference, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Arena Stage, and The Playwrights’ Center.

In addition to the recently released poetry collection Can I Kick It?, he’s had several publications from Haymarket Books including Inauguration co-written with nico wilkinson, Human Highlight: Ode To Dominique Wilkins, and the play This Is Modern Art co-written with Kevin Coval. He’s appeared on HBO Def Poetry, Sesame Street, NPR, BBC Radio, and the Discovery Channel.

Passionate about cultivating new audiences in the arts, Goodwin served two seasons as Producing Artistic Director at StageOne Family Theatre in Louisville, Kentucky. He actively serves on both the advisory boards of Theatre for Young Audiences USA and Children’s Theatre Foundation Association.


Photo Credit in Banner: Kelsey Johnson and Andrew Cutler in #Matter at Actors Theatre of Louisville. Photo by Bill Brymer.