Last March, it was announced that playwright Idris Goodwin would be filling the shoes of Peter Holloway as producing artistic director of StageOne Family Theatre. Insider spoke to him at length about the new position in the spring, long before he stepped into the role.
With “Frankenstein,” the first production of StageOne’s season, fast approaching and two months under Goodwin’s belt, we thought we’d check back in on the charismatic playwright and educator.
Goodwin tells us that, so far, things are going relatively smoothly.
“I spend my days talking, thinking, planning and meeting about ways to bring the magic of performing arts to the children and parents of this region. What could be better?” he says. “In the nonprofit arts world, there are constant curveballs. The fire that burned the roof of our friends at the Kentucky Center created some ripples for us with availability of their space for some of our shows.”
But when one door closes, another one opens, and StageOne has now struck up a relationship with Memorial Auditorium, where some of its plays will be held this season.
And speaking of the new season, “Frankenstein,” which Goodwin adapted from Mary Shelley’s classic tale, will open Friday, Oct. 19, followed by “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever,” “Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing” and “The True Story of the Three Little Pigs.”
Goodwin says he’s excited to bring a new take of “Frankenstein,” which will be held at the Kentucky Center, to the stage. It was a privilege, he says, to work with Shelley’s original story and update for modern audiences.
“Her themes of technology, power and responsibility ring true more than ever in this digital age,” he explains. “While we certainly honor much of the original book’s characters, scenes and ideas, we’ve charged it with a 21st-century flavor and pace that will appeal to a wide range of audience members.”
Goodwin has grand plans for StageOne, including introducing new work and interesting takes on classics. After all, his background is in playwriting.
“Every day I see or overhear something I think could make a great play,” he says. “Also, I thrive on collaboration, and this company shares that spirit. I think StageOne can generate content that youth-focused theaters around the world could license and produce.”
And one final goal of Goodwin’s is to reach out to all audiences and reflect the community found off stage on stage.
“I want us to figure out ways to diversify the ways we create and present, which has the potential to diversify the collaborators and audiences we serve,” he adds.
Public performances of “Frankenstein” will be held at Kentucky Center’s Bomhard Theater Oct. 19-20, 26-27 and 31. Tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for children 12 and under.
Before the curtain raises on the misunderstood monster, we asked Goodwin some very important questions …
What’s the most surprising thing on your Bucket List?
Working on an Alaskan fishing boat for a few weeks.
What poster was on your wall in junior high?
I was an ’80s kid, so likely Run DMC or Andre The Giant.
If you were mayor, to whom would you give the key to the city?
The children, of course!
What are your preferred pizza toppings?
Pepperoni, jalapeño and red onion.
If you could be any age for a week, what would it be?
I just turned 41 recently — so far, so good.
What famous person do people say you resemble the most?
When I tell people my name, they blink and then say “What?” I say it again and they say, “Oh like … uh … who’s the guy? Luther?” Or, “Oh, like what’s-his-name … Stringer Bell?” Or, “Ahhh, what’s his name again? The guy who was supposed to be Bond?” And I take all that to mean: “You look like Idris Elba,” to which I replyz; “Yup. Just like him.”
Who would you most like to be stuck with in an elevator?
I would never ever want to be stuck in an elevator. Matter of fact, let’s stop talking about it …