Idris Goodwin is an award winning hip-hop playwright, break beat poet, recording artist and teacher committed to making work that incites, inspires and engages. The National Endowment for the Arts awarded Idris a Playwright-in-Residence grant to explore hip-hop aesthetics in theater. Idris' break beat poetry was featured on HBO's Def Poetry Jam as well as the Spoken Word Revolution Redux Anthology. Idris frequently teaches and lectures at institutions across the country on themes of art and activism.
Kelly Zen-Yie Tsai is a Chicago-born, Brooklyn-based, Chinese Taiwanese American spoken word artist who has given over 275 performances worldwide in notable venues like the Nuyorican Poets Café, House of Blues, Apollo Theater in Harlem, Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center and three seasons on HBO's Def Poetry Jam. Current projects include her recently released CD Infinity Breaks and her solo show The Grieving Room.
This post-show discussion immediately followed the performance of American Ethnic, a spoken word and hip-hop infused exploration of how the media shapes the way we see race, gender and ourselves. American Ethnic was written and performed by hip-hop theater artist Usman Ally, NEA Award-winning performer Idris Goodwin and three time HBO Def Poetry Jam performer Kelly Zen-Yie Tsai. It was directed by Remy Bumppo Artistic Associate Nick Sandys.
Remy Bumppo's thinkTank features short dramatic works with a focus on provoking timely conversation about a social, political or economic issue in which Chicago citizens have a stake. A post-show discussion follows, led by speakers from the community representing various viewpoints on thinkTank's theme. Past topics include immigration (2007) and national security (2008).
Recorded Saturday, March 21, 2009 at The Greenhouse Theater.