Theatre Hosts Idris Goodwin and Kevin Coval for Hip Hop Residency and Dec. 3 Public Forum

The Department of Theatre welcomes hip hop theatre artists Idris Goodwin and Kevin Coval for a two-week residency on Hip Hop Theater: History, Critique, Practice, and Performance — an interdisciplinary, multi-day virtual workshop. 

As a part of their residency, in coordination with the University of Arkansas Humanities Center as a part of their "Diversifying Research and Curriculum" grant initiative, the artists will present a special live episode of their podcast Same Old New School: A Conversation on Graffiti & Street Art at 7 p.m. central, Thursday, Dec. 3.  

The forum is free and open to the public, and will stream on Facebook and YouTube.

The forum, led by Goodwin and Coval, is focused on graffiti and contemporary street art and their historic influences civically, politically, and creatively in development with hip hop. Special guests from around the country will also join, in partnership with the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College, where Goodwin serves as director.

Goodwin and Coval will engage a diverse, multi-generational cohort of guests in spirted conversations and also field submitted questions from the virtual audience. Guests Include:

  • Henry Chalfant: Renowned photographer and director of the iconic PBS graffiti documentary Style Wars
  • Nancy Ríos: Hulbert Faculty Mellon Fellow at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College
  • Sam Kirk: Street and gallery artist

"This is a great opportunity for our students to explore a theatre form with two master teachers," said John Walch, head of the M.F.A. program in playwriting, who is the faculty liaison for the residency.

Walch added that since hip hop "lives at the intersection of the personal and political, past and present, innovative and preservative, this residency and public forum are ideal ways for our students to engage in conversations around arts, activism, civic engagement and politics."

"I'm also so grateful for and excited that the University of Arkansas Humanities Center is co-sponsoring this amazing opportunity with the Department of Theatre," Walch said.

During Goodwin's and Coval's workshop, undergraduate and graduate theatre students will also learn about the hip hop craft's history and practice while generating and performing material of their own under the guidance of the duo.

Then, from 4-5:15 p.m. Friday, Dec. 4, the workshop will also include a dance session with New York City-based choreographer and dancer Kim Elliott, who will introduce students to the vocabulary of Hip Hop movement. 

This session is also free and open to all. Those wanting to attend the open rehearsal, or the dance session, please fill out this form and the Department of Theatre will send you the zoom links.

The residency experience will then culminate in an open rehearsal from 6-7 p.m. (CST) Saturday, Dec. 12 featuring work generated during the workshop.

About Idris Goodwin: Idris Goodwin is a multidisciplinary arts leader and creative community builder. Across two decades he's forged a multi-faceted career as an award-winning script writer for stage and screen, Break Beat poet, director, educator and organizer. He is the new director of The Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College. As the author of Free Plays: open source scripts for an antiracist tomorrow, Goodwin is committed to using the arts to spark meaningful conversation.

About Kevin Coval: Kevin Coval is an Emmy-nominated, award-winning poet and author of Everything Must Go: The Life & Death of an American Neighborhood, A People's History of Chicago and 10 other collections and anthologies. He's the creative director and a founding editor of The BreakBeat Poets imprint on Haymarket Books. Coval has performed at hundreds of universities, high schools, synagogues and theaters in seven countries on four continents. A regular contributor to Chicago Public Radio and a four-time HBO Def Poet, Coval is former poet-in-residence at The Jane Addams' Hull House Museum. He has also taught creative writing and spoken-word performance workshops in Chicago for over ten years.

About Kim Elliott: Kim Elliott is a dance educator, choreographer and performer. She obtained her M.A. in dance education from New York University, Steinhardt, where she received the Outstanding in Dance Education Award. She received her B.S. from the Fashion Institute of Technology in marketing and communications and has been choreographing and producing her own dance productions since 2001. A New York City native, Elliott's first love has always been hip hop dance. Although her training extends to other dance forms, she always challenges herself to bridge the gap between the streets and the stage of hip hop dance culture. Currently, Elliot is the dance director at The Beacon School in Manhattan, is an adjunct professor at New York University where she teaches Hip Hop Dance Technique and Pedagogy, and is a Hip Hop teacher at Peridance for the Perichild program.

About the Department of Theatre: The Department of Theatre has been providing exciting and affordable live theatre for more than 60 years. The department combines a first-rate theatrical education full of hands-on experience with a wide selection of titles to challenge students and delight the community. The department offers the Bachelor of Arts degree in theatre, a broad spectrum program in the context of a liberal arts education, and the Master of Fine Arts degree in six concentrations: ActingDirectingPlaywritingCostume DesignScene Design and Lighting Design. Classes at both undergraduate and graduate levels are focused on providing a strong, professional orientation to theatre performance and technology in conjunction with appropriate research-based coursework to address the required foundations in theatre history, dramatic literature and dramatic criticism.


John Stanley Walch, assistant professor
Department of Theatre

Andra Parrish Liwag, director of communications
Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences


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