Idris Goodwin's BARS AND MEASURES continues a 4-theater NNPN Rolling World Premiere at Core Memeber Prop Thtr

Jul 11, 2016

Washington, D.C. - The National New Play Network, the country’s alliance of nonprofit theaters that champions the development, production, and continued life of new plays, celebrates the initial success of the first half of the NNPN Rolling World Premiere (RWP) of Bars and Measures by Idris Goodwin. NNPN Core Member Prop Thtr (Chicago, IL) will offer its production, directed by Tara Branham, in its back room-turned-nightclub through July 17. Associate Members Jungle Theater (Minneapolis, MN, August 26 – October 9) and The Theatre @ Boston Court (Pasadena, CA, September 15 – October 23) will continue the RWP of Bars and Measures this fall. The play, originally commissioned by newly named Core Member B Street Theatre, has received acclaim from both critics and audiences in Sacramento and Chicago in the first two productions of its Roll.

“It becomes…much more than just a play about music, but a play that embodies family, race, religion, politics and justice.”
Bev Sykes, The Davis Enterprise

“The story is very relevant to the difficult issues that we face as a society and really great to experience in the intimate setting of the Prop [Thtr].
Prop Thtr audience member Marina G, TimeOut Chicago

“The tension and exaltation in the musical sequences between [the brothers] are the play’s most effective elements…there’s a welcome authenticity about the music in Goodwin’s dialogue.”
Marcus Crowder, The Sacramento Bee

“It’s potent stuff…”
Justin Hayford, Chicago Reader


Commissioned by B Street Theatre, Bars and Measures is the fascinating tale of two brothers. One a classical pianist. The other a jazz bass player. One a Christian. The other a Muslim. One living in freedom. The other in jail. Separated by bars, the brothers try to reconcile their differences through the language they know best. Music. A beautiful journey through faith, family, melody and time.


Idris Goodwin is a playwright, rapper and essayist. His plays include How We Got On, Remix 38 (Actors Theater of Louisville); And in this Corner: Cassius Clay (StageOne Family Theater), This is Modern Art (Steppenwolf), Blackademics (MPAACT, Crowded Fire). Goodwin is one of the six playwrights featured in Hands Up an anthology commissioned by The New Black Fest and presented across the country. Upcoming world premiere productions include The Realness (Merrimack Theatre) and The Raid (Jackalope Theater). He is the recipient of Oregon Shakespeare’s American History Cycle Commission and InterAct Theater’s 20/20 Award. Goodwin has been a writer in residence at Berkeley Rep’s Ground Floor Program, The Lark Playwriting Center and New Harmony Project. An accomplished Hip Hop poet, his albums include Break Beat Poems and Rhyming While Black. Goodwin was featured on HBO, Sesame Street and Discovery Channel. He is the author of the pushcart nominated essay collection These are the Breaks (Write Bloody, 2011). Idris is the co-host and contributor to Critical Karaoke, a radio show and podcast about music and culture. Idris teaches performance writing and Hip Hop aesthetics at Colorado College.


Prop Thtr is one of Chicago’s oldest storefront theaters producing new work and neglected masters since 1981. Prop is a charter/core member of both The League of Chicago Theatres and the National New Play Network. Since 2004, Prop houses a two theater venue wherein it primarily functions as an incubator for new and experimental work, with multiple forms of new work development and a mission to facilitate and develop new work and new workers for the performing arts. Emphasizing a road to production, this combines play readings and workshops with The Rhinoceros Theater Festival, a bare bones new work festival of six weeks, at year’s begin, where makers are given space and promotion to produce new works of all kinds. Prop Thtr also emphasizes long term artistic relationships, with playwrights, composers, directors, designers and performers, joining the NNPN in seeking to promote continued life for new work.


The Jungle Theater, headed by Artistic Director Sarah Rasmussen, is a neighborhood theater with a national impact. As one of the region’s most dynamic theaters, the Jungle is known for its definitive productions, exquisite design, masterful acting and compelling storytelling. Since its founding in 1991, the Jungle has been a flagship example of the transformative power of the performing arts, playing a vital, continuing role in the economic, social and cultural life of its Minneapolis Lyn-Lake neighborhood.


Based in Pasadena, CA, The Theatre @ Boston Court produces passionate, artist-driven theatre that challenges both artist and audience, urging its artists to fearlessly and passionately pursue their unique voice and passion. Play selection encompasses a wide variety of genres (with a special emphasis on nurturing playwrights and new play development), which are inherently theatrical, textually rich, and visually arresting. The Theatre @ Boston Court has produced new plays by playwrights such as Luis Alfaro, Sheila Callaghan, Julia Cho, Dan Dietz, Jason Grote, Jordan Harrison, Carlos Murillo, Laura Schellhardt, Octavio Solis, Deborah Stein, Jean Claude Van Itallie, Kathryn Walat, David Wiener, among many others.


Since bursting into the Sacramento scene, B Street Theatre continues to keep critics raving and audiences coming back for contemporary productions ranging from popular classics to first time debuts. Our two-theatre playhouse on B Street in Midtown is home to our Mainstage, B3 Series and Family Series, each created to house quality, intimate theatre for audiences year-round. Recognized as one of Northern California’s top professional theatres, we’ve produced more than 100 new plays, 60 of which are world, national, West Coast, or regional premieres.