Marquee Dinner Spotlight on Kash Goins | Theatre Philadelphia
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Marquee Dinner Spotlight on Kash Goins

Feb 1, 2018

On February 5th, we will host the Marquee Dinner, honoring the Independence Foundation and celebrating new plays and playwrights in Philadelphia. This spotlight shares some background on the key artists that make our region a hotbed for new theatrical work.

My name is Kash Goins, I am an actor, playwright, and producing Artistic Director of the company that I started in 2008, GoKash OnSTAGE. We are now in our first year of residence at the Arden. I am a current member of the Barrymore Oversight Committee.

I was born and raised in South Philly in the Point Breeze neighborhood. My father ran the neighborhood youth basketball leagues for 20 years and instilled a very distinct sense of Philly civic pride and responsibility in me. In addition to cultivating a diverse audience here that has been instrumental in supporting, encouraging, and challenging me, I've also been fortunate to meet many other home grown artists who are building new bridges and blazing new trails. It's very inspiring to be a part of this community and have the opportunity to cheer for those that I've come to know and love.

My company GoKash OnSTAGE, in residence at the Arden, returns in Spring with a sobering look at privatized incarceration, “V to X”.  In this look at the U.S. justice system, I was inspired by the tragic experience of N.Y. teen Kalief Browder, whose diminished mental state after three years of abusive Rikers Island incarceration without having ever gone to trial, drove him to suicide upon release in 2015.  

There have been so many that have supported me as an artist that it's hard to begin listing without fear of forgetting anyone. I will, however, highlight the Arden for exercising their belief that our work was deserving of a broader audience, and extending a supportive hand to help make that a reality. Terry, Amy and the rest of the Arden family have been an absolute blessing to me as I look to continue to build local footing while expanding further beyond Philly's borders.

I'm very inspired by James Ijames, and love watching his ascent into the national landscape. His work is smart, funny, and poignant. It happens to be exactly what American theatre needs today. Bruce Graham is like the godfather of local playwrights, and the most powerful example of what a Philadelphian can be and achieve in this realm. Folks like these and others help provide the fuel to keep on pushing. I was fortunate to meet one of my largest sources of inspiration, playwright Ayad Ahktar, in December and he told me simply to "Stay strong". That's what I plan to do. Artists like James, and Bruce help underscore the reason we must.

Hear more stories like Kash's and share a meal alongside creators of new work at the Marquee Dinner on February 5th at Panorama Restaurant!