How We Got On


Writers: Idris Goodwin


Show Information

Number of Acts
First Produced
Simple/No Set, Contemporary
Time & Place
1988, Midwest Suburb
Cast Size
Ideal for
College/University, Community Theatre, Diverse Cast, Ensemble Cast, Professional Theatre, Regional Theatre, Small Cast
Casting Notes

Includes late teen, early teen, adult characters


In the mid-1980s, a wave of families moved from the city to the suburbs. While the parents were trying to leave the urban life behind, their kids still embraced hip hop and Yo MTV Raps! Two of those teens, Hank “John Henry” Charles and Julian “Vic Vicious” Hayes, are desperate to find their voices in the world of rap. Hank, while he can write some impressive rhymes, gets stage fright and only hears booing when he tries to perform. Julian has style and charisma, but only imitates the stars like Big Daddy Kane or LL Cool J. They join forces to create their own sound, but must also struggle with the prejudice against rap (especially in the suburbs) and their own personality conflicts. Add into the mix Luann, a rapper in the style of MC Lyte who can freestyle, but has to keep her skills a secret from her family. And their story is presided over by The Selector, a narrator in the style of an underground DJ and MC, guiding the teens and audience through the history and development of rap and hip hop, from the cities to the suburbs. A masterpiece from Idris Goodwin, How We Got On pays homage to rap and the young people finding their voices through beats and rhymes.

Lead Characters

How We Got On guide sections