Paul Outlaw
Berserker card.jpg

Berserker

Berserker

Premiere:
Theater! Theatre!, Portland, Oregon
April 4, 2003

Written and performed by Paul Outlaw
Directed by Tanya Kane-Parry
Lighting design by Drew Flint
Produced by Myra Donnelley
Video documentation by Barnaby Levy

Developed at Highways Performance Space, Santa Monica, CA

Winner, Best Male Dramatic Solo Performance - San Francisco Fringe Festival

Named “Best of the Fringe” by the New York Sun - New York International Fringe Festival

Published, with an essay by Charles Nero and an interview with Paul Outlaw by Vershawn Ashanti Young, in BLACKTINO QUEER PERFORMANCE (Durham: Duke University Press, 2016)
 
 

What do the confessions of Nat Turner and those of Jeffrey Dahmer have in common? Paul Outlaw answers this provocative question in Berserker, a hilariously unsettling look into America's “heart of darkness” - our national obsessions with race, sex and violence. This homoerotic stew of physical theater combines excerpts from The Confessions of Nat Turner and transcripts of statements made by the infamous Milwaukee serial killer; prose and poetry by maverick African American authors Essex Hemphill and Samuel Delany; and Outlaw’s reflections on his family, his coming-of-age in New York and his experiences as an African-American in Germany.

“Outlaw’s performance is raw, riveting, often perverse, and decidedly unsettling.”
- Gene Price, San Francisco Bay Times

“His performance holds up as a provocative trip through racial rage, murder, and lust, to that still point where it's possible even for an outcast like him to feel human—and American—again.”
- Michael Scott Moore, SF Weekly