Paul Outlaw
Dragons poster for index.png

Here Be Dragons

Here Be Dragons

Premiere:
Prufrock’s, Scranton, PA
September 24, 1994

Created and performed by Paul Outlaw
Directed by Leigh Strimbeck
Lighting design by Christian Epps
 
 

In this kaleidoscope of characters, Paul Outlaw examines myths about race and sex—and the points at which they converge. From a legendary mulatto knight of the sixth century A.C.E. to a centenarian former slave in the 1930s to a homeless teen today, Outlaw conjures two dozen “real” people: white men talking about black women, black women talking about gays, gay youth talking about straight adults and on and on...in their own words, culled from interviews and recordings. Outlaw, himself a ten-year expatriate in Berlin, intersperses these portraits with his own twisted observations on growing up on New York’s Lower East Side, going to prep school in New England, living in Europe and returning to America.

“A stunning clarity of focus: Outlaw effectively questions the dichotomies and definitions of race. Like Spike Lee’s geekier kid brother, his performance has several levels, from historic to humorous and from insightful to unsettling...Paul Outlaw is a provocative performer we’ll no doubt be seeing more of.”
Bay Windows (Boston)

“Black, white, colored, brown and African-American are terms that Paul Outlaw juggles like balls. In the course of his one-man show Here Be Dragons, he strips off layer after layer of clothing until he’s able to demonstrate on his own upper body the black/white mixture that makes up his family: father with skin as dark as his belly; sister and brothers different shades starting at the inside of the forearms; nieces and nephews as light-skinned as his palms. With himself as the starting point, Outlaw draws wider and wider circles —beyond his family, beyond the American continent, all the way to Europe.”
- Susanna Nieder, Der Tagesspiegel (Berlin) full article