Paul Outlaw

Red Velvet

Paul Outlaw as Ira Aldridge as Lear (left) and Othello (right)

Red Velvet

West Coast (U.S.) Premiere:
Atwater Playhouse, Los Angeles, CA
March 26, 2016

Directed by Benjamin Pohlmeier

With Nicola Bertram, Colin Campbell, Adam Chacon, Amanda Charney, Sean C Dwyer, Kailena Mai, Erin Elizabeth Reed, Dee Dee Stephens, Ben Warner, and Paul Outlaw as Ira Aldridge

Scenic design by Kiley Hannon
Lighting design by Douglas Gabrielle  
Costume design by Kristina A. Moore
Sound design by James Ferrero

Public relations by Steve Moyer
Graphic design by Rameel Raymundo

Ira Aldridge (1807-1867), a native of Lower Manhattan in New York, was the first black actor to perform a leading role on the legitimate stage in London. Lolita Chakrabarti’s 2012 play depicts his controversial debut as Othello at the Theatre Royal at Covent Garden in 1833.

“Ira Aldridge is masterfully portrayed by Paul Outlaw.”
- Ron Irwin, Tolucan Times

“The real delight of director Benjamin Pohlmeier’s spare studio staging, however, comes in the play’s window on the declamatory ‘teapot’ mannerisms of the century’s dominant acting style. Both Outlaw (whose stage presence recalls the late actor Paul Winfield) and the superb Nicola Bertram (as actress Ellen Tree) give a persuasive demonstration of emotional nuance under the constriction of ritualized gesture as they rehearse a scene.”
- Bill Raden, LA Weekly

“Outlaw and Bertram are masters of their art. Incredibly, as Aldridge and Tree rehearse, their stylized poses and declamations make us feel an electrically real relationship between Othello and Desdemona, both in its early bloom and in its tragic end.”
- Mark Hein,

David C. Nichols in the Los Angeles Times on Red Velvet