Paul Outlaw

The Ground Floor and Other Stories

(l to r) Paul Outlaw, Jessica Litwak and Brian Jucha

(l to r) Paul Outlaw, Jessica Litwak and Brian Jucha

The Ground Floor and Other Stories

University of the Streets, New York, NY
December 1982

Directed by Anne Bogart and created in collaboration with the ensemble and co-director/ choreographer Jim Diaz

With Sarah Berry, Stephen Grafenstine, Ghislaine Chantel Jourden, Brian Jucha, Terry Knickerbocker, Jud Lawrence, Jessica Litwak, Janet Murtha, Paul Outlaw (as Donell Dakota Washington/Tamara Afternoon), David Stern, Gayle Tufts and Christof Vorster

Set design by Nikki Appino
Lighting design by Carl Delo

Musical direction by Arthur Rosen
Original music by Rosen and the cast

Produced by University of the Streets in association with Annie Hamburger

Inspired in part by Arthur Schnitzler’s 1897 Reigen (La Ronde) and the cabaret Chez Romy Haag in Berlin, Anne Bogart’s 1982 original work was prescient about, among other things, the gentrification of Manhattan’s Lower East Side. The raw “ground floor” space of the title, down the street from the legendary Pyramid Club at the corner of Avenue A and E. 7th Street, later became a restaurant catering to hipsters and NYU students. Paul Outlaw, a native of the area, played a local kid whose twin sister has died of a drug overdose in the titular nightclub.

“Her current piece, The Ground Floor and Other Stories, continues to manifest her unique vision…At one precise moment I noticed five performers light a cigarette without acknowledging the coincidence. Perception becomes a peripheral matter, limited by our own scope of vision or understanding, but otherwise without restrictions. I overheard one character say to another, ‘Maybe all there really is is what happens next.’ I would amend this slightly to read, ‘Maybe all there really is is what we see or how we see it.’ But clearly Bogart sees beyond the immediate vicinity, and she sees clearly enough to report back what she finds there.”
- David Kaufman, “The Method in Bogart’s Madness” (1982)

“Most entertaining of the comic numbers is a Hottentot-tall transvestite named Tamara Afternoon accompanied by her Yesterdays, the Misses Avenue B and C.”
- Larry Myers, East Village Eye