Paul Outlaw

The Silver, the Black, the Wicked Dance

Photo by Ian Byers-Gamber

The Silver, the Black, the Wicked Dance

Bing Theater at LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art)
April 2016

Written and directed by Asher Hartman

With Bryatt Bryant, Philip Littell, Zut Lors, Paul Outlaw, Chelsea Rector, Joe Seely and Kensington Smith

Composer/performer: Chris Kallmyer
Movement choreography: Margot Moss and Ensemble
Dramaturgy: Philip Littell, Mark Allen

Lighting design: Chu-Hsuan Chang
Special properties: Andy Daley, Candice Lin, Zut Lors

Curator Special initiatives (LACMA): José Luis Blondet
Assistant Curator (LACMA): Elizabeth Gerber

Produced by Margot Moss

Visually spare, brutally comic, and deeply layered in sound and text, The Silver, the Black, the Wicked Dance is a dark, comedic play about predation in American life. The tar pits, the Great Plains, and an imagined outer space are cold and silent landscapes upon which the euphoric drive to create others as foreign and to become foreign to oneself circulates in abstract vaudevilles of organ regeneration, alien acceptance, and depersonalization. The text, written by Asher Hartman through the work of the company, draws on historical and philosophical material, popular culture, and an extended dialogue with the company about the origins of and interest in shame among privileged populations in the 21st century.

“I dissect theater with all respect to its glorious history, its high faggotry, its parade of sideliners: prostitutes, Africans, Jews, pockmarked youths in wide brim hats, bony donkeys. Western theater’s gawd-awful insistence that we see the Occident as the birthplace of Truth by forcing geometry, perspective, the right of the Gods, or the stars or the aliens, to be all-seers atop a pyramid in white light, the deliverer of Divine seed, is with us in film, television, the dollar bill, YouTube, and the Church.”
- Asher Hartman, The Brooklyn Rail