BBC (Big Black Cockroach)

Paul Outlaw


Writer and performer Paul Outlaw returns to REDCAT with a gripping work of experimental theater, inspired by classical European mythology, American comic books, current events, and Franz Kafka’s best known novella, Die Verwandlung (The Metamorphosis). A nightmarish satire, in which a right-wing American white woman wakes up in the body of a Black man, BBC (Big Black Cockroach) mixes a disorienting cocktail of historical violence and near-future visions. Innovative design elements, including projections and spatialized sound design built entirely from recordings of Outlaw’s voice and movements, echo the expanding identities within the protagonist, and the production’s indelible central image—a queer Black male body in stark isolation—becomes the vessel for America’s violent past, present, and future.


Please note: BBC (Big Black Cockroach) contains mature content, loud sounds, bright flashing lights, graphic descriptions of violence, and nudity.

Paul Outlaw’s boldness blew me away as he inhabited the character of a white, wealthy, conservative woman who wakes up to find herself trapped in a black man’s body …The power of BBC’s exploration of xenophobia, black virility, and gender confusion left me speechless and stunned.

Bianca Collins, Artillery

The creation of BBC (Big Black Cockroach) has been supported in part by the Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture (as part of the LA County Performing Arts Recovery Grant), the Ucross Foundation, the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, somefund, the Speranza Foundation, the Whiting Foundation, Los Angeles Performance Practice, Thymele Arts Incubator and the generosity of individual donors like Michelle Seely (in remembrance of Michael and Diana Seely) and Skip Snow.

about the artist

Paul Outlaw

Paul Outlaw is a Los Angeles and Berlin-based multidisciplinary performing artist. Spanning an array of mediums, including text-based drama, physical theater, performance art, spoken word, and American popular music, his works confront the tangled web of societal constructs around race and gender and excavate the enduring legacies of white supremacy and patriarchal violence—both physical and psychological—that have marred the tapestry of Euro-American history. Under the banner of OutlawPlay, he has created an evolving series of performances and solo theater works, including: Berserker; What Did I Do to Be So Black and…; The Late, Late Show; BIRTHDAY SUITe; Shine; Reading Ventriloquist Scripts: The Talking at Money; and the upcoming DUET. Outlaw’s award-winning solo projects and collaborations have been presented in the US (including at LACMA, MOCA, REDCAT, the Getty, The Lab, Yale Union) and abroad (including at Maxim Gorki Theater in Berlin, Melkweg in Amsterdam, and GES-2/V-A-C Foundation in Moscow).

Outlaw is the recipient of various grants, fellowships, and residencies, including a City of Los Angeles Individual Artist Fellowship and a Los Angeles County Performing Arts Recovery Grant. He played the title role in Pepe Danquart’s Schwarzfahrer, winner of the 1994 Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film. Outlaw is one of the queer changemakers memorialized in One Institute’s 2021 exhibition, Pride Publics: Words and Actions.

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cast & creative team

Written and Performed by Paul Outlaw

Directed by Sara Lyons

Lighting Design by Chu-hsuan Chang

Sound Design by Jonathan Snipes

Projections and Visual Media Design by Hana S. Kim

Stage Management by Lanae Wilks

PR: Matt Johnstone Publicity

Produced by OutlawPlay

Production Managed and Co-Produced by Brooke Harbaugh

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