Set in New Orleans in 1911, Ophelia, a young biracial woman confronts a world of racism and segregation, while living and working in a famous octoroon brothel for white-skinned African American woman, known as objects of curiosity and desire. She begins posing for photographer Ernest Bellocq and gradually transforms from model to artist, viewing the world through the lens of her own camera, and embarking on a journey to claim her identity and her future.
This story is an adaptation of the Book of Poems by Pulitzer prize winning author and current poet laureate, (and Hollins University Alumni), Natasha Trethaway into a piece of physicalized theatre, text and contemporary dance.
Akel Nivo composed the live soundtrack for the One and a Half hour production. This was a project in conjunction with Ernest Zulia, TJ Anderson, and Lexi Mondot and the Hollins Theatre. He enjoyed this production very much, and this has been his most rewarding and challenging experience as a composer.
Interview on Roanoke Channel with T.J. Anderson about the makings and journey of this project.
REviews and testimonies of the production
Click here for the Review by the Roanoke Times
Click here for the Story on Bellocq's Journey to the Kennedy Center!
Roanoke news interview
Interview with Ernest Zulia, the chair of Hollins Theatre Department speaking about the production.