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Performance shows complexity of life in Storyville’s Mahogany Hall

October 01, 2018 3:00 PM
 | 
Miriam Taylor mtaylor11@tulane.edu
  

Actors Valentine Pierce, left, and Jasmine Davis, are part of the "Postcards from Over the Edge" cast. (Image by CFreedom)

 

Newcomb Art Museum will host the world premiere of Postcards From Over the Edge, a new theatrical work that illustrates the historical struggles related to the sale of sex in Louisiana.

Developed collaboratively by five New Orleans–based artists, the play explores New Orleans’ complex relationship with prostitution and is a local project of the National Performance Network.

The performance shifts between the Storyville Mahogany Hall era, circa 1890, a time when prostitution was legal, and the actions of the modern-day civil rights movement.

Development of Postcards From Over the Edge was initiated by Karel Sloane-Boekbinder, an award-winning multidisciplinary artist and programs assistant in the School of Liberal Arts’ Department of Theatre and Dance.

“Because I’m an artist, my first thought was, how do I tell stories that are not being told, how do I share these stories with a larger community, and how do I connect the community together,” said Sloane-Boekbinder. “We think it’s magical that we have the opportunity to perform in a space that has pieces from Lulu White’s Mahogany Hall on display.”

The items once owned by madame Lulu White, proprietor of Storyville’s Mahogany Hall brothel, that are on display as part of the Newcomb Art Museum’s EMPIRE exhibit include salvaged wallpaper, The New Mahogany Hall souvenir booklet, and her desk.

The performance is an hour and 15 minutes long and will premiere with a free performance on Friday, Oct. 5, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Newcomb Art Museum. Two ticketed performances will follow at a cost of $15 purchased at the door on Saturday, Oct. 6, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., and Sunday, Oct. 7, from 3 to 5 p.m. To reserve space for the free performance, email museum@tulane.edu.