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October 14, 2020
Margit Longbrake, senior editor

Amid the American Civil War, a new civil rights movement was forming in New Orleans—in French.




September 18, 2020
By Dave Walker, communication specialist

To help us celebrate one of the triumphs of recent Hollywood South creativity, Benh Zeitlin—who directed, co-wrote, and co-scored Beasts of the Southern Wild—answered a few of our questions.




September 18, 2020
By Dhani Adomaitis, Madeline Drace, Michelle Harrison, and Cecilia Hock

For years, cinephiles have lamented a lack of originality coming out of Hollywood studios. However, there’s no shortage of stories waiting to be told onscreen, and that’s where we can be of use to studio bosses.




September 10, 2020
By Judith Bonner, senior curator and curator of art

Over the course of the two years after Hurricane Katrina, Rolland Golden roamed the city’s flooded areas, sketching and painting a series of 26 scenes representing the turmoil and devastation of the city during the flood and the stark desolation after the waters receded.




August 21, 2020
By Robert Bray and R. Barton Palmer

To set the stage (as it were) for the August 24 #NolaMovieNight group screening of the 1951 film version of A Streetcar Named Desire, First Draft reached out to two Tennessee Williams Annual Review principals for insight into the publication and some thoughts on the film’s cultural impact.




August 21, 2020
By Mark Cave, senior curator

The wide range of materials features objects such as the typewriter Williams used to write the play, early manuscript drafts, original playscripts, playbills, and photographs (including Vivien Leigh’s photograph collection from the shooting of the 1951 film version), as well as posters, lobby cards, first editions of published volumes, and foreign translations. 




August 21, 2020
By Dave Walker, communication specialist

The 1951 film of Tennessee Williams’s New Orleans-set A Streetcar Named Desire won multiple Academy Awards and is considered a landmark of American cinema. To prepare for the August 24, 2020, #NolaMovieNight group re-watch of the film, First Draft returned to local dialect coach and acting teacher Francine Segal for insight into the film’s accents (always of interest to New Orleanians) and acting styles.




July 2, 2020
By Dave Walker, communication specialist

When she died in June 2019 at age 96, Leah Chase was celebrated as a New Orleans legend, icon, and inspiration. During research for 2009’s animated The Princess and Frog, directors Ron Clements and John Musker called on Chase’s life story and culinary renown—a journey from French Quarter waitress to James Beard Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award recipient—as inspiration for the character of Tiana, Disney’s first African American princess.




June 5, 2020
By Dave Walker, communication specialist

Curator/Historian Eric Seiferth takes us through the music scene on Bourbon Street in the 1950s.




June 5, 2020
By Nina Bozak, library cataloger

Casino Royale became Stormy’s Casino Royale in 1948, named for (but not owned by) its star act, Stacy “Stormy” Lawrence. The club became known for featuring some of the most outlandish acts on Bourbon Street.




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