Project Title
The Miss Dockery Project

Film/ Performance

Grant Amount



The Miss Dockery Project is an evolving multi-media project (film, live theatre, music) with ultimate plans including a short subjective documentary on her story, and a possible narrative feature film. Writer and director Milford Thomas is researching Octavia Dockery, an historically real character, with the focus of locating the artistic drive that persevered through her increasingly challenging existence. Octavia Dockery (1865–1949) was a writer and accused but acquitted murderer from Natchez, Mississippi, who was born into nineteenth century wealth but died in the squalor of a decaying mansion with a hoard of farm animals and a schizophrenic cousin.

Both the live presentation and documentary will include hand-cranked 35mm faux archival newsreel footage from the era of the sensational murder case based on extant newsprint interviews. Thomas’s goal is to isolate Dockery’s artistic drive as it resonates with him, amplify it, and present that component to an audience with the idea of invigorating and inspiring fellow artists in their commitment to create, even through difficult circumstances.