‘Different Ships, Same Boat’ Makes Northeast Debut

A sold-out performance combining spoken word, music, and dance made its northeast premiere on the evening of Monday, Feb. 26, at the Boston Athenaeum.

​Poet, literary performer, and educator Regie Gibson created and directed the performance, together with Guy Mendilow, whose Guy Mendilow Ensemble (GME) produces live, original multimedia performances. Gibson also served as co-host and co-narrator while Mendilow served as not only co-host and co-narrator but also played guitar and piano, as well as sang. They were joined on stage by violinist Chris Baum and Courtney Swain, who played bass and piano, as well as sang.

The performance, called ‘Different Ships, Same Boat,’ takes its name from an immortal quote by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., which states: “We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.” It unfolded over the course of five chapters and an epilogue, which wove together real-life stories in a podcast-like format that transported the audience from World War II Hungary to the cities and small towns of today’s U.S. The accompanying soundtrack spanned “the lyrical American Blues to Ottoman Jewish cantigas in the endangered language of Ladino,” according to the program for the performance.

Upcoming offerings at the Athenaeum, located at 10½ Beacon St., include a discussion,  with Jessica Roy, author of ‘American Girls: One Woman’s Journey into the Islamic State and Her Sister’s Fight to Bring Her Home,’ which will be followed by a book signing and reception, on Thursday, March 7, at 6 p.m. Tickets for this event are free for Athenaeum members and guests and $10 each for the general public. Visit https://events.bostonathenaeum.org/en-US/4W52KhR7/jessica-roy-american-girls-in-person-4a2KUmegjh/overview for more information on this event.

The Atheneum will also sponsor a public exhibition opening and reception for its ‘Framing Freedom: The Harriet Hayden Albums’ on Tuesday, March 19, at 4:30 p.m.  Inspired by the life and work of the Beacon Hill-based abolitionist Harriet Bell Hayden, this exbibit “brings together rarely seen works and examines Black abolitionists’ public identities, private lives, visual and material culture, and social activism through the perspective of a Black woman’s photograph albums from the mid-1800s,” according to an event description. Admission is free for this event to both members and the general public. Visit https://events.bostonathenaeum.org/en-US/4W52KhR7/public-exhibition-opening-the-harriet-hayden-albums-framing-freedom-4a2KUml9kb/overview to learn more about this offering.

For more information on the Boston Athenaeum, visit bostonathenaeum.org.

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