Community Engagement Amplifier Project


Thursday, October 10, 7 - 9 pm
Calderwood Hall

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Community Engagement Amplifier Project, SPIRIT 10/10/2019 7:00 PM 10/10/2019 9:00 PM isgm-event-SPIRIT America/New_York An Afro-futurist and -surrealist theater project from playwrights Porsha Olayiwola and Marshall "Gripp" Gillson. 25 Evans Way, Boston, MA 02115 aIwSTBiOnzHrlaECKmIR43731

The next wave in the surge of Afro-Futurist narratives comes in the form of an experimental theater piece, SPIRIT, from Neighborhood Salon Luminary Porsha Olayiwola & Marshall “Gripp” Gillson.

An all-black cast of performers—Ashley Davis, Dzidzor, Tamara St. Hubert, and Cheyenne Harvey—will perform two stories. The first, Exonerate, follows a makeshift family in a dystopic future as they embark on a quest to find healing from generations of violence. The second, Regrow, takes place in an alternative history as a community reacts to newcomers who don't understand their values.

Though the premises are simple, the writers warn audiences to come with an open mind. As part of the Gardner performance, the two playwrights will host a post-show discussion, encouraging audiences to consider and synthesize what they’ve just seen.

Audiences are encouraged to come dressed in futuristic attire. 

Following its premiere at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, SPIRIT will go on to perform at the Codman Academy Black Box Theatre and The Strand Theatre. The full schedule of performances is available at

Follow on Twitter (@SPIRITbos) and Instagram (

Community Engagement Amplifier Projects at the Gardner highlight change-makers working towards social justice through the arts.

Still want more? Here are some quotes from the artists themselves:

“The show is weird,” Gillson offers. “It’s futuristic. It’s surreal. But our goal is to remind the audience that the strangest things about the worlds we create are the things they share with our own.”

“Afro-futurism is about using radical imagination,” says Olayiwola. “SPIRIT is a narrative that reimagines a future where the power of healing and the power of community are transformative.”


Free, but RSVP is required. Please RSVP by using the button above.

This production was funded by the Boston Foundation.

Amplifier Projects are supported in part by the Barr Foundation ArtsAmplified Initiative and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Education and community programs are funded in part by the Liberty Mutual Foundation, Janet Burke Mann Foundation, Rowland Foundation, and the Yawkey Foundation. Studio activities are generously sponsored by the Polly Thayer Starr Charitable Trust. These programs are funded in part by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, which receives support from the State of Massachusetts and the National Endowment for the Arts.