- Learn about all productions offered by Guy Mendilow Ensemble
- Learn about Arts In Education programs offered by Guy Mendilow Ensemble
Guy Mendilow Ensemble (GME) weaves moving stories through riveting scores, narration and theatrically projected sand animation. GME productions center on true tales of people’s choices and chances as they navigate thresholds, whether personal or historical. GME is especially intrigued by decisions of generosity and grace despite upheaval.
Production examples include:
- The Forgotten Kingdom: A child’s memories of an unraveling, multi-ethnic Ottoman world splintering into ethnic nation-states. Breathtaking landscapes of sand give a dreamlike, intensely emotional quality to an adventure that “explodes with artistry, refinement, and excitement” (Hebrew Union College, OH).
- Radio Play(s) Series: Like a stage-performed podcast, each episode unpacks a timely theme through a collection of stories. Co-directed with spoken word artist Regie Gibson, Radio Play(s) addresses mounting civic/racial tensions in the US.
- Around the World in Song Series: Joyous, interactive episodes nurture children’s musicianship and multicultural inspiration. Perhaps above all, Around the World in Song gives young people the experience of being listened to by grownups. As pedagogically thoughtful as it is uplifting, Around the World in Song is built on principles of Dalcroze Education and Fred Rogers’ philosophy.
With the leadership of artistic director/composer Guy Mendilow, GME’s team is "an international tour de force” (Bethlehem Morning Call) of world-class artists, writers, composers and theatrical designers from the Middle East, Europe, South and North America now living mainly in Boston, MA and New York, NY. Musically, GME calls on expertise with a broad palette. The bittersweet rawness of Tango; the fire and intricacy of multilayered percussion; gorgeous vocal harmonies and other pan-cultural influences layer over the harmonic roots of Western classical music. GME’s scripts are inspired by the dreamlike qualities of Pablo Neruda and Michael Ondaatje, and by Dan Carlin’s vivid restoration of faded historical memory. Visually, evocative lighting and set pieces frame flowing sand narratives and locations. Theatrical editing and projection techniques enable the pre-recorded sand animations to follow live performance of script and score even when pacing varies as artists respond to each theatre’s audience.
GME operates on the conviction that moving, multidisciplinary stories can be powerful agents for conversation: A coming together to listen to one another and share our stories in the service of exploring who we are and who we wish to be, building an understanding of how the other has come to see what they see, believe what they believe and know what they know. When equipped with well-crafted questions —fueled by genuine curiosity and inviting honesty, dignity and aliveness —conversation promotes a willingness to be vulnerable; to be surprised; to NOT have quick answers; to suspend assumptions; to probe ambiguity. Conversation is not necessarily about agreement, or common ground on specific issues, other than the meta-issue that we are humans worthy of being heard and understood.
GME is a recipient of multiple funding awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, The Boston Foundation, the New England Foundation for the Arts and Western Arts Alliance on the basis of artistry, cultural preservation and the strengthening of communities through the arts.
GME specializes in designing in-depth community engagement and collaborative residencies for performing arts organizations like Celebrity Series of Boston. Mendilow’s principles for residency design, implementation and evaluation are based on Dalcroze Education and presented at conferences like the Association of Performing Arts Professionals.
This framework summarizes the means and aims in most of GME’s work
GME’s 3C’s: Craft, Connection, Curiosity
- Through efficacy in Craft, we move people.
- By moving people we inspire personal Connection with what previously seemed unrelated or irrelevant.
- Connection drives Curiosity, opening opportunities for learning.
Curiosity, directed by deft facilitation, expands willingness to explore, listen generously, and develop understanding of experiences, relationships and perspectives different from one’s own.
Why This Matters
- Sustained, deepened inquiry strengthens awareness of often-tacit assumptions about how we relate to the world and to one another.
- It is more difficult to dismiss and dehumanize someone once we have heard their story, and have developed an understanding for their beliefs and viewpoints, even if we sharply disagree.
Over time, this increases informed agency in Choices we make.
The process is dynamic and multi-directional.