It was a packed house as over 500 people — journalists and theater-goers alike — gathered at the Paramount Center on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon to see nine of the Boston Globe’s best storytellers share their experiences from on- and off-duty in the third “Globe Live.”
The event was emceed by the Globe’s deputy managing editor for arts and newsroom innovation, Janice Page, and staff writer and editor Scott Helman.
Felice Belman, deputy managing editor for news and features, kicked off the storytelling with a note on the free press. In light of the Globe’s editorial in August — which stated that journalists are not the enemy of the people, despite President Trump’s claims — and the resulting death threats that the newsroom received, Belman shared her own brush with an armed gunman while working at the Concord Monitor in New Hampshire.
David Abel, the Globe’s environmental reporter, told the story of Grace Walls, a federal observer who’s tasked with making sure fishermen don’t catch more than they’re allowed at sea. The dangerous job is vital to efforts to help sea creatures repopulate and “bounce back” from overfishing.
The highlight of the performances — if laughter and an unexpectedly tearful drummer were any indication — was by photographer Stan Grossfeld. Grossfeld, a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, is most recently known for blocking a can of beer from hitting Red Sox star Mookie Betts’s face during the World Series parade. In his decades-long career, Grossfeld has gravitated between sports and war zones, and — in one case — both.
Editorial writer Marcela García intertwined her own story of immigration with that of a friend, Rosa. Rosa has made a family and a life in Boston, but is concerned with the immigration changes proposed by the Trump administration.
Before the intermission, members of the Globe video team shared a short documentary, featuring two special-needs young adults at the May Institute, and the prom that their families helped put on.
Metro reporter Mark Arsenault told the story of journalist John R. Rathom, the king of scandals that didn’t actually happen, and how in the early 20th century he wound up entangled with the Navy and future president Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
Features writer Beth Teitell and travel writer Chris Muther shared some “fan mail” with the audience. The readers’ responses, read hilariously by Muther, ranged from “worldly” tips to “inspiring” stories about squirrels.
Alex Kingsbury, the Globe’s deputy ideas editor for three years, told the story of his time as a war correspondent. Through the people he met, and the death of one of the brave individuals he worked alongside, Kingsbury learned the importance of sharing one’s trauma and knowing it is understood.
“Globe Live” ended on a high note, with interactive journalist Patrick Garvin explaining the science and art of cover songs. While Garvin has studied a variety of cover tracks, he spent his performance focused on “Take Me to the River,” originally by Al Green and perfected by the Talking Heads. Garvin shared what ultimately allows a cover song to work: making it an artist’s own. With this advice, “Globe Live” participants and those behind the scenes gathered onstage for their own version of the song, with the help of the audience.