You’re Welcome to Walk (Concrete Info TBD): Little Amal Walks Across America

The Walk Productions in association with Handspring Puppet Company
Presented by ArtsEmerson, American Repertory Theatre, Company One, the Institute of Contemporary Art, The City of Boston, and many others. 

September 7 – 9, 2023
Dewey Square, Boston — 4:00 PM
Chinatown Gate, Boston — 4:30 PM
Length: Two Hours

BOSTON, Mass. — On September 7, 2023 at 4 PM – 6 PM, Little Amal will begin her journey of 6,000 miles across the United States in Boston as part of the largest free public festival ever created bearing messages of compassion, empathy, and hope. She remains in Boston through September 9.

The “Walk with Amal” website says that Little Amal’s name means “hope” in Arabic. She is a 12-foot puppet of a 10-year-old Syrian refugee child.

Her urgent message is simple: “Don’t forget about us.”

Little Amal’s journeys across the world carry a message of hope for all displaced people and children separated from their families. She has traveled across 13 countries and met more than a million people.

Everyone is welcome to walk with Amal.

The “Walk with Amal” website says Little Amal is an international symbol of compassion and of human rights. Amal will be welcomed by Mayor Michelle Wu and other dignitaries.

Little Amal’s character originated from a character in Joe Murphy and Joe Robertson’s play The Jungle which was a co-production between Young Vic and the National Theatre with Good Chance Theatre, London in 2017. The play is a fictional story about a factual refugee camp in Calais, France that existed from January 2015 to October 2016. The camp housed refugees and migrants as they attempted entry to the United Kingdom through France. 

The Jungle shows us the lives of refugees, volunteers, and the community they created at the Afghan Café when the camp’s population rapidly increased in 2015. Murphy and Robertson follow the refugees’ trials as French authorities began evictions of the camp. 

The play will NOT be performed during this 2023 visit. Little Amal will only walk across Boston and then the larger United States. 

Parties interested in performing The Jungle should look into performance rights on their own. Please check your local library and local booksellers for a copy of the Faber Drama. 

Photo credit: Respective Collective

Project director Brisa Areli Muñoz and American Repertory Theatre teaching artists will hold workshops inspired by the theme of Welcome. The workshops are free and open to the public; RSVPs are recommended.

The A.R.T. website to RSVP.
Harvard Ed Portal, Aug 12 11AM & Aug 15 5PM, 224 Western Ave., Allston
East Boston Branch Library, Aug 19 2PM & Aug 31 1PM, 365 Bremen St., East Boston
Fields Corner Branch Library, Aug 29 4PM, 1520 Dorchester Ave., Dorchester
Malden Public Library, Aug 3 12PM, 36 Salem St., Malden

Handspring Puppet Company of South Africa designed and built the puppet of Little Amal. The company also created the puppets for the international play War Horse and established itself as one of “the most important puppet companies in the world.”

Little Amal’s walk through Boston is presented in partnership with the ArtsEmerson, American Repertory Theatre as part of Harvard University’s ArtsThursdays, Company One, the Institute of Contemporary Art, The City of Boston, Mayor’s Office of Arts & Culture, and other arts Massachusetts organizations. 

Interested attendees should know that, as of August 10, each organization keeps different pieces of information about Little Amal’s Boston walk: ArtsEmerson has Little Amal’s Boston itinerary; A.R.T. has the public workshop schedule. 

The City of Boston doesn’t currently have a page up yet about Little Amal’s Boston visit. (Anyone looking for one site for definitive information will be frustrated by the disorganization of all of the joint organizations. We’ll have to be patient and bide our time until the City and other organizations decide we deserve updates.) 

According to the Arts Emerson website, this is Little Amal’s schedule in the Boston-area.

Directions via MBTA (Activities in the area begin at 3:30; Amal arrives at 4:00)
Dewey Square, Boston — 4:00 PM
Chinatown Gate, Boston — 4:30 PM
The celebration continues at Chinatown Gate even after Little Amal departs to continue her journey — 5:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Little Amal continues to Ashfield and North Adams, MA on September 10, and Hartford, CT on September 12. 

Photo credit: Respective Collective

The Walk Productions is a not-for-profit company, founded by David Lan and Tracey Seaward. The Artistic Director is Amir Nizar Zuabi, the Executive Producer is Sarah Loader, the Associate Artistic Directors are Enrico Dau Yang Wey and Khadijat Oseni, and the Outreach and Impact Producer is Alice Evans.

The Walk Productions presents large-scale participatory public art that brings communities together to celebrate art, community, and each other, challenge assumptions, rethink narratives and provoke change. “We believe art is an essential means of tackling urgent issues. To face the world’s biggest problems and help to create lasting change, we need to dream big and act boldly.”

If you enjoyed this article, please consider making a donation. Every cent earned goes towards the upkeep and continuation of the New England Theatre Geek.
Become a patron at Patreon!

Comments are closed.