Chicago Shakespeare Theater Presents THE WALK WITH LITTLE AMAL a Free Event on September 28, in Partnership with Navy Pier
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THE WALK WITH LITTLE AMAL
Featuring Uniting Voices,
with A.B.L.E. (Artists Breaking Limits and Expectations), Chicago Children’s Museum,
and the Syrian Community Network
The 12-foot-tall puppet of a 10-year-old Syrian refugee child has travelled over 5,500 miles to nearly 100 cities and will make her first Chicago appearance at Chicago Shakespeare
Chicago Shakespeare Theater welcomes The Walk with Little Amal, the internationally celebrated 12‑foot‑tall puppet of a 10‑year‑old girl, as part of her epic 6,000‑mile journey across the United States this fall. Amal will make her first appearance in Chicago at the Theater’s iconic marquee on Navy Pier, proceeding from Lake Michigan toward the city’s skyline, in a free event for all ages on September 28 at 5:30 p.m. Presented in partnership with Navy Pier, the event will feature a performance by Uniting Voices (formerly Chicago Children’s Choir), along with appearances by A.B.L.E. and Chicago Children’s Museum, in collaboration with the Syrian Community Network.
As she arrives in Chicago, Amal will ask, “What city, friends, is this?”—echoing Shakespeare’s poignant line from Twelfth Night—and explore belonging in a new place through the vibrancy and joy of art and expression. Audiences of all ages will join performers and partners to welcome Amal, helping her turn an overwhelming arrival in an unfamiliar place into a celebration of her own capacity for creating beauty and finding community. Her journey on the Pier will begin in front of Chicago Shakespeare and will conclude at Polk Bros Park. At the event, audiences will have the opportunity to learn more about and donate to local groups working to support asylum seekers in Chicago.
Amal’s visit to the Pier will begin outside Chicago Shakespeare with a traditional welcome by the Syrian Community Network, followed by an invitation to engage with performers from A.B.L.E. near Navy Pier's Wave Wall. During a stop outside Chicago Children’s Museum, Amal will greet the 16‑foot‑tall “Flyboy” sculpture by Chicago artist Hebru Brantley, a tribute to the importance of childhood for all to realize every child’s potential. The event coincides with a puppet-themed Free Family Day at the Museum from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. In Amal’s final stop at the Pier, more than 70 members of the youth choir Uniting Voices will perform their original song “We All Live Here” in Polk Bros Park.
Amal’s time in Chicago is part of her Walk Across America, for which more than 35 towns and cities from Boston to San Diego and more than 1,000 artists and arts organizations will create hundreds of events to welcome her. Amal’s journeys of art and hope celebrate the rich stories of refugees, immigrants and displaced people, and the communities that welcome them. Everyone is welcome to walk with Amal.
The Walk with Little Amal is part of Chicago Shakespeare’s WorldStage Series, which has featured more than 1,300 artists in 97 productions from 22 countries spanning six continents to date. The series has welcomed some of the globe’s most exciting theatrical events, affording theatergoers prime opportunities to experience different cultural traditions and must‑see international shows without leaving Chicago. This free event, presented in partnership with community organizations, is also a component of Chicago Shakespeare CoLab, the Theater’s ongoing engagement initiatives that include cornerstone program Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks; co-created workshops and events with arts partners and community-based organizations; and opportunities for partner arts organizations to share Chicago Shakespeare’s stages.
The Walk with Little Amal will be presented September 28, 2023 at 5:30 p.m. beginning outside the Chicago Shakespeare Theater marquee on Navy Pier (800 E. Grand Avenue). Free admission for audiences of all ages; no tickets or advance reservations required. For more information, contact the Box Office at 312.595.5600 or visit the Theater’s website at www.chicagoshakes.com.
ABOUT CHICAGO SHAKESPEARE THEATER
Regional Tony Award-recipient Chicago Shakespeare Theater produces a bold and innovative year-round season—plays, musicals, world premieres, family productions, and theatrical presentations from around the globe—alongside nationally recognized education programming serving tens of thousands of students, teachers, and lifelong learners each year. Founded in 1986, the Theater’s onstage work has expanded to as many as twenty productions and 650 performances annually. Chicago Shakespeare is dedicated to welcoming the next generation of theatergoers; one in four of its audience members is under the age of eighteen. As a nonprofit organization, the Theater works to embrace diversity, prioritize inclusion, provide equitable opportunities, and offer an accessible experience for all. On the Theater’s three stages at its home on Navy Pier, in classrooms and neighborhoods across the city, and in venues around the world, Chicago Shakespeare is a multifaceted cultural hub—inviting audiences, artists, and community members to share powerful stories that connect and inspire. www.chicagoshakes.com.
ABOUT OUR PARTNERS
Little Amal is the 12‑foot‑tall puppet of a 10‑year‑old Syrian refugee child at the heart of The Walk. She has become a global symbol of human rights, especially those of refugees. Since July 2021, Amal has travelled over 5,500 miles to nearly 100 towns and cities in 15 countries and been welcomed by more than a million people on the street, including hundreds of artists and civil society and faith leaders, as well as by tens of millions online. Her journeys are festivals of art and hope that draw attention to the huge numbers of children fleeing war, violence and persecution, each with their own story. Her urgent message to the world is “Don’t forget about us”. Learn more at www.walkwithamal.org.
Navy Pier is the People’s Pier, Chicago’s lakefront treasure, welcoming all and offering dynamic and eclectic experiences through partnerships and programs that inspire discovery and wonder. Since its reopening in 1995, more than 180 million guests have come to enjoy the Pier’s 50 acres of unparalleled attractions and experiences. In 2023, Navy Pier continues to evolve into an accessible, year-round centerpiece for Chicago’s diverse arts and cultural treasures. Learn more at www.navypier.org.
Uniting Voices Chicago (formerly Chicago Children’s Choir) is a nonprofit organization that empowers and unites youth from diverse backgrounds to find their voice and celebrate their common humanity through the power of music. Founded in 1956 and inspired by the Civil Rights Movement, Uniting Voices Chicago provides accessible music education to youth ages 6-18 from every zip code of Chicago. With hundreds of choirs across 80+ Chicago schools; achievements that include international tours and collaborations with world renowned artists; and, a network of more than 50,000 alumni around the globe, Uniting Voices is taking the next step to empower a new generation of changemakers. More information at www.unitingvoiceschicago.org.
A.B.L.E. (Artist Breaking Limits and Expectations)
A.B.L.E.—Artists Breaking Limits & Expectations—is celebrating their 7th anniversary of creating theatre and film projects for, with, and by individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. A.B.L.E. engages actors ages 13 and up through performance ensembles, specialized workshops, and outreach programming. Whether in person or online, all A.B.L.E. programs strive to foster agency, and nurture lifelong skills like communication, collaboration, and creativity. A.B.L.E.’s ensembles have produced more than 25 projects for the stage and screen, ranging from adaptations of theatrical classics by Shakespeare, Dickens, and Gilbert & Sullivan, to original pieces. A.B.L.E.’s feature films have been recognized by several local and international festivals. By placing people with disabilities in the spotlight, A.B.L.E.’s work strives to shift societal preconceptions, and build more inclusive, empathetic communities. For more information about A.B.L.E., please visit www.ableensemble.com and find them on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.
Chicago Children’s Museum
The mission of Chicago Children's Museum (CCM) is to improve children’s lives by creating a community where play and learning connect. CCM is dedicated to young children and the important adults in their lives. Play-filled experiences, including more than 15 interactive exhibits and daily programming, tap into how kids learn, and engage from ages 0-10 to develop the foundation for a lifelong love of learning. In its last fiscal year, CCM hosted more than 400,000 visitors. For more information, please visit www.ChicagoChildrensMuseum.org.
Syrian Community Network
The Syrian Community Network is a refugee and immigrant support organization that builds community and serves families by addressing their evolving needs. SCN envisions a United States that is welcoming to all immigrants and refugees. We define this as a United States that unapologetically advocates for the safety, autonomy, and agency of all — extending to the most marginalized in our communities. More at www.syriancommunitynetwork.org.