Amal Walks Across America in Philadelphia on Sept. 13 & 14

BySteph Walton WPVI logo
Tuesday, September 12, 2023
Philadelphia Theater Company brings Amal Walks Across America to town
Philadelphia is one of just 35 U.S. cities chosen to host a free public arts engagement with Little Amal, a giant puppet spreading a big message.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- On September 13-14 everyone is invited to walk with Little Amal in Philadelphia as Amal Walks Across America.

"It's gonna be a really special event," says Taibi Magar, Co-Artistic Director of the Philadelphia Theatre Company.

She calls Amal "a global icon."

"Little Amal is a 12-foot puppet that represents a 10-year-old Syrian refugee girl," says Deborah Block, Producing Artistic Director for Theatre Exile.

"She was created to bring awareness to the plight of the Syrian refugees," says Magar.

"She's an international symbol for hope and perseverance," says Tyler Dobrowsky, Co-Artistic Director for the Philadelphia Theatre Company.

Philadelphia is the fifth stop on her 6,000-mile journey through the U.S.

"She starts in Boston and she finishes her walk in California on November 5th," says Magar.

She says Philadelphia is very lucky to have her.

There will be a series of four live events, starting at Theatre Exile on Columbus Square Park.

Here, Block says Little Amal will be looking for a home, wandering the streets in South Philadelphia.

"She is going to be drawn here because of the music," she says.

Little Amal will end this first journey at the Singing Fountain on East Passayunk Avenue.

Philadelphia Theatre Company partnered with Broad Street Ministry for the second event called, Will you just let me sleep?

Magar says in creating this part of her walk, they were thinking about both the plight of the refugees and also the houseless population.

"She's gonna walk up South Broad Street and conclude, basically, at City Hall," says Dobrowsky.

On day two of Little Amal's journey through Philadelphia, One Art Community Center will offer Amal, A Moment of Peace.

"And then the final piece is hosted by the city of Philadelphia itself, as it is launching an awareness around refugees here," says Magar.

Amal is the Arabic word for 'hope' and her journey ends at LOVE Park.

"Little Amal is trying to evoke solidarity for displaced people everywhere," says Block.

She says seeing Little Amal in motion allows us to actually feel the loss, the sorrow, the searching, while also having moments of tenderness and connectedness.

"It's sort of a once-in-a-lifetime experience," says Magar.

Amal Walks Across Americais produced by The Walk Productions in association with the Handspring Puppet Company.

Amal Walks Across America
Theatre Exile and the Friends of Columbus Square Park

Searching for home

Wednesday, Sept. 13 at 1:30 p.m.

Columbus Square Park - 13th & Reed Streets

Philadelphia Theatre Company

Will you just let me sleep?

Wednesday, Sept. 13 at 6:30 p.m.

Start: The Suzanne Roberts Theatre (480 S. Broad St.) - End: City Hall Courtyard (1400 John F. Kennedy Blvd.)

One Art Community Center

A moment of peace

Thursday, Sept. 14 at 11 a.m.

1431-39 N. 52nd Street, Philadelphia

Philadelphia Office of Arts Culture & Creative Economy (OACCE)

Chasing LOVE

Thursday, Sept. 14 at 4 p.m.

Start: The Thinker Sculpture at the Rodin Museum, 2151 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, PA 19130 - End: LOVE Park, 1501 John F. Kennedy Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19102