AMAL is a spoken word/theater piece that delves into the impact of war on both combatants and noncombatants as people of color, and shares experiences of veterans adjustment to life after war, as well as that of civilians from war-torn countries. The piece also explores the search for meaning, purpose, and identity through enlisting in the military, as well as Puerto Rico’s cultural and military heritage. This includes the U.S. military’s bombings of two Puerto Rican towns in 1950, which marked the first time in history that the United States government bombed its own citizens.
The performance will be in a theater-in-the-round setting, with the two lead performers encircling a percussionist in the symbolic representation of a hurricane. Original music production (beats per minute) will also be set to the five categories of hurricanes (miles per hour). This symbolizes both the chaos of war and its aftermath, as well as a tribute to the people of Puerto Rico, who were devastated by Hurricane Maria in 2017. AMAL was originally developed for MDC Live Arts at Miami Dade College. It will premiere during the upcoming 2018/2019 season and will subsequently tour to numerous cities across the US and internationally. The work has received funding from the Knight Foundation, National Performance Network (NPN), New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA), National Ensemble of Theaters (NET), and the MAP Fund.