We are living in a time where community building is more important than ever. Having empathy and compassion for our neighbor by hearing out their opinions, their stories that may differ from our own is vital for a healthy society.
Ammunition Theatre is invested in growing our community through giving voice to underrepresented stories. The city of Los Angeles is vast and diverse with a population just topping 3 million according to studies in 2016. It’s occupied with the poor, the working class, the homeless, the artists, the middle class, the insanely rich and people of every race, creed and culture. The work we create aims to cultivate real life conversations and experiences that cross those perceived barriers. We want to create a real dialogue by using the tool of theatre. Our first production, Judgement of Fools, actively engaged the audience which sometimes spurred arguments. However, after every night we would witness those same fighters hug, make contact, and come together. Each performance was unpredictable because of the audience participation. It became a very real experience we all shared together in that room/theatre. It was inspiring.
Our upcoming show is How to Raise a Freeman by Zakiyyah Alexander. The story is centered around a middle class black family grappling with how to exist in this ever fractured society. It is a layered story about what it means to raise a black child in an America that includes police brutality, gentrification, and the disconnect and hope of a younger generation. Each character must examine their own constructed sense of community and their obligations to them. This play is complex and crafted with nuanced. It asks the audience to ponder these very serious issues from multiple angles. Ultimately, we see that each of the character’s stances stem from love and a desire to protect their family and their identity both at home and out in the world. We hope this story helps our community begin a dialogue that comes from a place of empathy and understanding.
Community is our greatest asset. Making it stronger, more inclusive and more empathetic will amplify the voices that are needed to create change: to affect the future of our country, to become engaged citizens.
-AMMO Artistic Director Tina Huang
How do you build community to cultivate change? Share your stories with #OurCommunity and one of you will receive 4 free tickets to How to Raise a Freeman.