IAP The Amparo Experience ACC Interview | Video courtesy of Immigrant Archive Project
Historical context states that there is familiarity tied within the senses when one is delivered from what they have either been told, have felt or have experienced first-hand. The poignant story of The Amparo Experience is an all too real and immersive theatrical journey into the lives of the Arechabala family, their undying quest for freedom and their beloved Havana Club distillery. Set to the backdrop of orchestrated ballads and handcrafted cocktails of the period, we find ourselves transported back to a 1950s Cuba during the time of the Revolution.
The preceding events are nothing compared to the emotional rollercoaster that takes you into the reality of the uprising of Fidel’s regime and the expulsion process of thousands of Cuban nationals. Masterfully created through a flawless script, Amparo isn’t your traditional stage show as it is shaped through the audience and the stories they hear and interpret. The sights, sounds and emotions one feels while being guided through unknown corridors and into tight jail cells are real. Set to a cast of 22, The Amparo Experience is one that can be seen through 5 simultaneous tracks all while utilizing dialogue, space and set décor to capture the moment.
The feeling of having to leave what you know and love is something we have all felt at some point in our lives, and Amparo does just that. Taken from your group at times, you are mixed and tossed around by revolutionaries and their intimidation tactics all while trying to expose the vulnerabilities of each individual. An all too familiar sense of cultural detach, The Amparo Experience is a cathartic revival of years’ worth of suffrage, silence and desperation. We are sent back to a time and mind set where everyone expected to return to what they knew, only to be set adrift like a paper boat on current stripped waves. A place you leave with what little you could take, and arrive with all you have left in your memory.
The sense of solidarity for what was once the largest exodus brings to life many stories told by Cubans who have undergone the same process you are put through during your time at The Amparo Experience. This is not for the faint of heart but for the ones that yearn for what they stand for: LOVE and PERSEVERANCE!