If you enjoy a live stage comedy, get ready for some fun with Azuay Community Theater’s production of How The Other Half Loves by renowned playwright, Alan Ayckbourn. Cuenca resident Bob Fry directs the world-famous farce which opens Friday, April 22 in ACT’s own theater adjacent to the Oro Verde Hotel.
We’re going behind the scenes to give you a sneak peek into the play, the players and the playwright, as well as Cuenca’s own, full-fledged ACT theater company. You’ll also find ticket details below.
Let’s do this!
How The Other Half Loves – Fast Facts
- Name: How The Other Half Loves by Alan Ayckbourn, directed by Bob Fry.
- Where: Azuay Community Theater first building west of the Oro Verde Hotel on Calle Ordonez Lasso
- Time: 4:00 pm Curtain – 3:30pm House opens
- Date: April 22, 23, 24, 29, 30 and May 1.
- Cost: Tickets $15 available in advance with reservations required.*
Like many farces, the play quickly descends into chaos as the 3 married couples reveal just how complicated and intertwined their lives have become. Ayckbourn also entertains us by mingling conversations and characters across apartments that share space and time.
The confusion and awkwardness over the characters’ adulterous secrets creates the comedy as they lie to each other and make hilarious, wrong-headed assumptions about what is really happening.
Of course, the audience is let in on the secrets before some of the characters. So, we laugh and cringe as they struggle to piece together the real story for themselves while trying to cover their tracks.
The full cast and crew list appears below. They have taken on a 9-week rehearsal schedule to bring audiences a polished comedy. Here is a bit of background on some of the cast & crew.
Director Bob Fry takes his fifth ACT directing turn with How The Other Half Loves after arriving in Cuenca in 2015 with a lifetime of theater experience. He appeared in or directed over 75 dinner theater and musical comedy productions over 20+ years in Iowa. Some of Bob’s many US stage credits are musicals like Company, Camelot, Into The Woods and Annie.
Having joined ACT almost immediately upon arrival, he has appeared in numerous ACT productions including Broadway Bound and A Christmas Carol.
Bob Hay (as Frank Foster) hails from Orlando, FL. He arrived in Cuenca just 18 months ago and got busy with ACT right away. His acting career began in 1977, and since then he performed in both professional and community theaters including in the comedy, The Nerd, the musical How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, and a role in a show about The Titanic at Orlando’s Titanic Artifact Exhibition.
Playing opposite Bob is Cody Hamilton (Fiona Foster) who moved to Cuenca in 2011 from Prague, Czech Republic. She led a fascinating career as a high school counselor in International Schools located around the world while performing as a member of theatrical unions SAG and AFTRA in TV, Film and onstage in community and professional theaters.
A notable acting newbie is musician and voiceover artist, Mark Deckard who joins the cast to play William Detweiler.
We look forward to featuring the company’s other actors, volunteers and news in future articles.
Sir Alan Ayckbourn has written more than 80 full length plays, many of which are comedies dealing with married relationships like How The Other Half Loves. Over half of his plays have been produced in London’s West End, The National Theatre in London or The Royal Shakespeare Company. Two reached Broadway and one, Norman Conquest, won a Tony Award for best play in 2009. Ayckbourn also received a Lifetime Achievement Tony in 2010. Some of his other hit plays include A Chorus of Disapproval (1984), Woman in Mind (1985), A Small Family Business’ (1987), House & Garden (1999) and Private Fears in Public Places (2004).
Azuay Community Theater
ACT took advantage of the 2 year pandemic to build itself into a robust theater company, complete with a Board of Directors headed by Board President, Paula Bailey, and Treasurer, Ray Lewis. They also installed 3 resident directors. Paula and Ray each bring lifetimes of US theater experience.
As an example of its growth, ACT expanded with ACT Center for the Arts, which provides the theater facility and services to other artistic and entertainment groups. One such event was a concert last September by Northern Roots musical group.
Upcoming events include an ACT fundraiser featuring stand-up comedy by 90-year-old comedian and author, Cork Proctor (May 7th). And on May 21 Hearts of Gold Foundation hosts its own fundraiser with a return performance by magician, Juan Estrella.
And the company seeks to add volunteers. Everybody is welcome to apply to help with lights, sounds, acting, props, stage management, marketing and publicity, ticket sales and bartending. Email [email protected] to register your interest. No experience necessary.
- Frank Foster – Bob Hay
- Fiona Foster – Cody Swick Hamilton
- Bob Phillips – Tim Appling
- Teresa Phillips – Laura Hanlon
- William Detweiler – Mark Deckard
- Mary Detweiler – Joy Broomfield
- Director – Bob Fry
- Stage Manager – Amanda Malone
- Sound – Ray Lewis
- Lights – Michael Phillips
- Teresa Drake – Props
How to get tickets
Make reservations in person (schedule below) or via email [email protected] Please include your name, performance date, and number of tickets.
Reserve seats in person through Friday, April 22.
- Tuesdays and Thursdays at Sunrise Cafe from 11am – 1pm.
- Tuesdays at Common Grounds Restaurant from 5:30pm – 6:30pm
- Wednesdays and Fridays at Kolo Restaurant from 11am – 1pm.
Tickets are $15 with 3 ways to pay:
- Via PayPal to [email protected].
- In cash when you reserve in person (schedule above)
- At the theater Will Call desk upon arrival for your reserved performance.
We’re looking forward to seeing you there!