Joining The Cuenca Azuay Theatre Curious Cuenca Ep 2 (1)

Joining the Theatre – Curious Cuenca Podcast Ep 2

Welcome to another episode of the Curious Cuenca Podcast, where we dive into the lives of interesting individuals shaping the cultural landscape of Cuenca, Ecuador. We also allow you to donate to Cuenca’s worthy charities here

In this episode, we turn our spotlight to the world of community theater, exploring the stories of three dedicated volunteers from the Azuay Community Theatre (ACT). Join me, Jason, as we embark on a journey into the heart of Cuenca’s theater scene, discovering the passion, talent, and camaraderie that defines this thriving community. Fancy joining in? We also share how you can get involved & make some new friends and learn some new skills along the way. 

For upcoming productions & tickets, visit

Meet the Players

Rick: From Finance to Directing

Rick’s deep-rooted passion for theater, nurtured from his time in the US, found new life upon his arrival in Cuenca. His transition from writing financial reports to directing productions with ACT shows the transformative power of embracing one’s true passion. Through Rick’s story, we witness the impact that community theater can have on individuals seeking purpose and connection in their lives.

Cody: Acting, Recruiting & Board of Directors

Cody’s infectious enthusiasm for theater was evident from the moment we began our conversation. Her background in professional acting, spanning continents and cultures, has enriched Cuenca’s theater scene. From enthralling performances on stage to leadership behind the scenes, Cody embodies the spirit of creativity and collaboration that helps shape ACT. 

Derek: Lighting Up the Stage

Derek’s background in organizational leadership brought a fresh perspective to the theater’s operations. His role in managing the lighting team and recruiting and training volunteers shows the importance of mentorship and teamwork within ACT. Derek’s commitment to fostering a supportive and inclusive environment for volunteers reflects the core values that define ACT as a community-driven organization.

Embracing Diversity and Talent

At the heart of ACT lies a diverse tapestry of talent and creativity, woven together by a shared love for the performing arts. From seasoned actors to first-time volunteers helping with ticket sales and seating, ACT welcomes individuals from all walks of life, fostering a sense of belonging and camaraderie within the theater community. The collaborative spirit that permeates ACT’s productions can be seen throughout the conversation.

Opportunities for Growth and Learning

ACT offers a myriad of volunteer opportunities for individuals looking to explore their passion for theater and contribute to the local arts scene. Whether it’s acting, technical support, or organizational roles, ACT provides a supportive environment for volunteers to hone their skills and pursue their creative aspirations. Through rehearsals and hands-on experience, volunteers have the opportunity to learn and grow alongside seasoned professionals. 

View some of the various volunteer opportunities on the ACT website

Expanding Horizons

As ACT continues to evolve and expand its reach within the community, the future of Cuenca’s theater scene is in great shape. Recent developments, such as the acquisition of a new theater space and efforts to engage younger actors and local talent, reflect ACT’s commitment to innovation and inclusivity. However, recruiting more young and middle-aged actors is perhaps the area that continues to prove the most difficult – so they are calling on this demographic to get more involved. The groundwork has been laid for the next generation of theater enthusiasts.

Derek: From Chicago Spectator to Cuenca Volunteer

As Derek shares his journey from spectator to valued volunteer within the ACT community, we gain insight into the important role theater plays in introducing individuals to new social circles and fostering meaningful connections. Derek’s transition from attending theater productions in Chicago to actively participating in Cuenca’s theater scene highlights the universal appeal of community theater and cultivating a sense of camaraderie among diverse groups of individuals.

Navigating the Learning Curve

Derek’s candid insights into his journey of learning new technical skills within the theater illuminate the challenges and rewards of stepping outside one’s comfort zone. From a standing start, he was able to implement new DMX lights & sound systems. His commitment to continuous learning serves as an inspiration to aspiring volunteers, encouraging them to embrace new opportunities for personal and professional growth within the theater community.

Embracing Versatility

Rick’s reflections on the diverse skill sets and roles within ACT underline the organization’s commitment to fostering a culture of versatility, collaboration and trust. From acting and set design to practical effects and special effects, ACT welcomes volunteers of all backgrounds and interests to explore their passions. Rick’s emphasis on the importance of community support and mutual respect underscores ACT’s dedication to nurturing a welcoming and inclusive environment for volunteers of all skill levels.

Expanding Opportunities

As ACT continues to evolve and expand its reach within the community, Rick shares some ways that they are fostering a commitment to innovation and inclusivity. From hosting productions by local theater groups to exploring new formats and genres, ACT seeks to engage audiences and volunteers to enjoy thought-provoking experiences.

Celebrating Success

Cody’s reflections on audience reactions and community engagement points to the impact of theater in bringing people together and fostering a sense of shared joy and connection. Despite the variability of audience responses, Cody’s unwavering enthusiasm and dedication to her craft exemplifies the resilience, passion and humbleness that defines Cuenca’s theater community.

Challenges and Opportunities Ahead

Despite its many successes, ACT faces ongoing challenges, including the need for additional volunteers and resources to sustain its operations. As the theater community continues to grow and evolve, ACT remains dedicated to addressing these challenges head-on, leveraging the collective talents and resources of its volunteers to overcome obstacles and seize new opportunities for growth. Through collaboration, creativity, and unwavering dedication, ACT looks towards the future with optimism and enthusiasm, eager to write the next chapter in Cuenca’s theatrical legacy.

And, scene

As our chat with ACT volunteers draws to a close, I am reminded of the remarkable individuals whose enduring effort keeps the theatre going, contributing to Cuenca’s rich cultural landscape. 

From Rick’s passion for directing to Cody’s infectious enthusiasm and Derek’s unwavering commitment to technical excellence, all the volunteers of the ACT theater help to bring people together and ultimately shape our community. 

I extend my deepest gratitude to Rick, Cody, Derek, and the entire ACT community for their tireless dedication to the art of theater. Until next time, remember to embrace the spotlight and let your passion shine bright. As Cody mentioned, each day is an opportunity to do something different. Why not start tomorrow by checking out the volunteer positions or the upcoming ACT productions

Thanks for listening and remember, please feel free to donate to Cuenca’s charities via this link

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