Community Theater in Cuenca

You Know You’ve Worked in Community Theatre if… 


…your living room sofa spends more time on stage than you do. 


…you have your own secret family recipe for stage blood. 


…you’ve ever appeared on stage wearing your own clothes.”


The majority of my time in Ecuador has been in small coastal towns with no movie theaters.  My husband and I decided to spend the first half of 2017 in the Andes mountains. We chose the city of Cuenca, Ecuador’s third largest city.  We were looking forward to going to a movie or two while in the big city.

We found something that we enjoy so much more – live theater! Azuay Community Theater (ACT) performs several plays per year. According to their Facebook page, the ACT mission is:

“To enrich, educate and entertain our bi-lingual, cross-cultural community by providing Azuay residents and others the opportunity both to attend and to participate in a variety of quality theatrical performances within the city of Cuenca or other locations as may be selected by the Executive Committee”

We have attended three of their shows this year. The productions include experienced actors and directors with impressive resumes as well as rookies. They have all done a great job and I have enjoyed each show.

There is a new auditorium in Cuenca, at the Abraham Lincoln Ecuadorian-North American Cultural Center, where the most recent show was performed. Photography is not allowed during the show so I took this shot before Menopause The Musical began.

Stage in Cuenca

These are the shows we have seen.

Broadway Bound
Neil Simon’s semi-autobiographical play about two brothers working to become comedians in New York while living with their parents, whose marriage is on the rocks. Their comedy show hits a little too close to home when the parents see themselves in the show.

Broadway Bound flyer
From Azuay Community Theater Facebook page

This acclaimed documentary celebrates seven remarkable women who are changing the world. Each of the women overcame adversity to become leaders. Six have won Vital Voices‘ Global Leadership Awards. Admirably, the Cuenca performance was a fundraiser for a local women’s shelter during International Women’s Month. It is hard to watch this riveting show without teary eyes and I loved it.

Seven flyer
From Azuay Community Theater Facebook page

Menopause The Musical
This musical follows four women while shopping in Macy’s while singing about hot flashes, chocolate cravings, body changes, and other menopausal symptoms. If you are a woman who has or hopes to one day go through menopause (or if you know one), I recommend this hilarious show.

Menopause The Musical flyer
From Azuay Community Theater Facebook page

We are looking forward to returning to our small town lives on the coast but we are enjoying the theater while we are in Cuenca. I am impressed by the quality and variety of their productions. Well done to everyone involved!

Do you have a local community theater?

I am a US Expat in Ecuador. I grew up on a Minnesota farm, worked in IT in California's Silicon Valley, then moved to a coastal Ecuador fishing village. My goal is to share Ecuador with you, one snippet at a time. Topics include attractions, compassion, ecotourism, Ecuador products, everyday Ecuador, and flora and fauna. Please let me know what you would like to read more about!


  • Hilary Melton-Butcher

    Hi Emily – these sound really good – and you obviously enjoyed them … theatre and film … one or the other – it's great you've discovered the theatre side … I really need to see more of those. We probably have a better film society – avant garde films etc … but there are a lot of theatres here, or in Brighton about 20 miles away … then other centres like Chichester for the arts and of course London – better for afternoon shows …

    It's great the community is thinking beyond its own patronage and opening the door to other cultures – love that … three fascinating plays you've given us … delighted to learn about them – cheers Hilary

    • Emily Bloomquist

      Hi Hilary, I can imagine that there are many wonderful theaters near you, many with a long history.

      It is great that the community here is participating in these endeavors and learning together. Thank you for your thoughtful comment!

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