Azuay Community Theatre launches a record six-show season in November in its new El Centro home
Azuay Community Theatre, Cuenca’s original, English-language theater company, will present a six-show lineup of hits and lesser-known gems from Broadway and a staged radio play of one of Hollywood’s most loved holiday films, all previously unproduced here, and in a new, comfortable El Centro location.
ACT will present the six plays, the most ever performed in a season, between November 2023 and August 2024 in its new, stairless ground-floor performance space at Vega Muñoz 14-46 (between Esteves de Toral and Coronel Talbot). The company is presently preparing the space located just an eight minute’s walk from Parque San Sebastián’s many restaurants. And it is re-instituting its popular Social Hour Lounge with beverage service. The company had performed for several years in a space on Ordoñez Lasso and staged two plays this past June and August in the Sala de Carrasco Theater of the Casa de la Cultura Building.
The season kicks off with The Cemetery Club, a comedy-drama about older adults dealing with the loss of their spouses that was a Broadway play before being adapted as a film starring Ellen Burstyn and Olympia Dukakis. For the holidays, ACT will present Miracle on 34th Street. 2023 is its third year of a completely different, staged radio play version of a holiday classic.
In February, the company will present Neil Simon’s The Prisoner of Second Avenue, a comedy about the stresses of big city life. It will be followed by the classic comedy Blithe Spirit, by Britain’s legendary writer and actor Noël Coward. April’s show will be the suspense comedy Murder at the Howard Johnson’s, in which a married couple and an illicit lover consider murder as the solution to their love triangle problems.
The season will conclude with the Tony Award winning play The Waverly Gallery, a poignant and often hilarious play about a family dealing with the onset of dementia, by the author of the films Manchester by the Sea and You Can Count on Me.
Through October 4, ACT is offering “Flex Tickets” for the season. Each “Flex Ticket” is good for 6 admissions for any or all regular season performances in any combination. It could be redeemed for six admissions for just one production or one for each of the six productions, or any other combination. A Flex Ticket costs $75 and represents a $15 savings over buying six individual $15 tickets. Flex Tickets can be purchased online at www.actseats.com.
Individual tickets, priced at $15, will be available for The Cemetery Club after October 4.
Those interested in participating onstage and backstage are encouraged to visit actseats.com/volunteer to learn about opportunities and register interest in them.
ACT’s 2023-24 Season
The Cemetery Club
By Ivan Menchel
Directed by Gerald Cole
November 8, 10, 11, 12
Three Jewish widows meet once a month for tea before going to visit their husbands’ grave. After Sam the butcher meets the widows while visiting his wife’s grave, his romantic interest in one of the widows causes a rift in the group.
Miracle on 34th Street
A Staged Radio Play
Original 1947 LUX Radio Theater Script
Directed by Kit Thornton
December 6, 8, 9, 10
The classic story of little girl who doesn’t believe in Santa Claus until a man claiming to be Kris Kringle takes a job as a Santa at Macy’s Department Store, where her hard-working, realistic mother works as an executive. Continuing ACT’s holiday tradition, it will be performed as a radio play using the exact script from a 1940s radio version.
The Prisoner of Second Avenue
By Neil Simon
Directed by Rick Snyder
In this comedy by the most successful American playwright of the latter half of the 20th Century, a successful, highly paid New York ad executive loses his job. Things only get worse as he and his wife deal with unemployment and the frustrations of high-rise life on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.
By Noël Coward
Directed by Gerald Cole
Fussy, cantankerous novelist Charles Condomine, who has remarried finds himself haunted (literally) by the ghost of his late first wife, Elvira, who returns to harass the newlywed couple.
Murder at the Howard Johnsons
By Ron Clark and Sam Bobrick
Directed by Rick Snyder
Is all fair in love? Even murder? That’s the question posed by this light and funny suspense comedy about a love triangle involving a woman, her lover, and her husband in a Howard Johnson Motor Inn.
The Waverly Gallery
By Kenneth Lonergan
Directed by Bob Fry
In this dramedy, 80-year-old Gladys Green owns a small art gallery in Greenwich Village. The landlord wants to close the art gallery and replace it with a restaurant, but Gladys won’t give it up without a fight. Her daughter, son-in-law, grandson, and a struggling artist try to help as they deal with her early signs of dementia.