New English-language theater group presents ‘Love Letters’ at idiomArt May 25, 26 and 27

May 22, 2023 | 10 comments

By Jeremiah Reardon

The New Theater (TNT) is Cuenca’s recently formed English-language theater. A group of theater, design, and marketing professionals have come together with the express goal of adding to the rich cultural life of Cuenca by creating this new theater for our international city. TNT looks to present contemporary and classical theater productions, offering satisfying theatrical experiences for their audience, through excellence in acting, directing and production values.

The Love Letters team.

Each member of TNT’s Core Group, the theater’s governing body, have logged years, if not decades, of experience in theater, design, or promotion and advertising. The group is comprised of:

-Paula Bailey, Artistic Director
-Charlean Born, Talent Liaison/Actor
-Amanda Hattaway, Graphics Designer
-Gregory Hattaway, Technical Director/Marketing
-Wally Kolodinski, Director/Actor
-Jackie Sario, Assistant to the Artistic Director/Costumer
-Markku Sario, Actor/Director/Legal Consultant.
-Jeanne McCafferty is consulting with TNT on their marketing.

TNT’s first production, Love Letters by A.R. Gurney, will be presented at idiomART on May 25 at 4 p.m., and on May 26 & 27 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10, and reservations can be made at

idiomART is located at Mariscal Lamar 14-25 y Estévez de Toral, adjacent to Mercado Tres de Noviember tranvia stop. Doors open one hour before the performance.

This funny, engaging and, ultimately, moving play centers on two characters rereading the notes, letters and cards they have exchanged over nearly fifty years. They discuss their lives, dreams and disappointments. This frequently revived play is a favorite with audiences and actors alike since its debut in 1988. The production is directed by Bailey, known in Cuenca for directing Mornings at SevenIt Had To Be You, and It’s a Wonderful Life-A Staged Radio Play. 

Charlean Born and Markku Sario in a rehearsal of Love Letters.

Markku Sario portrays Andrew Makepeace Ladd III, a reserved and eloquent character whose emotions are expressed through letters. Born brings to life Melissa Gardner, a vibrant and complex woman with a passionate spirit. Together, the actors create a captivating portrayal of the lifelong correspondence between childhood friends in touch till late in life. Under Bailey’s skilled direction, this poignant exploration of love, friendship, and the power of words comes to life on idiomART’s stage. (TNT extends a huge thank you to Sarah HB of idiomART for hosting their first production.

The theater’s next offering continues with the correspondence theme, You’ve Got Hate Mail. Written by Billy Van Zandt and Jane Milmore, and directed by Kolodinski, it’s scheduled for July.

Coming attractions include What F%*king Spaceship Left Me Here To Die?, a one-man show both written and acted by Jeffrey Schmidt, with direction by Bailey. Dracula, by Steven Dietz, is a dual language production directed by Maria Ochoa and Bailey. Performances take place early in November with English and Spanish versions on alternate dates. For the holidays, a reprise of a Christmas tradition, A Christmas Carol Staged Radio Play, will be directed by Bailey.

Let’s all contribute to the nascent theater’s opening week with our attendance. And support their efforts to reenergize El Centro with the smell of greasepaint and the roar of the crowd. Step into idiomART’s welcoming courtyard under a stunning skylight and join the year-old community center’s large fanbase for this artistic production.

Jeremiah Reardon is an actor and CuencaHighLife contributor.


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