The Azuay Community Theater prepares for its first fully-staged production in two years

Apr 6, 2022

By Jeremiah Reardon

At a March rehearsal for Azuay Community Theater’s first fully-staged play since the Covid-19 pandemic began, How The Other Half Loves by Alan Ayckbourn, Director Bob Fry and ACT President Paula Bailey outlined the play for me. The action takes place in two homes which coexist on the same space of the stage; they are completely intermingled. Visual cues in their respective living spaces and furnishings underscore social class differences.

The Azuay Community Theater rehearses for the April 22 opening of How The Other Half Loves. Cast members include Laura Hanlon, Joy Broomfield, Tim Appling, Cody Hamilton, Mark Deckard and Bob Hay.

Well-to-do Frank and Fiona Foster are played by Bob Hay and Cody Hamilton. Tim Appling and Laura Hanlon play Bob and Teresa Phillips. Frank is Bob’s employer. Rounding out the cast of six are Joy Broomfield and newcomer Mark Deckard who play the Detweilers.

Bob Phillips flirts with his boss’s wife, the elegant Fiona. They both come home late resulting in lies to their respective spouses which escalate and drag in a completely innocent couple, the Detweilers.

This is Bob Fry’s fifth directing turn at ACT. Arriving in Cuenca seven years ago with his husband Tom from Iowa, his passion for theater includes over 75 community and dinner theater productions.

Bob gleefully claimed that the comedy is side-splitting. “The audience will be rolling on the floor!” he told me. Bob added, “The play is Americanized and set in New York’s early 1970’s to accommodate revisions to the original script for our performance.”

This is ACT’s first production with memorized lines by actors since Covid curfews and restrictions were imposed. It’s a two-hour play. The start of the pandemic shut down its 2020 play. A 2021 play was also cancelled.

ACT has reoriented its street entrance — guests now enter at the side door to the east, opposite the entrance to Hotel Oro Verde. Once inside, stairs lead up to the second-floor theater. ACT Board of Director members Mark Deckard and Matt Flynn recently tackled its stage expansion. Theater capacity due to the pandemic has been reduced to 80%.

Additional personnel include Amanda Malone, Stage Manager; Teresa Drake, Props; Ray Lewis, Sound and Sound Effects; and Michael Phillips, Lighting. At rehearsal Amanda kept track of actors’ stage positions, calling out cues from the floor to assist the cast.

So, if you want to experience high and lows of married life in this comedy of human foibles performed by your fellow expats, then get your tickets now!

Admission: $15. Show starts at 4 p.m.. Doors open at 3:30 p.m.. There will be be two weekends of performances: April 22, 23, 24, and April 29, 30, and May 1.

For tickets, you can pay in cash, via PayPal, or at the theater the day of the show! To use PayPal or reserve to pay at the door, email: actseats@gmail.com. Include your name, email address, date of performance and number of seats in the message attached to the payment.

You can reserve in person at Trivia Night at Common Grounds from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, reserve at Sunrise Cafe on Calle Larga from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.; and on Wednesdays and Fridays, reserve at Kolo Restaurant on Cordero from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m..

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