Malayerba Theater, Theaters, Culture

If you want to gain some sort of insight into the lives of those living in and around Ecuador, you can do little better than attending a performance at the Malayerba Theater in the city of Quito. This great theater is home to the Malayerba Theater Group who have been active for roughly thirty years – although they have only recently acquired the theater as a base for their operations. The Group focuses on issues that people in Ecuador and the neighboring countries face every day, and it confronts a variety of social problems that need to be addressed. For example, their production ‘Tirenle Tiera’ (Let’s Forget It) addressed the problem of domestic violence which has become so common in some parts of the country that it is often regarded as being ‘normal’.

The Malayerba Theater Group was founded by three actors who all shared the same goals. They wanted to create a Theater that was completely independent and therefore uninfluenced by political and economical factors that surrounded them. This would give them the advantage of freedom of choice and the ability to truly give voice to the issues that exist around them. Most of the productions are written by Maria del Rosario Francés who is actually from Pamplona but who fled to Ecuador to escape the Franco regime. She draws her inspiration from the people who live around her and her works often address the problems of oppression, mandatory migration and discrimination. These are things that have a lot of meaning to the people in Ecuador and the Malayerba Theater Group wants their productions to appeal to people and draw them closer.

Things are not easy for the group since Theater is not as commonly accepted here as it is in northern countries. Each of the members of the group have other jobs by which they sustain themselves since they are unable to make a living from their theatrical performances alone. They were only able to gain their Theater building through the assistance of the Hivos Cultural Fund to whom they are deeply grateful. However, they continue to perform in poor neighborhoods, prisons, orphanages and countryside communities to ensure that the relevant issues are addressed and that people everywhere have access to Theater. The Malayerba Theater is truly a Theater by the people for the people. You will find them at Sodiro 345 & 6 de Diciembre which is right next to the El Belen Church in Quito.

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