About Us - Our Work

Suchitoto Project

The “Sharing a Dream” initiative aims to replicate in Suchitoto the compelling success story that began in Stratford 60 years ago: the establishment of what is now North America’s leading classical theatre. This project entails rebuilding and transforming an existing but fragmented infrastructure into a unified and self-sustaining centre for theatre arts in Central America.

Check out Ted’s blog. It recounts his experiences travelling to Suchitoto in February of 2010 in order to build a stage for the Program Launch presentation the following March, as well as to prepare the Technical School to open. Ted Derry, Frank Holte and Eric ball built a stage and props for the show, fixed broken tools and wiring and shared their knowledge with young people from the town.

At centre, Ted Derry, CUSO-VSO volunteer, helps local students install a table saw. “In a scene resembling an updated version of an old master’s painting, the students gathered around and watched and learned and tried. Over the course of the day a pile of disemboweled routers and sanders and drills became an organized collection of functioning tools. It was magical to watch. Not just the resurrection of the broken DeWalt and Bosch tools, but the change in the relationship – from ‘us and them’ to simply ‘us’. Frank and I experienced the same transformation working with our respective, and respectful, teams. There was teaching and there was learning but there was also much more. The joking and the teasing, going in both directions, was so real and honest and trusting that I knew by three pm that the hardest part of our task is now behind us.” 
- From CUSO-VSO volunteer Ted Derry’s blog: Speaking of Suchitoto

Edward Daranyi, a Teaching Artist from the Stratford Festival, worked with a cast of young actors on the development of a new production. It was based, in Edward’s words, “on local mythology…the base story that we will use as starting point is The Invisible Hunters which follows the story of some great hunters who encounter Gods in the forest.” This production embraced music and dance and local ritual - elements that could appeal to all audience members from Suchitoto and across El Salvador. The production opened on March 27 in Suchitoto.
Edward Daranyi rehearses with young people from Suchitoto.
“The first two days were a bit strange in 38 degree heat and hitting the ground running hard. I have just finished my first day with the students - an incredible bunch - in the younger ones we have a serious age spread but the bulk of them are sort of 17/18 years old. Now comes the interesting part, on our initial conversations they had talked in the range of about 30 students which I said was too many creating alone, so today when final numbers were counted and I had 52 I almost had a heart attack! Now the problem is that they are all so eager and committed I want to use them. The first day was fantastic… Tatiana is amazing and my assistant Patricia fantastic, we have a wonderful man in the cast called Rabbit who does clown and acrobatics and Mario used to teach Salvadorian Folk dance! Cogs turning!!!” 
- Thoughts from Edward Daranyi, Director

Check out a podcast with Frank Holte
Check out a podcast with Melissa Renaud, Michael Walsh, Sean Mulcahy
Check out Young Playwrights’ Theatre students spending a full day collaborating with students from the EsArtes program in Suchitoto.

Check out Eric Ball's latest blog here.

You can help. Please donate today.

Project undertaken with the financial support of the Government of Canada provided through the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).



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