ACTion: Ecuador


To view the ACTion: Ecuador brochure, click HERE.

ACTion: Ecuador is a month-long journey across Ecuador, followed by a week of festival performances in NYC.


  • Amplify often unheard voices through DAT’s Community Storytelling Project
  • Explore diverse cultures and terrain
  • Workshop with local experts, artists, and theatre companies
  • Engage with local communities through arts education and service projects
  • Collaborate with professional artists in creation of new devised theatre pieces
  • Perform original pieces in Quito and New York City

You can expect to:



Start the adventure in Ecuador’s vibrant capital city: Quito, a maze of Spanish colonial splendor set in the shadows of jagged volcanic peaks.  Nestled in its narrow, winding streets, you’ll discover Quito’s ornate golden churches, the UNESCO world heritage sights of historic old town, and the cosmopolitan nightlife of Mariscal.  Diving deeper than the average tourist, you’ll take in a show at one of Quito’s innovative theatre companies and a lecture at a local university, before beginning your own devised theatrical process with director-led rehearsals and workshops with DAT’s resident playwright. You’ll also prepare for upcoming service work with teaching artist workshops and other DAT training sessions—all on-site in one of the most spellbinding cities in the world.



After a breathtaking ride through the steep cliffs, patchwork fields, and misty peaks of the high Andes, you’ll reach the Quechuan village of Quilotoa.  Driving through the rainbow gate of this unique indigenous town is like stepping through a portal in time.  The people of Quilotoa speak Quechuan as a first language, wear traditional ponchos and fedoras, and earn most of their living through shepherding, farming, and the making of traditional crafts.  While in town, you’ll teach theatre to local children; learn the art of Andean mask dancing; continue to devise and rehearse with your cast; probably make friends with a llama or two; and enjoy the awe-inspiring natural beauty that surrounds the village (which rests 13,000 feet above sea level). You’ll also explore Quilotoa’s crown jewel: a gorgeous, cobalt blue crater lake.  Whether you choose to ride a horse down the zig-zagging path which leads to the “laguna,” kayak in its iridescent waters, or take the spectacular hike around the high ridge that encircles it, the crater-lake of Quilotoa is a place to which you’ll always long to return.



Now our group will split, with casts trekking into one of Ecuador’s distinct terrains to lead a week of devised theatre workshops with local youth.  The workshops will result in free public performances of student written plays, which give voice to their experience. 


The thriving hub of Afro-Ecuadorian culture, the region of Esmeraldas boasts a people found nowhere else in Ecuador (or the world).  Since 1533, when its first residents swam to shore from a sinking slave ship, Esmeraldas has been a vivacious melting pot of African, indigenous, and Spanish culture. Whether it’s enjoying live marimba music on the beach, fresh ceviche straight from the sea, or the colorful life of the Esmeraldas City’s teeming streets, Esmeraldas is truly unforgettable.

This summer, our Esmeraldas cast will be venturing into the dense rainforests surrounding Esmeraldas City to the remote Afro-Ecuadorian community of Pueblito—which literally means “little town.”  Here, the cast will empower these little-heard voices through theatre, while also contributing to the community through service projects requested by the village. After an intense week of teaching and serving in Pueblito, our Esmeraldas cast will also relax in the nearby village of Sua, a beach paradise that’s “sleepy” in all the right ways. 


It’s easy to see why Charles Darwin and so many after him have been inspired and entranced by the Galápagos islands.  It’s a place of truly gigantic land tortoises, sea birds with bright blue feet, and sea lions that waddle right up to you to start a conversation (better brush up on your Sea Lion). It’s a place where the black rocks of a volcanic beach will seem to move, but then when you blink your eyes you’ll realize the beach is actually teeming with the black bodies of sea iguanas. (Don’t worry.  They’re harmless!)   

The Galápagos cast will be continuing DAT’s ongoing relationship with the vibrant people of the island of Floreana, one of the least-visited islands of the Galápagos archipelago.  Although the Galápagos islands, in general, are heavily frequented by tourists and many dollars pour into their preservation, very few of those dollars go to the actual inhabitants.  Floreana, in particular, receives very little support as it is overshadowed by more “touristy” islands.  By teaching and serving in this community, the Galápagos cast will serve a unique need, while living amidst all the stunning natural beauty the Galápagos archipelago has to offer. 


One of the more adventurous of ACTion’s second week options, this trip will take the cast into the heart of the Amazon rainforest, which Ecuadorians simply call “La Selva, or “the forest.”  The cast will venture through the towering trees, winding rivers, and swinging suspension bridges of the Amazon, to teach and serve in an indigenous Shuar community. 

For the Shuar’s thousands of years of existence, they have been fighting to defend their land and way of life.  Whether it was gold-seeking armies of Incas or Spaniards, they have endured.  These days, however, the Shuar are fighting a losing battle to save their culture and lands from the ever-encroaching powers of the petroleum and mining industries. 

DAT has received a direct request from Shuar leaders to help empower their voices through theatre.   While this trip will also include a getaway to a larger Amazonian hub for any of a number of recreational activities—hiking, white water rafting, canyoning, wildlife viewing—the “La Selva” experience is designed for those who are looking to get off the map, get their hands dirty, and make a difference.



The whole group joins forces again in the peaceful town of Mindo.  This charming village is nestled in a tranquil cloud forest, where brilliant hummingbirds, bright butterflies, and exotic flowers shine from dense, dripping leaves.  Your time in Mindo will be spent in intensive rehearsals with your director as you polish your devised piece. However, it won’t be all work and no play.  While in Mindo, you’ll also have a chance to zip-line, hike, river-tube, dance in street fiestas, visit an orchid farm, and swim under the pounding, crystal clear water of any of the town’s seven gorgeous waterfalls. You may even get a chance to attend what will probably be your very first “frog concert” (it’s a Mindo thing).



Your time in Ecuador will culminate with a return to Quito.  There, in Ecuador’s culturally rich capital city, your cast will share its original play with a local audience, furthering DAT’s mission of cultural exchange and allowing you to receive invaluable Ecuadorian feedback on your piece. 



All participants of ACTion: Ecuador will return to NYC to rehearse and perform their final pieces in Manhattan with their fellow traveling artists. This festival of short plays is designed to celebrate the spirit of cross-cultural collaboration. The work of each cast will reflect their unique experiences in Ecuador and will bring awareness to this region. The NYC festival offers the opportunity to showcase your work for the NYC theatre community and is also a great opportunity for artists to interview for future staff positions with DAT.


We will travel across Ecuador from June 29 to July 29, 2017.
Artists must also be available for a week of festival performances in NYC from July 31 to August 6, 2017.

ACTion: Ecuador will return again in the summer of 2020.



Esmeraldas & La Selva Options: $4900 USD*
Galapagos Option: $5900 USD*

This amount includes:

  • International flights (from major hubs to Quito to NYC)
  • Lodging for all 30 nights in Ecuador
  • A month of traveler's insurance
  • All ground transportation (including travel to the Amazon, the Coast, and the Galapagos -- depending on your destination)
  • All scheduled activities, including workshops with master teachers (your days are full)
  • A daily food per diem (to cover all meals)
  • And more!

NOTE: The cost of participation does not include your transportation from NYC to your home, nor does it include any expenses in NYC. Please also note that due to the nature of this project, there are no refunds. For a more detailed breakdown, contact

All returning alumni will automatically receive a $400 USD grant.  In addition, we are currently able to offer two select ACTion grants — each for $1000 USD.  These grants are strictly for DAT’s alumni artists and must be applied towards the cost of participation on ACTion. To apply, email and state your case why you deserve the grant.  In 200 words or less, discuss the value of your previous ‘dramatic adventure’ and what you hope to bring to this ACTion experience. The deadline for grant applications is March 15, but we encourage you to apply early.
We are more than happy to work with you and your home institution to set up an independent study, practicum, or internship for this experience.  For more details, email

Ready for a dramatic adventure?

We are carefully selecting actors from across the U.S. and around the world.  

We are looking for talented actors who have a strong desire to engage with foreign cultures, explore devised theatre, and empower youth across the world.  There are a total of 40 artist positions (actors, directors, writers, and designers) available for this year's expedition.  Artists will be strategically placed in a cast based on their skill sets, personality, shared interests, and our particular casting needs.  Each cast will consist of 1 director, 1 road manager/translator, and approximately 6 actors, writers, or designers.


Schedule your audition today!

Email with your headshot/resume to take the first step on an incredible journey.