Volunteering in an independent theatre in Buenos Aires: that’s something different compared to the majority of the other volunteer projects AMAUTA offers to participants of the Spanish and Volunteer Program in Argentina. While most projects focus on helping the underprivileged, this volunteer project takes place in the ‘’Hollywood of Buenos Aires’’: the hip arty in-crowd of the neighborhood Palermo. Here you can volunteer in a small theatre, which expresses independent art forms. It is a cultural center with a program of art performances, theatre plays and live music. In addition to this there are acting classes for local children in the afternoons.
The place has the cozy atmosphere of a living room and a maximum of 80 spectators can enjoy watching a show or performance, while having some superbly prepared canapés by the in-house chef in the hands, compared with a good Argentinean wine. The shows are unique and the performers are encouraged to create personal interaction and let their creativity flow while on stage.
One of the volunteers of this theatre in Buenos Aires was Ine van der Stock from Belgium. Below she will share what it is like to part of this unique project and its crew:
“One of the jobs they assigned me was to be the personal assistant of the lighting guy. This was not an easy, but however very entertaining job! While he was moving around with a huge ladder to adjust the spotlights, I was waiting at the so-called switchboard. Then I had to switch the different sets of lamps on and off according to his signals.
During preparation time we had to prepare the theatre hall. This is a small area where the audience is seated. There is a lovely and unpretentious atmosphere, with chairs, sofas and cushions, everything lit by candlelight. The spectators can drink and eat something during the performances, which creates also a more comfortable and pleasant ambiance.
Another task I had to do was to welcome the guests, check their entrance tickets and ask them to switch off their cell phones. Every end of the evening I had to explain about 30 times where the toilet is, said them goodbye, of course with the Argentinean kisses included. And after that: cleaning time!
Overall I can say that it was such an interesting and entertaining volunteer placement. I was really surprised by the number of high quality shows that they offer and I was very lucky to enjoy many shows, when I didn’t need to work. I could enjoy the performance just as everyone, with a class of wine and an empanada. Therefore I got to see many different shows, for example an eccentric clown’s act for adults or an experimental jazz musical. Because my education contained marketing subjects, they asked me to give them some promotional tips. In response for this I gave them tips about how to apply for a sponsorship or grant in Europe, and also my idea of introducing a loyalty card was received really well.
The colleagues were all very social and friendly people, wanting to teach me the ropes and were also very interested in my travels and experiences. Most of them were men (and of course also a few of them were the typical argentine Don Juan’s…), and they all have another occupation during the day. They are studying, working as an actor, one has a record studio, and they all didn’t seem to need much sleep.
It was such a lovely theatre and I really enjoyed the four 4 weeks I spent there volunteering. I wish there were more venues like this in my home country!”
Are you interested in participating in this unique theatre? It is a must to be interested in progressive arts, and to have a background in theater productions is definitely a pre! The working hours vary, and most performances are scheduled towards the end of the week and on the weekends. For this please realize you need to be flexible and to have an intermediate level of Spanish.
If you are interested in and want to contact us about this cultural volunteer project in Buenos Aires now, please do here