World Theatre Day '09

For an event ambitiously titled "World Theatre Day," much of the globe is suspiciously silent on this UNESCO-backed, International Theatre Institute-founded event first launched in 1961. March 27 marks the date when theaters around the world are invited to

"promote international exchange of knowledge and practice in theatre arts (drama, dance, music theatre) in order to consolidate peace and solidarity between peoples, to deepen mutual understanding and increase creative co-operation between all people in the theatre arts"

If those lofty goals seem slightly out of reach for a one-day, once-a-year event, well, look at it this way: at least someone's trying and they're trying through theater.

The League of Chicago Theatres seems to have taken the most organized lead on this year's WTD, but there are stirrings in Vancouver, London, and a few other spots as well. Check out  Theatre Communications Group's interactive WTD map, to see who's doing what and where (and, ahem, Philadelphia is conspicuously absent). There's also a WTD blog, Facebook page, and Twitter ID, to help you stay informed.

So what's the point of calling attention to WTD two days before it occurs (although the UNESCO event happens tonight in Paris--can I catch a ride with you?), when there's no time to plan for it? Glad you asked. Turns out the WTD09 folks have compiled a whole bunch of last minute stuff tailor-made for what are apparently legions of theater slackers out there. For one, you can inspire audiences by reading this year's statement--by Augusto Boal--before all March 27 performances or include it as an insert in that day's program. You can upload videos of your WTD celebration, or just promote the productions that will occur on that date on the WTD09 Tumblr site. At the very least, let the good folks at the WTD09 blog know how you commemorated the date, even if it was just by consolidating peace and solidarity with a raised pint after curtain, and a promise to do a better job of getting it together in plenty of time for WTD10.

And if you happen to be an audience member, I expect to see you, butt in seat, at some theater, somewhere on Friday night.


March 25, 2009 10:37 AM |
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