World Theater Day — March 27 — Will Spin You on Your Axis

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March 27, 2010 marks the international celebration of World Theatre Day. Created in 1961 by the International Theatre Institute (ITI), World Theatre Day is celebrated each March 27 by the world theater community.

Each year, ITI invites a world-renowned figure to pen an international message that shares his or her reflections on the theme of Theatre and a Culture of Peace. The International Message is translated into more than 20 languages and is read for tens of thousands of audiences around the world. The 2010 international message is by renowned English stage, film, and television actor Dame Judi Dench.

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“World Theater Day is an opportunity to celebrate theater in all its myriad forms,” says Dench “Theater is a source of entertainment and inspiration and has the ability to unify the many diverse cultures and peoples that exist throughout the world.”

For the first time ever Theatre Communications Group/ITI-U.S. has also invited an artist to deliver a national message. Lynn Nottage, winner of the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for Ruined, has been selected to issue her remarks on the occasion. Nottage says that “Theatre is a place where we can collectively share our laughter, shed our tears and loudly demonstrate our joy or frustration. Theatre has the incredible capacity to be soul healing; it allows both the audience and artist to purge toxins and exorcise collective demons.”

In New York City, the NYC World Theatre Day Coalition is coordinating several events to celebrate World Theatre Day.

Events include:

  • Mayoral Proclamation: Public reading of the Mayoral Proclamation that March 27, 2010 as World Theatre Day in New York City (details coming soon).
  • Theatrical Performances: Shows around the city where the international message will be read and/or distributed (for a complete list of performances check out www.nycwtd.com)
  • Flash Mobs: Large scale public performances throughout Manhattan
  • Networking Event: A gathering of audiences and artists that features a reading of the international message as well as multimedia contributions from artists from around the world. This event will be held from 5-8pm at the Houndstooth Pub, on the southeast corner of 37th St. and 8th Ave.

The New York City World Theatre Day Coalition is made up of several theater companies and theatre service and advocacy organizations that support and celebrate World Theatre Day, including Theatre Communications Group, the Community Dish, Fourth Arts Block, Lark Play Development Center and the League of Independent Theater. Primary function of the coalition is to organize and coordinate events, to distribute the WTD message and to act as a central hub for New York City World Theatre Day activities.

Information for how to get involved:

Productions that have a performance on March 27 in NYC and would like to participate can register their production at www.nycwtd.com.

To participate in World Theatre flash mobs email info@nycwtd.com.

Follow the twitter feed @nycwtd or become a fan on Facebook.