World Theatre Day: Canada vs Russia

The 54th annual World Theatre Day is this Sunday.

It happens every year on March 27, when the global follow-spot is focused on all things theatrical. So, what are you doing to celebrate?

Greater Vancouver Professional Theatre Alliance offers some great ideas on how to promote World Theatre Day 2016 in your community.

World Theatre Day was established in 1962 by the International Theatre Institute (ITI). Each year, the ITI invites one notable thespian to craft an international message on behalf of show folks everywhere.

From Russia with love

This year, the author of the global message is Russian stage director Anatoli Vassiliev. His thoughtful words reflect on a culture of peace and answer the question: why do we need theatre in our lives?

The complete message is inspiring and definitely worth a read.

Vassiliev’s message for 2016 has been translated in over 30 languages.

Here, Irish actor Emmet Kirwan offers a reading of Vassiliev’s message to the world.

The first World Theatre Day message was delivered in 1962 by Jean Cocteau (France). See the full history here.

On behalf of Canada. Eh?

Once again, the Professional Association of Canadian Theatres (PACT) has commissioned our national message, from a uniquely Canadian perspective.

This year’s ambassador is director, teacher and playwright Sky Gilbert, who lives up to his reputation as one of Canadian theatre’s most controversial voices.

Read Sky Gilbert’s Canadian message for World Theatre Day in English and French.

Gilbert’s ‘get off your ass and talk about theatre’ directive offers an off-beat scenario. It may be somewhat less eloquent than the message from his Russian counterpart. But his dramatic intention is honest and clear.

Canada vs Russia? I’m not judging.

All I have to say is: don’t blame Canada.

Happy World Theatre Day everyone!



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