Theatre Communications Group (TCG), the national organization for theatre and home of the U.S. Centerof the International Theatre Institute (ITI-US), invites all theatres, individual artists, institutions and audiences to celebrate the 50th annual World Theatre Day on March 27, 2012. Each year, a renowned theatre artist of world stature is invited by ITI Worldwide in Paris to craft an international message to mark the global occasion. This year the message will be written by award-winning actor, director and producer John Malkovich. Upon its release in March, the message will be translated into more than 20 languages to reach tens of thousands in the international theatre community.
Through World Theatre Day 2012, TCG/ITI-US will celebrate the power of theatre to strengthen cultural exchange and mutual understanding across borders. There are many ways to join this celebration, including:
- Generation Without Borders, a call for early-to-mid career theatre practitioners and students to submit essays envisioning our global theatre movement 50 years from now (http://www.tcg.org/international/essay.cfm);
- SHINSAI: Theaters for Japan, a nationwide fundraising event on March 11, the first anniversary of the earthquakes, involving more than 50 theatres to raise relief funds for the Japanese theatre community affected by the disaster (http://www.tcg.org/shinsai/);
- I AM THEATRE, an online platform for theatre people across the world to share their stories and express the diversity and vitality of the international theatre community (http://www.tcg.org/international/iamtheatre.cfm);
- An interactive world map to track the growing number of World Theatre Day 2012 activities (http://www.tcg.org/international/events/wtd.cfm).
“Having the 50th Anniversary of World Theatre Day fall within the same year as TCG’s own 50th Anniversary is a wonderful symbol of the growing interdependence of our global theatre movement,” said Teresa Eyring, Executive Director of TCG. “We look forward to celebrating this occasion with other ITI centers across the world, to champion our core value of Global Citizenship and continue our support of cultural exchange across borders.”
On March 22, 2012, John Malkovich will deliver his international message at UNESCO in Parisat a gala event that will include readings of play excerpts with Malkovich and other theatre artists. The message will be available on the TCG website in March at http://www.tcg.org/international/events/wtd.cfm.
John Malkovich won an Obie for Steppenwolf’s True West in 1983. The following year, he appeared with Dustin Hoffman in the Broadway revival of Death of a Salesman, which would earn him an Emmy when it was made into a television film in 1985. He received Academy Award nominations for Places in the Heart and In the Line of Fire and burlesqued his own public persona in the films Adaptation and Being John Malkovich.
The first World Theatre Day international message was written by Jean Cocteau in 1962. Succeeding honorees include Arthur Miller (1963), Ellen Stewart (1975), Vaclav Havel (1994), Ariane Mnouchkine (2005), Sultan bin Mohammad Al Qasimi (2007), Augusto Boal (2009), Dame Judi Dench (2010) and Jessica A. Kaahwa (2011).
International Theatre Institute (ITI) was formed in 1948, when the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) joined with world-renowned theatre experts to form an international non-governmental organization in the field of the performing arts. The mission of ITI is to “promote international exchange of knowledge and practice in theatre arts in order to consolidate peace and friendship between peoples, to deepen mutual understanding and to increase creative cooperation between all people in the theatre arts.” Today, ITI consists of approximately 90 Centers worldwide. An ITI Center is made up of professionals active in the theatre life of a country and representative of all branches of the performing arts. For more information, visit www.iti-worldwide.org/.