Photo by Guido Harari.
Theatre Communications Group (TCG), the national organization for theatre and home of the U.S. Center of the International Theatre Institute (ITI-US), invites all theatres, individual artists, institutions and audiences to celebrate the 51st annual World Theatre Day on March 27, 2013. 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 Italian Nobel Prize-winning playwright, director and actor Dario Fo. 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 2013, TCG/ITI-US will celebrate the power of theatre to strengthen cultural exchange and mutual understanding across borders. TCG/ITI-US, ITI Worldwide and the NYC World Theatre Day Coalition suggest a number of ways to engage with World Theatre Day 2013:
- View videos of international theatre artists reading translations of Fo’s message in their own language on ITI Worldwide in Paris’ website: www.iti-worldwide.org.
- Tweet Fo’s message and other World Theatre Day activities with the Twitter hashtag #WTD13.
- Read stories from TCG’s U.S.-Cuba Exploratorium from March 15-22, 2013. A group of theatre-makers will engage with the cultural life of Cuba, and report back on the TCG Circle blog: www.tcgcircle.org.
- Connect with other global theatre-makers on TCG’s year-round online community platform, Conference 2.0: http://tcg.pathable.com.
“Global Citizenship is a core value for TCG and World Theatre Day represents a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the power of international collaboration,” said Teresa Eyring, executive director of TCG. “As the U.S. publisher of Dario Fo’s literary work, we look forward to reading the message from this master of commedia dell’arte and champion of human rights.”
“Theatre is a means of expression that transcends cultures and generations—and also speaks to the pressing issues of the time,” said Tobias Biancone, director general of ITI. “Dario Fo’s works are a perfect embodiment of this mission.”
Dario Fo is an Italian satirist, playwright, theatre director, actor, composer and recipient of the 1997 Nobel Prize in Literature. Fo and his wife, the actress Franca Rame, founded the Campagnia Dario Fo–Franca Rame in 1959, and their humorous sketches on the television show Canzonissima soon made them popular public personalities. In 1968 Fo and Rame founded another acting group, Nuova Scena, and in 1970 they started the Collettivo Teatrale La Comune.Fo has written about 70 plays, coauthoring some of them with Rame, including Morte accidentale di un anarchico (1974; Accidental Death of an Anarchist) and Non si paga, non si paga! (1974; We Can’t Pay? We Won’t Pay!), Mistero Buffo (1973; Comic Mystery), Tutta casa, letto e chiesa (1978; All House, Bed, and Church; Eng. trans. Adult Orgasm Escapes from the Zoo), Clacson, trombette, e pernacchi (1981; Trumpets and Raspberries), Female Parts (1981), Coppia aperta (1983; The Open Couple—Wide Open Even), L’uomo nudo e l’uomo in frak (1985; One Was Nude and One Wore Tails), and Il papa e la strega (1989; The Pope and the Witch).
His plays have been translated into 30 languages, and upon awarding him the 1997 Nobel Prize in Literature, the committee called Fo a writer “who emulates the jesters of the Middle Ages in scourging authority and upholding the dignity of the downtrodden.”
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), Jessica A. Kaahwa (2011) and John Malkovich (2012).
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/.