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 today, 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 was written by Italian Nobel Prize-winning playwright, director and actor Dario Fo, and has been translated into more than 20 languages to reach tens of thousands in the international theatre community.
To celebrate the power of theatre to strengthen cultural exchange and mutual understanding across borders, TCG/ITI-US has participated in a book donation to theatre artists inIraq, and organized delegations of theatre artists to Cuba and Sudan.
- Cuba Exploratorium: From March 15-22, 19 U.S. theatre-makers journeyed to Cienfuegos, Cumanayagua, Santa Clara and Havana to engage with the cultural life of Cuba. The itinerary included performances, tours, classes and meetings with Cuban theatre companies and cultural workers. Exploratorium attendees will report out on their experiences here on the TCG Circle.
- Iraq Book Donation: With support from the U.S. Embassy inBaghdad, donations of hundreds of theatre books were shipped to theatre and educational organizations in Iraq to advance cultural exchange and mutual understanding between Iraqi an dU.S. theatre artists. TCG collaborated with the following organizations to facilitate this gift: Theatre Without Borders; the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center, The Graduate Center, CUNY/City University of New York; the Acting Together Project, a Theatre Without Borders collaboration with the Peacebuilding and the Arts Program at Brandeis University; and the Theater and Performance Studies Program at Georgetown University. Stay tuned for photos and more information here on the Circle.
- Sudan Delegation: TCG and the Universes theatre company will lead the U.S. Delegation to the 13th Albugaa International Festival in Khartoum, Sudan. Launching on World Theatre Day, March 27, the festival will bring together theatre artists from across the world, including Morocco, Germany and Nigeria, for a series of performances, panels and cultural exchanges. Delegation attendees will report out on their experiences here on the TCG Circle.
“TCG’s mandate is to empower theatre people through knowledge-building and peer-exchange,” said Teresa Eyring, executive director of TCG. “These delegations, and the book donation, embody that mandate on an international level, and speak to the spirit of World Theatre Day and TCG’s core value of global citizenship.”
Dario Fo’s World Theatre Day message can be found on ITI Worldwide in Paris’ website: http://www.world-theatre-day.org/en/message.html. Additional ways to celebrate World Theatre Day can be found on the TCG website: http://www.tcg.org/international/events/wtd.cfm?type=2.
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).