World Theatre Day (WTD) is celebrated on 27 March to generate awareness about the importance of theatre in our life.
Theatre is an art form which comprises live performers, actors, props and more.
The first plays took place in the Theatre of Dionysus, situated in the Acropolis in Athens during the beginning of the 5th century. However, theatres became so popular that they spread all over Greece.
In India, despite the popularity of multiplexes, theatres and other avenues of entertainment, theatre continues to thrive, through dramas, street plays and more, especially in the college circuit.
World Theatre Day was initiated in 1961 by the International Theatre Institute (ITI).
It is celebrated annually on 27 March by ITI Centres and the international theatre community. Various national and international theatre events are organized to mark this occasion.
One of the most important of these is the circulation of the World Theatre Day International Message through which at the invitation of ITI, a figure of world stature shares his or her reflections on the theme of Theatre and a Culture of Peace.
The first World Theatre Day International Message was written by Jean Cocteau (France) in 1962.
It was first in Helsinki, and then in Vienna at the 9th World Congress of the ITI in June 1961 that President Arvi Kivimaa proposed on behalf of the Finnish Centre of the International Theatre Institute that a World Theatre Day be instituted. The proposal, backed by the Scandinavian centres, was carried with acclamation.
Let’s look at some interesting quotes about theatre:
“All the world’s a stage and most of us are desperately unrehearsed.” – Seán O’Casey
“Theatre is a sacred space for actors. You are responsible; you are in the driving-seat.” –Greta Scacchi
“I regard the theatre as the greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being.” ― Oscar Wilde
“I’m really very sorry for you all, but it’s an unjust world, and virtue is triumphant only in theatrical performances.” – W.S. Gilbert
“Happiness was useless to me. It was heartache that filled my purse. What happy man has need of Shakespeare?” – Jennifer Donnelly
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