This is the second year in which theatre lovers around the world have used online social networking apps to hook up, promote theatre, and have a generally good time celebrating the art form we all love. World Theatre Day is held on March 27 each year, and last year Brisbane companies joined in with gusto. This year, the global organisers are hoping more groups and individuals will come on board again for what turns out to be a very long day of celebrations. In March 2009 NZ and Australia were among the first in the world to begin the global party on the stroke of midnight. As the day extended others joined in from round the world and posted up images, audio files and videos via the WTD Tumblr. This year there's talk of Skype-hookups and live streaming of improv performances, even a bit of invisible theatre on a couple of contentious political issues right now; someone wants to have a crack at internet censorship in Australia, for example. Now that we all have smart phones, this is a distinct possibility. The WTD blog site is the hub of all this activity, and it's here that you can find ideas for your group as well as to read the history of World Theatre Day, which is sponsored by the International Theatre Institute (ITI). By the way, it's a tradition to have the WTD address (which is written each year by a prominent theatre person) read out before performances, alternatively to be posted in foyers and company bulletin boards on the day, or just generally acknowledged on theatre's 'one day of the year.' Last year's was written by Augusto Boal. You can read Boal's address on the ITI page. I think Augusto would have approved of all this global networking - especially the invisible improv and political theatre that some UK and Aussie groups are cooking up. This year a WTD Facebook page had over 500 800 fans the last time I looked. Why don't you become one as well, and pass on the word via your own networks. It would be wonderful to have theatre in Queensland well represented on Saturday March 27 for World Theatre Day. Of course WTD has a Twitter stream @WTD10 and a hashtag #WTD10 if you post there. The organising group had a ball last year in our own necks of the woods, enough to want to see the online celebrations of WTD continue, so we dipped our toes into the Google Wave app for our initial meetups earlier this year. The upshot is that we as the dealers give you the ideas and the forums to publish, but you're the pushers - you get the word out and do what you do in your own way. Check out the blog, the FB, Twitter, and let us know what you are planning. It's even better if you integrate WTD into something you're already working on; everyone is flat out, and the idea is not to do something additional, but to mark the day and share your celebrations. Over to you! PS You can read a bit about how I got involved in a post on my own blog Groundling from last year.
I was delighted to speak with David - Dave to his friends - Burton late last week about his playwrighting, and especially his latest work Lazarus Won't Get Out of Bed. I can tell from the outset that he is upbeat - excited even. It was a good opening night the preceding evening - the buzz is good he tells me. But as we talk I can see that he's just as excited by the opportunities that are out there for a young playwright. "I can't keep up; anyone who says there aren't enough creative development opportunities or support programs for young writers is not trying hard enough, or not looking in the right places." We go on to speak a lot about support during the course of our conversation; it becomes a theme almost. Continue reading Out of bed and on the job: David Burton (Interview 2)
World Theatre Day 2009 has come and gone, but as the song lyrics go, 'the memories linger on.' And the achievements do too. You can see what I mean at the World Theatre Day blog and its Tumblr feed of images and sounds of the celebrations around the globe. WTD got the online treatment for the first time this year - and it happened, as these things do, as a result of a conversation. Continue reading World Theatre Day 2009: reflections on a (long-distance) tribal gathering