World Theatre Day 2011 … going, going …

As the world turns World Theatre Day 2011 has come and gone from Australia for another year, but it’s still going strong elsewhere as March 27th comes in round the globe.

Someone wrote on the Twitter stream that ‘every day is world theatre day’ and, of course, he’s right for those of us who live and work in and for the theatre. It can be all-consuming at times, a source of frustration too, but mostly of love. It’s why we keep going, making and advocating for theatre as a daily engagement. Still, as one of my theatre friends in Canada (Simon Ogden) put it so well, it’s a day worth stopping and marking in a special way, because

It is a day designed to let theatre makers raise their heads from the local communities they work in and revel in the collective consciousness of their global community. It is a celebration of the health, vivacity and reach of our particular form of art. It is not a day for asking for help, or for audience building. It’s a massive, collective high-five.

WTD11 fell on a Sunday and, for many it was a day of rest and reflection. Others were rehearsing or performing, writing, watching and listening from the audience …

Here’s the Theatre Communications Group (based in the US) WTD Message for this year. It echoes the theme of social justice through theatre which is this year’s ‘call to action’ or reflection.

It’s very moving and talks about something that theatre makes us do so well: ‘listen.’

And World Theatre Day continues round the globe. You can catch the latest postings on the blog and on the WTD Facebook page. I loved the live stream from Berlin some hours ago. If you didn’t catch it, you can read Brisbane’s 23rd Productions posting for World Theatre Day on the blog as well, along with the Dead Cargo company and Queensland Shakespeare Ensemble‘s shout out to the world.

And, if you didn’t get to celebrate WTD11, watch out for WTD12 next year on March 27th.

The World Theatre Day Message for 2011

It’s been a tradition for the International Theatre Institute to ask a leading theatre practitioner to create the message for World Theatre Day. It’s also something of a tradition for companies to read the message before the curtain on performances on WTD and/or to post it on callboards or in foyers. This year WTD falls on Sunday March 27.

Last year it was Judi Dench’s turn to meditate on theatre; the year before – Augusto Boal. This year it is from Jessica Kaawha from Uganda. It’s sobering, uplifting and inspirational.

I was alerted to it this morning via a tweet from the World Theatre Day blog.

It's here! The #WTD11 Message!! This year, it's by Jessica Kaahwa of Uganda.
World Theatre Day

Do read it, consider sharing with your company either by linking to it on your Facebook page or retweeting or …

And, speaking of WTD, do you know about this this year’s ‘meme’? It’s called ‘This is my theatre.’ Read some more about it on the WTD Blog, get some ideas, and get going on sharing what you’re going to do on March 27. There’s a link and submission page on the blog site. NYC, Chicago, Vancouver, London … come on Brisbane, Toowoomba, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Rockhampton, Townsville, Cairns (add your place) ! We’ve done it before.

An open letter: World Theatre Day 2011

Dear Theatre Colleague,

World Theatre Day is March 27!

For 3 years now, I have been involved along with other facilitator-colleagues for World Theatre Day. Under the auspices of the International Theatre Institute (ITI), World Theatre Day (WTD) is celebrated annually on the 27th March by the international theatre community. Various national and international theatre events are organized to mark this occasion. We would like to invite you to join the party!

The World Theatre Day blog has been updated for 2011, and, as with the last two years, will become a virtual hub for sharing World Theatre Day celebrations from all over the world.

If you need ideas about how you can celebrate World Theatre Day in your community, please visit here, in the first instance, for ideas to get you started. Continue to follow along with the blog or via Facebook or on Twitter @WTD11 You’ll find more ideas there as the days roll by and news about how other theatre artists around the world will mark World Theatre Day 2011.

Prior to March 27, we’d love to hear how you are planning to celebrate. You can share your information easily by going to the WTD11 submissions page You can also use this same form to share your actual celebrations on March 27. Please include a photo or a link to a YouTube video so we can share your celebrations with the world! Here’s a sample of the kind of thing you can do – it’s a little video made at the after-show party for That Face a couple of years ago.

The meme in 2009 was to focus on the question ‘What does theatre mean to you?’


That night, 23rd productions did a backstage walkthrough and interval interviews around their then-playing production of The Pillowman.


This is that audience’s response to the meme.

Of course, it doesn’t have to be a video; you can upload pictures, audio files or just write and share what you did in words. The important thing is to celebrate along with the rest of the world. Get inspired!

For the past 3 years Queensland artists and companies have led off the global celebrations from midnight on March 27th. Perhaps this year New Zealand will get in first! There’s a challenge! The bonus for the first cabs off the rank is that the fun of World Theatre ‘Day’ actually goes on much longer!

We in Queensland look forward to sharing and celebrating with you!

Kate Foy (Editor Greenroom)