Today is World Theatre Day. Created in 1961,it is celebrated annually on March 27. How will you be celebrating?
This year, five different artists from five continents are delivering the World Theatre Day messages. Below are excerpts from each (in English), with a link to read each full address, followed by ten facts about theater.
At a pragmatic level the arts of the actor and the arts of live performance need to be made available to children in primary education. Such a generation will, I believe, be more sensitive to the righteousness of life and nature.
Ram Gopal Bajaj, India
In a global culture of rampant fear of the other, isolation and loneliness, being present together, viscerally, in the here and now, is an act of love.
Maya Zbib, Lebanon
Without the act of the performer the audience could not believe. Without the belief of the audience the performance would not be complete. We laugh at the same moment. We are moved. We gasp or are shocked into silence. And at that moment through drama we discover that most profound truth: that what we thought the most private division between us, the boundary of our own individual consciousness, is also without frontier. It is something we share.
Simon McBurney, United Kingdom
Theatre: the simpler it is, the more intimately it connects us to the most wondrous human skill, that of representing the Other. ..More than literature, more than cinema, the theatre —which demands the presence of human beings before other human beings— is marvelously suited to the task of saving us from becoming algorithms, pure abstractions.
A Human decides to ask himself questions in front of a mirror (an audience) To invent himself answers and in front of this same mirror, (his audience) To criticize himself, to make fun of his own questions and answers
To laugh or cry, anyway, but in the end
To greet and bless his mirror (his audience)
For giving him this moment of spite and respite
He bows and greets him to show him gratitude and respect…
Deep down, he was seeking peace,
Peace with himself and with his mirror:
He was doing theatre…
via the Daily Express
2. The word ‘tragedy’ comes from a Greek expression meaning ‘goat song’…
3. …and ‘theatre’ comes from a Greek verb meaning ‘to behold’.
4. Ancient Greek audiences stamped their feet rather than clapping their hands to applaud.
5. World Theatre Day has been held on March 27 every year since 1962 when it was the opening day of the “Theatre of Nations” season in Paris.
6. The longest continuous dramatic performance was 23 hr 33 min 54 sec achieved by the 27 O’Clock Players in New Jersey, USA, on July 27, 2010.
7. They performed The Bald Soprano by Eugene Ionescu, a play written in a continuous loop and said to be totally pointless and plotless.
8. According to Aristotle, the plot is the most important feature of a dramatic performance.
9. Walt Disney World, Florida, has a record 1.2 million costumes in its theatrical wardrobes.
10. The oldest play still in existence is The Persians by Aeschylus, written in 472 BC.