Monday, March 27, 2017

Schools : World Theatre Day : Go to the theater !

World Theater Day
credits: ITI

"So, here we are once more. Gathered again in Spring, 55 years since our inaugural meeting, to celebrate World Theatre Day. Just one day, 24 hours, is dedicated to celebrating theatre around the world.


Speaking here I am not myself, I am not an actress, I am just one of the many people that theatre uses as a conduit to exist, and it is my duty to be receptive to this - or, in other words, we do not make theatre exist, it is rather thanks to theatre that we exist. The theatre is very strong. It resists and survives everything, wars, censors, penury. 

It is enough to say that “the stage is a naked scene from an indeterminate time” – all’s it needs is an actor.

Isabelle Huppert, message 2017

World Theatre Day
credits: Nicolas Sridi

World Theatre Day was initiated in 1961 by the International Theatre Institute (ITI). It is celebrated annually on the 27th 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 is 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". 

Jean Cocteau
credits: Jean Cocteau official site

The first World Theatre Day International Message was written by Jean Cocteau (France) in 1962. 

  • Goals of WTD:
To promote theatre in all its forms across the world.
  • To make people aware of the value of theatre in all its forms.

  • To enable theatre communities to promote their work on a broad scale so that governments and opinion leaders are aware of the value and importance of dance in all its forms and support it.
  • To enjoy theatre in all its forms for its own sake.

  • To share the joy for theatre with others.

The actor of the World Theatre Day Message 2017 is the French actress Isabelle Huppert.

Isabelle Huppert
credits: ©Sylvie Lancrenon. 
Picture is copyrighted and may be used 
for World Theatre Day issues only by ITI Centres 

International performances that are part of the programmer include Allassane Sidibe, a storyteller from Togo, a performance with Zhang Jun (UNESCO Artist for peace, Kunqu opera) and an excerpt of the performance The French (based on the novel Ultimatum by Fernando Pessoa/ Álvaro de Camposdirected by Krzysztof Warlikowski (message author 2015)

World Day of Theatre for Children and Young People


A story well-told on stage doubtless captivates the children in the audience and somehow transforms them. Leaving the theater after a show, the world seems different: it has been touched by a performance that allows members of the audience to see beyond the surface.


The tale comes to life beyond our imagination and somehow, transforms us into protagonists, because we entrust the characters with our emotions and fears, our desires and frustrations. Once they are staged, fiction, music, dance, song, poetry, games, magic, and juggling are all harmonically assembled, along with the resources typical of the theatrical arts: wardrobe, lights, scenery, makeup, props. 

The contributions made to our cultural heritage –with an emphasis on literature and theater– invariably lead to children exercising their imaginations and finding greater meaning in life."

Francisco Hinojosa, message 2017, World Day Theater for Children & Young People

Pinocchio/ Tout à Trac
credits: Jérémie Battaglia

On the 27th March 2017, the schools are still working. Easter season is near, but for the moments students are at school

Theatre in education is used to encourage effective learning in schools. It calls for careful consideration of the audience's age and requirements in order to engage them and get the message across. 

It complements school curriculum and illustrate the dynamic relationship between the performing arts and literature, history, science and world cultures. 

Nous Sommes Mille en Équilibre Fragile
Dynamo Théâtre
credits. Pierre-Luc Schetagne
The idea of a high impact performance for a specifically targeted school audience became very popular. Because the audiences are small, students can be encouraged to participate through work in role and through debate. 
Projects can be supported with resource materials and training or support for the teachers.

Ligne de Bus/ Théâtre I.N.E
credits: Eugene Holtz
Teachers may invite an actor/ actress to have a conversation with the students. And why not exciting workshops for young theater enthusiasts. 
The workshops will not only provide instruction on acting and theatre, but will help students build their public speaking skills and confidence by using more nontraditional, artistic teaching methods."
Gto the theatre next the school in your city with your students! Best lesson you can share with you students about theatre.

If you are teaching at a Vocational school of Theatre, of course you will talk a lot and have special actvities to celebrate the day.
Level: All levels

Curriculum: Cross-curricular.

Ondin/ L'Illusion
Théâtre des Marionnettes
credits: Michel Pinault


  • Video

  • How to celebrate World Theatre Day : 

Students may be invited to search of celebrations to find out more about the different events organized for WTD 2017 all over the world.

Of course at school there are interesting activities to include into the curriculum. Teachers must prepare the activites thinking the level they are teaching.

Most of all! Go to the theater with your students!

Isabelle Huppert, invited actress WTD 2017
credits: Nicolas Sridi

"Theatre is for me represents the other it is dialogue, and it is the absence of hatred. ‘Friendship between peoples’ – now, I do not know too much about what this means, but I believe in community, in friendship between spectators and actors, in the lasting union between all the peoples theatre brings together – translators, educators, costume designers, stage artists, academics, practitioners and audiences. Theatre protects us; it shelters us…I believe that theatre loves us…as much as we love it… 

I remember an old-fashioned stage director I worked for, who, before the nightly raising of the curtain would yell, with full-throated firmness ‘Make way for theatre!’ – and these shall be my last words tonight. "

Isabelle Huppert, message 2017


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