Ping Chong and Anatoli Vassiliev

Ping Chong and Anatoli Vassiliev Write Messages for World Theatre Day

The messages are part of the Global Theater Initiative, which encourages theatres and individual artists to celebrate and take action on March 27.

NEW YORK CITY: The Global Theater Initiative (GTI), a partnership between Theatre Communications Group (TCG) and the Laboratory for Performance and Politics (the Lab), has invited all theatres, individual artists, institutions, and audiences to participate in the 54th annual World Theatre Day on Sunday, March 27.

To celebrate the occasion, the International Theatre Institute Worldwide has asked Russian director Anatoli Vassiliev and director/playwright Ping Chong to write messages to commemorate the occasion.

“The very act of theatre-making is a fundamentally utopian act,” said Chong in an except from his World Theatre Day message. “Creating ensemble is creating community in the rehearsal room; performance is creating community in public. Artists and audiences share collective human experience, contact, curiosity, and today perhaps more urgently than ever, connection.”

GTI encourages artists and audiences to participate in World Theatre Day in a variety of ways, including reading and submitting essays about World Theatre Day for the Finding Home salon, applying for the TCG Global Pre-Conference this June, or hosting a local community roundtable to discuss themes related to theatre.

Advocacy is also encouraged, with options that can include contacting local elected officials regarding the need for improved visa processing for international guest artists (issue brief), and increased funding for the Cultural Programs Division of the State Department (issue brief).

More ways to participate can be found here.

“To hell with gadgets and computers—just go to the theatre, occupy whole rows in the stalls and in the galleries, listen to the word and look at living images!” said Vassiliev in his World Theatre Day message. “It is theatre in front of you, do not neglect it and do not miss a chance to participate in it—perhaps the most precious chance we share in our vain and hurried lives.”

Both World Theatre Day messages in their entirety can be found here. GTI encourages the sharing of Vassiliev and Chong’s sentiments about theatre through program notes, curtain speeches, and on social media via #WTD16.

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