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Nicholas Viselli to Deliver U.S. World Theatre Day Message 2020

Viselli is the artistic director of New York City’s Theater Breaking Through Barriers.

NEW YORK CITY: The Global Theater Initiative (GTI), a partnership between Theatre Communications Group (TCG) and the Laboratory for Performance and Politics (the Lab) at Georgetown University, invites all theatres, individual artists, institutions, and audiences to celebrate the 59th annual World Theatre Day on March 27.

Nicholas Viselli. (Photo by Taylor Hooper)

Each year, a renowned theatre artist of world stature is invited by the International Theatre Institute (ITI) Worldwide in Shanghai to craft an international message to mark the global occasion. This year the International message has been written by Pakistani playwright Shahid Nadeem, and the U.S. World Theatre Day message has been given by Nicholas Viselli, artistic director, Theater Breaking Through Barriers. Both messages have been translated into multiple languages. Read all the World Theatre Day Messages here.

“Like all theatres and theatre makers, Nicholas Viselli has pivoted his creativity to meet the crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Teresa Eyring, executive director of TCG, in a statement. “Viselli’s message of a truly inclusive theatre world, one that fully welcomed disabled artists, is a powerful match to Shahid Nadeem’s International message, which called for us to draw upon the sacred powers of theatre. We hope these messages serve as inspiration to all culture-makers working across borders, especially during a time of social-distancing and border closures.”

Viselli joined Theater Breaking Through Barriers in 1997 and is deeply humbled to continue the company’s legacy, started by his predecessor, TBTB’s founding artistic director, Ike Schambelan.

As an actor, Viselli has performed in more than 30 TBTB productions during the past 23 years. He has also directed several plays for TBTB and has served as the company’s sound designer, travel coordinator, administrative associate, and associate director. He has attended nine International Theater Festivals for the Blind and Visually Impaired in Zagreb, Croatia, as an actor and has served as the producer, director, and key coordinator for the company during festival appearances. In 2014, he produced and coordinated TBTB’s first visit to Japan, when the company was invited to attend both the BIRD International Theatre Festival and Japan’s National Festival for People With Disabilities. He also orchestrated, developed, produced, and directed three special performances by TBTB, commissioned for the United Nations to commemorate the International Day of Disaster Risk Reduction and the International Day of People With Disabilities, and coordinated TBTB’s appearance at the United Nations’ Department of Disaster Risk Reduction’s Global Platform in Geneva, Switzerland in 2019. He is currently coordinating TBTB’s 2020 International tours to Croatia, Uganda, and Japan. He studied at the Royal National Theater in London with Richard Eyre, Patsy Rodenberg, Stephen Daldry, Simon McBurney, Stephen Warbeck ,and Sir Ian McKellan. He is a graduate of Hofstra University.

In addition to sharing World Theatre Day messages, TCG and GTI encourage theatre artists and organizations to recognize World Theatre Day by signing up to receive TCG Action Alerts.

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