Join us in Celebrating the 2019 World Theatre Day!
…we must find the Stories that move and sustain us, the Stories that inspire us to powerful action. And if we can’t find these Stories, then it is our job to found them. As the conjurers of Story, we are the magicians of reality. So let’s weave possibilities so compelling that we enroll ourselves and others in using our collective genius to make them reality.
-Excerpt from Sunny Drake’s 2019 World Theatre Day Message
For immediate release
March 25th, 2019 – The Playwrights Guild of Canada (PGC) invites all Canadians to celebrate World Theatre Day (March 27th, 2019).
Canadian theatre is as vital and engaging as ever. Whether it’s a community theatre telling an important homegrown story or an acclaimed professional production touring the globe, Canadian theatre is having an impact around the world. Over 41% of Canadians attend a theatre performance every year; that’s over 15 million people. Theatre in this country contributes to our understanding, our cohesion, and the coming together of our audiences. That’s why we celebrate it.
PGC, together with its partners the Professional Association of Canadian Theatres (PACT) and l’Association des théâtres francophones du Canada (ATFC) invites Canadians to join in and experience the joy – and power – of theatre. Every year a messenger is selected from Canada as an ambassador of Canadian theatre. This year’s messenger is Sunny Drake, a playwright, actor and producer whose award-winning theatre works have been presented in 55 cities across the world. In his message, Sunny asks of theatre-makers, “What reality do you want to create? What would make a huge difference to you and your community and our planet? Even if it seems impossible–in fact, especially if it seems impossible–make it into a Story.”
Mr. Drake’s message focuses on the power of theatre to tell diverse human stories: “Let’s lift up the voices of those whose Stories and visions have been squashed: artists who are Indigenous, Black, people of colour, women, disabled, children, Deaf, trans, non-binary, two-spirit, queer, sex workers, poor, working class, refugees and many others.” The full message and video can be found on the PGC website. Mr. Drake’s message was translated into French by Mishka Lavigne, a playwright and theatre translator from Ottawa. The translation is available on the ATFC website.
World Theatre Day
Created in 1961 by UNESCO, World Theatre Day is marked annually on March 27th by theatre communities worldwide. It celebrates the power of theatre as an indispensable bridge-builder for mutual international understanding and peace to promote and protect cultural diversity and identity. Since its inception, World Theatre Day has been celebrated on the 27th March (the date of the opening of the 1962 “Theatre of Nations” season in Paris) by International Theatre Institute (ITI) Centres – of which there are now more than 90 throughout the world. Each year an outstanding figure in theatre or a person outstanding in heart and spirit from another field is invited to share his or her reflections on theatre and international harmony.
PGC is pleased to share the 2019 World Theatre Day message written by Carlos Celdrán. An award-winning and highly esteemed theatre director, playwright, academic and professor, living and working in Havana, Cuba and presenting his work all over the world. Mr. Celdrán states, “When I understood that the theatre was a country in itself, a major territory that covers the whole world, a determination arose within me, which was also the realisation of a freedom: you do not have to go far away, or move from where you are, you do not have to run or move yourself. The public is wherever you exist. You have the colleagues you need at your side.” The full message with its multiple translations can be found on the World Theatre Day website. The translations are available in French, Arabic, Chinese, Georgian, Italian, Kurdish, Persian, and Portuguese.
In celebration of World Theatre Day, the Calgary Tower, Edmonton’s High Level Bridge, Parc Olympique, Niagara Falls, the Avon Theatre in Stratford, and the CN Tower will be lit orange on March 27th, 2019. Niagara Falls will be lit for 15 minutes starting at 10 pm and the CN Tower will be lit for 8 minutes at the top of every hour. The other monuments will be lit in the evening. We sincerely thank the Niagara Falls Illumination Board and all of the participating monuments.
World Day of Theatre for Children
The World Day of Theatre for Children and Young People will occur on March 20th, 2019. The event was created by the International Association of Theatre for Children and Young People (ASSITEJ) as a way to emphasize the value of theatre and the arts for children, and reaffirm a commitment that every child has a right to artistic experiences created especially for them.
Playwrights Guild of Canada is a registered national arts service association mandated to advance the creative rights and interests of professional Canadian playwrights, promote Canadian plays nationally and internationally, and foster an active, evolving community of writers for the stage.
PACT is a member-driven organization of professional Canadian theatres that serves as the collective voice of its members. We are a leader in the national performing arts community, and a devoted advocate for the value of live performance. Since 1979 we have focused on providing a community where theatre professionals (both artistic and administrative) can come together to discuss important issues and work together to create innovative solutions.
ATFC is a national arts service organization. It represents and serves fifteen members, professional theatre companies operating in the Canadian Francophonie, as well as some four hundred freelance artists around them.
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*Part of the inspiration for Sunny Drake’s message comes from research the author has been reading, including the book Sapiens: a Brief History of Humankind.