World Theatre Day 2016

Initiated in 1961 by the International Theatre Institute (ITI), world theatre day is celebrated globally on March 27th each year. In addition to numerous events occurring around the world, a message from an important figure in the international theatre community is circulated. There has been a World Theatre Day message every year since 1962; past authors have included theatre practitioners such as Peter Brook, Edward Albee, Robert Lepage, Augusto Boal, Dame Judi Dench, John Malkovich and Dario Fo.

Continue reading to see this year’s international message, as well as the Canadian message from Sky Gilbert, a World Theatre Day Reflection from MT Space staff and artists, and more!

International Message

The international message for 2016 was written by internationally acclaimed Russian director and professor Anatoli Vassiliev who founded the Moscow Theatre School of Dramatic Arts.

Vassiliev starts by asking, “Do we need theatre? … What do we need it for?”

He dives into the core of his message ―

“Theatre can tell us everything. How the gods dwell in heaven, and how prisoners languish in forgotten caves underground, and how passion can elevate us, and how love can ruin, and how no-one needs a good person in this world, and how deception reigns, and how people live in apartments, while children wither in refugee camps, and how they all have to return back to the desert, and how day after day we are forced to part with our beloveds, - theatre can tell everything.”


He bravely (controversially) goes on to say, “To hell with gadgets and computers, just go to the theatre… 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.”

Read the full message on the WTD website. Download the message translated into 10+ languages here.

Canadian Message

Canadian theatre artist, playwright, Buddies in Bad Times pioneer, Dora Award winner, and now a street (well, a lane ;-) Sky Gilbert penned this year’s WTD message for Canada:

World Day of Theatre for Children & Young People Message

Geordie Productions’ Outgoing Artistic Director Dean Patrick Fleming and Incoming Artistic Director Mike Payette both reminisce about why witnessing and creating theatre for young audiences has had profound impacts on both their lives:

A Local Message from MT Space

And just in case you were wondering where everyone at MT Space was sitting with the state of theatre and the world, well, we just posted a group blog post with some of our thoughts.

Twitter Chat

We also participated in a Twitter chat hosted by PACT and the Playwrights Guild of Canada. Theatre artists and enthusiasts from across Canada came together for an engaging discussion of why we value theatre, the importance of equity and diversity, the future of theatre, and more! You can view the highlights of the conversation here.