World Theatre Day was initiated in 1962 by the International Theatre Institute . It is celebrated annually on 27 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 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.
The first World Theatre Day International Message was written by Jean Cocteau (France) in 1962. It was first in Helsinki, and then in Vienna at the 9th World Congress of the ITI in June 1961 that President Arvi Kivimaa proposed on behalf of the Finnish Centre of the International Theatre Institute that a World Theatre Day be instituted. The proposal, backed by the Scandinavian centres, was carried with acclamation.
This day signifies the importance of theatre arts. It highlights how theatre art plays an important role in the field of entertainment and how it brings changes in life.
Theatre art is one of the most popular forms of entertainment. Theatre art comprises of various forms of fine arts which uses live performers, actors or actresses to present their performance before a live audience regarding real experience in a specific place or on the stage.
This day is celebrated in several ways by 84 ITI Centres across the world. It is also celebrated by theatre professionals, theatres, theatre lovers, academics, theatre universities, and schools.
The author of the Message of the World Theatre Day 2021 is Helen Mirren. She is one of the best known and most respected actresses with an international career that spans stage, screen and television and has won many awards for her powerful and versatile performances, including the Academy Award in 2007 for her performance in The Queen.