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World Theatre Day 2024: Artistic Reflection and Reaffirmation for World Peace

Despite no retakes, no editing, no redo and imminent threat of digital world of the ongoing 21stcentury, theatrical art can never be redundant or out of place in the contemporary world setup; for a night of drama, music, light and laughter is weighty enough to wage a war against all the odds and oddities that mar the peace, prosperity and serenity of the mundane world;may be potential enough to end any sort of war or fighting ranging from ongoing Russia-Ukraine and Israel-Hamas wars to terrorism, provided the world communities ought to be pristine and passionate enough to perceive in true sense the spirit and essence of the theatrical art and culture that rears, nurtures and fosters poetic justice.

ETYMOLOGY AND HISTORY:

Etymologically, ‘Theatre’, derived from a Greek word ‘theatron’ which means “A place of seeing”,owes its historical origin in 534 B. C when poet, tragedian and author Thespis reached Athens along with his troupe and staged performance in the market place and was followed by Rome’s first stone Theatre of Pompeyin 55 B. C,the Teatro Olimpicoin Vicenza, Italy in 1585,Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in 1599, Kabuki Theatre, Japan in 1600A. D, Broadway Theatre, New York city in 1735 and eventually in tune with ebb and flow of time gets evolved into“World Theatre Day”,coined by ‘ International Theatre Institute(ITI)’ in 1961.

The International Theatre Institute (ITI), a UNESCO-affiliated Organization working for the cause of theatre on global scalechose the Day to be March 27thdeliberately on the basis of the fact that the date coincides with the opening of the “ Theatre of Nations” season in Paris in 1962,representing the potentially unifying power of theatre across borders. Obviously World Theatre Day is being celebrated every year on March 27thworldwide to bring the whole world in unison under one umbrella of theatre art is poised to project the beauty, veracity and majesty of theatre in entertaining and unifying communities across the globe and make them realise the inimitably transformative influence of theatre on culture and society, manifesting its perpetual relevance in every walk of our lives.

EVOLVING LEGACY IN PRESENTING ANNUAL MESSAGE

It has turned out to be an evolving legacy in presenting an annual message under the aegis of International Theatre Institute(ITI) to mark the celebration of World Theatre Day annually. The message envisaging the theme-“Theatre and culture of peace” is usually presented by a famous art figure of international repute. The first World Theatre Day International Message was penned by renowned French poet and playwright Jean Cocteau in 1962 and pursuing the same tradition, the message of World Theatre Day-2024 : “ART IS PEACE” is authored by the celebrated Norwegian writer, playwright and Nobel Awardee in literature for 2023,JON FOSSE.

VENUE AND HOST FOR WTD-2024

The World Theatre Day 2024 is to be organized jointly by the International Theatre Institute(ITI) and Chinese Theatre Association (CTA) from 27 to 29 March 2024 in Langfang, China. The host, Langfang Silk Road International Arts Centre, mustering the support of  the Langfang Municipality is all set to elevate the celebration to a grand height with Conference, Gala Night, workshops and with the attractive participation from the local and international theatre professionals and public.

SIGNIFICANCE OF THE DAY

i. The day raises the global awareness in regard to the forms of theatres, catering the needs of education, entertainment, stimulation and relaxation.

ii. Promoting the beauty of theatre in all forms, the day provides a global platform to the theatre communities to showcase their obscure talents, potentials and prospects.

iii. The day encourages theatre accessibility to all irrespective of cultural and social hierarchy.

iv. The day, enticing the new generations, rears, nurtures and fosters the fledgling talents in regard to theatre for future generations.

HOW TO BE A PART OF WORLD THEATRE DAY

One can celebrate and enjoy the World Theatre Day in the following ways:

I. One of the perfect ways to celebrate the day would be to visit your local theatre by buying a ticket to see their performances.

ii. You can get yourself involved with a local theatre and render your role as per your capacity;may be as actor/actress, singer, musician etc and incase you don’t feel artistic, you can be a crew of ticket sales team to make the output of box office manifold.

iii. Involve your children unfailingly as the day possess sufficient stuffs for children to get them thrilled, entertained and educated.

INDIA VIS-A-VIS WORLD THEATRE DAY

India’s theatre communities  and groups across the nation await  the day avidly to showcase their in numerable activities and events ranging from performing street plays and classical dances to screenplay rehearsals and workshops. What is worth mentioning here is that every live performance adheres to the prescribed theme of the year. Celebrated theatre veterans and emerging talents mesmerize the live audience with their performance on the stage in regional and national languages. The celebrations witness a sheer integration among culture, communities and generations across the length and breadth of the nation.

Though the ongoing digital age has dawned the popularity of multiplexes,movie theatres,OTT Platforms and other realm of entertainment,theatre will continue to thrive and shine with its vehemence, beauty and splendor for its intrinsic values, virtue and veracity in perpetuating world peace, even what is more, inpursuance of World Theatre Day-2024 message: “ART IS PEACE”

(The views expressed are the writer’s own)

Bankim Mund 

Lecturer in English

Dharmgarh Women’s Jr. College, Dharamgrh, Kalahandi Mob 8327717672

You can reach to him : [email protected]

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