26 march 2021



At the initiative of the International Theatre Institute, over the last 59 years, 27 th March has been celebrated around the world as World Theatre Day.

Initially floated in Helsinki, followed by the ninth ITI world congress in Vienna in June 1961, the then president Arvi Kivimaa from Finland proposed that a World Theatre Day be instituted. The date selected was 27 th March, same as the date of the opening of the Theatre of Nations in Paris (1962). Since then, this day has been celebrated in different ways. On this day, theatres around the world, national centres of the International Theatre Institute and the entire world theatre community organise various theatre related events of which the most important is the traditional International Message. The message is always written by a figure of world stature. The message is then translated into more than 20 different languages and read before tens of
thousands of audience members throughout the world and printed and broadcast in hundreds of newspapers, magazines, radio and TV stations on all continents. The first World Theatre Day International Message was written by Jean Cocteau in 1962.

This year’s message comes from the renowned British theatre, film and television actress Helen Mirren.

““This has been such a very difficult time for live performance and many artists, technicians and craftsmen and women have struggled in a profession that is already fraught with insecurity.

Maybe that always present insecurity has made them more able to survive this pandemic
with wit and courage.

Their imagination has already translated itself, in these new circumstances, into inventive, entertaining and moving ways to communicate, thanks of course in large part to the internet. Human beings have told each other stories for as long as they have been on the planet. The beautiful culture of theatre will live for as long as we stay here.”

 The creative urge of writers, designers, dancers, singers, actors, musicians, directors, will
never be suffocated and in the very near future will flourish again with a new energy and a new understanding of the world we all share.

I can’t wait!”

Helen Mirren