Supporting creative work by women
By Amanda Feldman
Starting and ending in NYC, a play is currently being written as it travels around the world making 16 stops with playwrights from across the globe. Each playwright will contribute the next one to five pages of text, moving the plot forward from where the previous playwright left off. Then in celebration of World Theatre Day on March 27th the NYC World Theatre Day Coalition will produce a staged reading of the final script of what we are calling The Around-the-World Chain Play at 7:00pm at The Lark Play Development Center (311 West 43rd Street, 5th Floor, New York, NY 10036). The play will also be live streamed on #newplayTV.
But what is World Theatre Day you ask. In a city where every day there are hundreds of different theatrical performances, it’s almost counterintuitive to point to a single day and say that a particular day is World Theatre Day. Perhaps this is the reason why World Theatre Day has yet to really catch on in NYC, and why, I’m guessing, many of you are hearing about it for the first time reading this article.
Created in 1961 by the International Theatre Institute (ITI), – an international organization of theater professionals under the umbrella of UNESCO – World Theatre Day is celebrated annually on March 27 by ITI Centres and the international theatre community. Various national and international theatre events are organized to mark this occasion, such as the creation and 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 International Message is translated into more than 20 languages, read for tens of thousands of spectators before performances in theatres throughout the world. For 2013, we are thrilled that renowned Italian playwright Dario Fo will give The International Message.
When I first heard about World Theatre Day in March of 2009, I thought to myself what a wonderful opportunity for the larger NYC theatre community to come together and celebrate. Myself, then General Manager of the Lark Play Development Center – www.larktheatre.org, gathered with The Innovative Theatre Foundation – www.nyitawards.com, and The Internationalists – www.theinternationalists.org, who were already throwing an annual party for their community on World Theatre Day, met up to figure out how to increase awareness about World Theatre Day and find unique ways to celebrate. Our conversation led to the creation of The New York City World Theatre Day Coalition.
Since 2010, The NYC World Theatre Day Coalition has expanded to include over 50 member organizations and each year we produce an event or two such as panels, receptions, and we even did a Flash Mob or two over the years. This year we couldn’t be more thrilled to be producing The Around-the-Globe Chain Play! And we have received such overwhelming response from playwrights who are and wanted to take part that we hope to eventually make this an annual tradition. The playwrights who will be writing for our First Annual Around-the-Globe Chain Play are Dominique Morisseau (USA, NYC), Bekah Brunstetter (USA, Los Angeles), Van Badham (Australia), Mixkaela Villalon (Philippines), Janice Poon (Hong Kong), Abdelrahem Alawji (Lebanon), Jeton Neziraj (Kosovo), John Freedman (Russia), Ulrike Syha (Germany), Enver Husicic (Netherlands), Zainabu Jallo (Nigeria), Beatriz Cabur (Spain), Sarah Grochala (UK), Sigtryggur Magnason (Iceland), Caridad Svich (USA, NYC) and one TBA. We are so thrilled to bring together such a talented and eclectic group of playwrights. We hope audiences will be just as excited to see the staged reading as the playwrights are to write it!
Tickets to attend the Staged Reading are free but reservations must be made in advance, as The Lark is not a large venue. For reservations go http://www.nycwtdchainplay2013.eventbrite.com. The play will also be live streamed #NewPlayTV.
For more information about the NYC World Theatre Day Coalition as well as information on how to join the Coalition go to http://www.nycwtd.com