Hamlin_theatre

About World Theatre Day

Nkululeko Nkala

For sometime we have been witnessingA� amazing theatre at a national level. Big names Davis Guzha, Cont Mhlanga and Raisedon Baya to mention a few stand legendary for their contribution to the arts.

On stage it would be scandalous not to talk about the late Taurai Muswere, Mackay Tickeys (also late), Memory Kumbota, Zenzo Nyathi and the new breed of youngsters in Ronald Sigeca, Bongelani Ncube , Charmaine Mudau, Musa Sibanda and Sithabile Ndubiwa among others.

Why mention peoplea��s names? Ita��s because World Theatre Day initiated in 1961 by the International Theatre Institute (ITI) is theirs.

The day is celebrated annually on 27 March by ITI Centres and the international theatre community. Various national and international theatre events are organised to mark this occasion.

One of the most important of these is the circulation of the World Theatre Day 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.

In 1963, when there was a possibility of a world nuclear war, the great Arthur Miller said: a�?When asked to write in a time when diplomacy and politics have such terribly short and feeble arms, the delicate but sometimes lengthy reach of art must bear the burden of holding together the human community.a�?

The meaning of the word Drama derives from the Greek a�?drana�� which means a�?to doa�? and the word theatre originates from the Greek, a�?Theatrona�?, literally meaning the a�?seeing placea�?. A place not only where we look, but where we a�?seea��, we a�?geta��, we understand.

Ever since inception, each year on 27 March (date of the opening of the 1962 a�?Theatre of Nationsa�? season in Paris), World Theatre Day has been celebrated in many and varied ways by ITI Centers a�� of which there are now more than 90 throughout the world.

Moreover theatres, theatre professionals, theatre lovers, theatre universities, academies and schools celebrate it as well.

Each year an outstanding figure in theatre or a person outstanding in heart and spirit from another field is invited to share his or her reflections on theatre and international harmony.

What is known as the International message is translated into more than 50 languages, read for tens of thousands of spectators before performances in theatres throughout the world, and printed in hundreds of daily newspapers.

Colleagues in the audio-visual field lend a fraternal hand, with more than a hundred radio and television stations transmitting the Message to listeners in all corners of the five continents.

Two thousand four hundred years ago, Polykleitos designed the great theatre ofA� up to 14 000 people. The astonishing acoustics of this open air space are miraculous. We have one such amazing theatre here in Bulawayo.

It may not seat those numbers and is closed but ita��s world class. I had the pleasure of attending for a little while the theatre celebrations in Matshobana which were held by Bambelela Arts Ensemble.

I was especially humbled by the support as the hall was full to the brim. One thing remains though. We need to do more for the specialA� day.

For more info, log onto http://www.world-theatre-day.org/worldtheatreday.html .

UntilA� next week, be safea��@nkuenkala