World Theatre Day was initiatedin 1961 by the International Theatre Institute ITI. It is celebrated annuallyon the 27th March by ITI Centers and the international theatre community.Various national and international theatre events are organized to mark thisoccasion. One of the most important of these is the circulation of the WorldTheatre Day Message through which at the invitation of ITI, a figure of worldstature shares his or her reflections on the theme of Theatre and a Culture ofPeace. The first World Theatre Day Message was written by Jean Cocteau in 1962.
Ever since, each year on the 27thMarch (date of the opening of the 1962 "Theatre of Nations" season inParis), World Theatre Day has been celebrated in many and varied ways by ITI Centersof which there are now more than 90 throughout the world. Moreover theatres,theatre professionals, theatre lovers, theatre universities, academies andschools celebrate it as well.
Each year an outstanding figurein theatre or a person outstanding in heart and spirit from another field isinvited to share his or her reflections on theatre and international harmony.What is known as the International Message is translated into more than 50languages, read for tens of thousands of spectators before performances intheatres throughout the world, and printed in hundreds of daily newspapers.Colleagues in the audio-visual field lend a fraternal hand, with more than ahundred radio and television stations transmitting the Message to listeners inall corners of the five continents.