Wow. What a ride it’s been.
It all started a few weeks back, as I was starting prep work for doing publicity for our local Greater Vancouver Professional Theatre Associations’ World Theatre Day celebrations. I thought–Hey, wouldn’t it be cool to make this year’s March 27 WTD celebration truly international? So, I put some stuff out there, and with encouragement, started the World Theatre Day blog as a place where theatre artists from all over the world could connect with each other over World Theatre Day.
Then I started Twittering it, and, in a word, it snowballed. Many theatre artists who had never even heard of WTD started getting on board, and before I knew it, we were an international team of facilitators having virtual planning meetings on a semi-regular basis. My more technically-literate compatriots helped to move the blog to its own domain to make it easier to find, rejigged the design, and added the Tumblr feed to make it really easy for peeps to send us their photos and videos.
People started planning their celebrations. The Mayor of Chicago officially proclaimed March 27 World Theatre Day. We got the blessing of the ITI. Australia planned a flash mob. Brazil planned a political demonstration. The NY Neofuturists put out the call for Twitter plays.
Not everything worked out just right. Our local Vancouver celebrations were not well attended, due in part to the Junos being held that same weekend. The Guardian in London wrote about WTD disparagingly. Oh–and I was violently ill on March 27, due to a bug my son brought home from school.
Here’s a rundown of my fave WTD things:
- The standing on books meme that Ian MacKenzie started
- The Chicago Neo-Futurists’ interpretation of the WTD international address
- Twitter Plays, the WTD edition
- The enthusiasm with which Chicago embraced WTD
As I write this, my heart feels very full. I love the theatre. It has been my passion for the past twenty years. And being able to share that passion, the joy, the transformative power of theatre with the world has been a huge gift to me.
A very special shout-out to the amazing team of international superheros that made it all happen: Jessica Hutchinson and Nick Keenan in Chicago, Travis Bedard in Austin, Kate Foy in Brisbane, Andrew Eglinton in London, and Simon Ogden, Lois Dawson and Trilby Jeeves here in Vancouver.
I will leave you with this thought: at our last virtual planning meeting, someone used the term “cracking the egg” to describe what we were doing this year. And it’s true–this year we cracked it, next year, we will break that puppy wide open, and make some really tasty omelets!
Here’s to World Theatre Day, March 27, 2010. It’s going to rock!
Great to read this summary Rebecca. You and the rest of the WTD team pulled off an unlikely marketing feat: you took something that no one thought was anything and made it feel new and important. I had my doubts, even during the week leading up to the event. But as it grew closer, your net grew tighter and I began to get the distinct sense that this was not an event I wanted let pass unmarked. Still not sure how you did it, but I’m glad that I was made to feel a part of it.
A big win for the global theatre community. Nice job.
In the interest only of record correction, because I love the NY Neos and all that they do (and one day, by God, I hope to attend one of their performances at the Kraine in person)…the Augusto Boal statement linked to above was interpreted by John Pierson, a member of Chicago’s troupe of Neo-Futurists, alongside two students of his performance workshop, in our space in Chicago.
And what a thrill it was to work with you lot ‘up there’ – so near despite the tyranny of distance.
As Ian puts it, a big win for the global theatre community.
I loved feeling I was part of something bigger, and theatrical. World Theatre Day gave me permission to indulge in a world I love, and share with a whole new virtual tribe. Thank you for letting me in, and “crack on” for next year!
We need T-shirts:
“World Theatre Day 2009: Cracking the Egg”
And then a picture of the earth being cracked open.
[…] are already a handful of World Theatre Day 2009 round-ups online. You can find them here. And here. And here. And here. And here. But now it’s my turn to weigh in on […]