The Art of the Business

A blog dedicated to artists who are serious about their business.

Why I love the theatre March 3, 2010

Filed under: World Theatre Day — Rebecca Coleman @ 7:49 am
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World Theatre Day is less than a month away. Plans are in full swing.

Last year, Ian MacKenzie, a writer from Toronto, came up with the idea of a World Theatre Day meme. For those of you that are new to this concept (and I certainly was), Wikipedia defines a meme as

a catchphrase or concept that spreads rapidly from person to person via the Internet, largely through Internet-based email, blogs, forums, Internet-based social networking sites and Internet-based instant messaging. The term derives from the original concept of memes, although it has come to refer to a much more narrowly defined category of cultural information.

Ian’s idea was to take a picture of us standing on our favorite theatre books–the books that had supported us throughout our career in the theatre. You can see the results here.

Us WTD10 faciliators loved this idea, and wanted to do it again. So, we are asking people to create a short video, 1-2 minutes long, on the theme of “Why I love the theatre” OR “What theatre means to me.” Once you’ve created your video, go to this URL for further instructions about how to share it with the world.

Here is mine:

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2010 World Theatre Day Message: Dame Judi Dench February 15, 2010

Filed under: World Theatre Day — Rebecca Coleman @ 8:33 am
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I was very excited to discover the author of this year’s World Theatre Day address, an actor for whom I have the greatest esteem, and who is a “woman of a certain age”, to boot!

Ladies and Gentlemen, Dame Judi Dench:

World Theatre Day is an opportunity to celebrate Theatre in all its myriad forms. Theatre is a source of entertainment and inspiration and has the ability to unify the many diverse cultures and peoples that exist throughout the world. But theatre is more than that and also provides opportunities to educate and inform.

Theatre is performed throughout the world and not always in a traditional theatre setting. Performances can occur in a small village in Africa, next to a mountain in Armenia, on a tiny island in the Pacific. All it needs is a space and an audience. Theatre has the ability to make us smile, to make us cry, but should also make us think and reflect.

Theatre comes about through team work. Actors are the people who are seen, but there is an amazing set of people who are not seen. They are equally as important as the actors and their differing and specialist skills make it possible for a production to take place. They too must share in any triumphs and successes that may hopefully occur.

March 27 is always the official World Theatre Day. In many ways every day should be considered a theatre day, as we have a responsibility to continue the tradition to entertain, to educate and to enlighten our audiences, without whom we couldn’t exist.

This message is meant to be read prior to curtain on March 27, World Theatre Day.

To see a full list of all the theatre artists that have written the WTD addres through the years, click here.

 

How will you celebrate March 27? January 25, 2010

Filed under: World Theatre Day — Rebecca Coleman @ 12:33 am
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March 27 you say? Saturday? What’s the big deal about March 27?

World Theatre Day!!

First a bit of background. As you know,  I am a theatre publicist, and for the past two years, I have done publicity for our local GVPTA WTD celebrations. I have also been blogging for a little over a year. Last year, while we were planning our WTD celebrations, I started thinking “what if we made WTD a truly international celebration? What if there was a place on the internet where people could share their WTD stories, and also get information about WTD, its mandate, and ideas about how to celebrate it in their own communities?”

So, I put the word out through Twitter, and in short order, we assembled an amazing, skilled team of facilitators from all over the world. Some of whom, while they were theatre artists, had never heard of World Theatre Day.

We got the blessing of the ITI, and the World Theatre Day Blog was the result. If you page back, or look at our Tumblog, you’ll see all the amazing and awesome ways that theatre artists from all over the world celebrated March 27, 2009.

My "Standing on Books" meme from last year's WTD

This year, we need your help to make WTD 2010 an even greater success!

Here are some things you can do to celebrate World Theatre Day in your community:

  • Go to a play, and take a friend.
  • Organize a play reading in your community
  • Write, videotape, or record why you love theatre, and email it to frabbaurt633@tumblr.com
  • Read the World Theatre Day International Address (this year’s has not been published yet, but you can believe the second it is, it’ll be on both blogs!)  prior to curtain at your theatre, or include it as a handout in your theatre’s program. Ask a local favorite actor or dignitary to read it. If you can, record this reading by photos, video or audio, and email it (or the link, if you are uploading it to Flickr, or YouTube) to frabbaurt633@tumblr.com. It will automatically post to the Tumblog.
  • If you have a blog, write a post about what you are doing to celebrate World Theatre Day in your area, then email the URL to findbex@gmail.com. We will cross-post your entry on the WTD blog.
  • If you don’t have a blog, please email your story directly to us, and we will post it on the blog.
  • Offer backstage tours of your theatre to the local community
  • Offer open rehearsals to your community
  • Offer discounted or free tickets.
  • Offer open readings to your community.
  • Share photos of your production and photos of your cast and crew with your audience to the World Theatre Day media hub.
  • Distribute theatre-related books, scripts etc. around your part of the world for example, Book Crossings (http://www.bookcrossing.com), ‘release your books’ in a public place – theatre foyers; coffee shops; park benches etc. Put a sticker on the front saying something like, ‘I’m free. Please give me a home. Happy World Theatre Day!’
  • Work up a flash mob. Gather people together in a particular place at a particular time to ‘do’ something theatre-related e.g., everyone gathered reads a sonnet in a supermarket or just freezes at a particular time reading an obviously theatre-related book, then moves on after 1 minute’s freeze. Guaranteed to attract attention! Hurry! the GVPTA’s deadline for Flashmob submissions is this Friday, January 29. Email your submission to info@gvpta.ca. For more information, click here.

One new thing we are going to try to facilitate this year is to make connections, via technology, between theatres in different cities, or even countries. If you are planning on having a WTD celebration party, let us know, and we will try to hook you up, via Skype or some other means, with another city who is doing the same thing.

For more information and suggestions, as well as a media release template, download the Getting Started Toolkit.

After all, World Theatre Day is about us celebrating how amazing the work that we do every day is!

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Augusto Boal Dies May 2, 2009

Filed under: World Theatre Day — Rebecca Coleman @ 3:48 pm
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I was stunned to receive this email today from Carla Estefan, with whom we had quite a lot of contact during our World augusto_boal_klTheatre Day celebrations. Augusto Boal was the given the honour of writing this year’s World Theatre Day International Address.

The playwright and theater director, Augusto Boal, died in the early hours of today, at 78 years, of respiratory failure in the Samaritan Hospital in the district of Botafogo, Rio. He suffered from leukemia and was hospitalized  since April 28. The location and time of the funeral have not been disclosed.

The work of Boal, who was also essayist and theorist of theater, gained prominence in the 1960s and 1970s, when he  created the Theater of the Oppressed, which was internationally recognized by combining drama to social action.

Boal  graduated with a degree in Chemistry fromthe Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) in 1950, but then traveled to the United States, where he studied dramatic arts at Columbia University. Back in Brazil, his first piece as a director was Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck, which garnered him an award from the  APCA (São Paulo Association of Art Critics). He directed of the show Opinião, with Zé Kette, João do Vale and Nara Leão, which went down in history as an act of resistance to the military coup of 1964.

From Boal’s WTD International Address:

Weddings and funerals are “spectacles”, but so, also, are daily rituals so familiar that we are not conscious of this. Occasions of pomp and circumstance, but also the morning coffee, the exchanged good-mornings, timid love and storms of passion, a senate session or a diplomatic meeting – all is theatre.

Participate in the “spectacle” which is about to begin and once you are back home, with your friends act your own plays and look at what you were never able to see: that which is obvious. Theatre is not just an event; it is a way of life!

We are all actors: being a citizen is not living in society, it is changing it.

Boal was a man who truly used theatre to change the world. A bright light has gone out today, and he will be sorely missed.

Read the entire WTD address.

Read my interview with David Diamond, Boal’s colleague here in Vancouver.

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World Theatre Day: the afterglow… April 2, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized,World Theatre Day — Rebecca Coleman @ 12:42 pm
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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 wtd-avatar2_glowover 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:

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!

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Happy World Theatre Day! March 27, 2009

Filed under: World Theatre Day — Rebecca Coleman @ 8:42 am
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I feel like it’s Christmas–the last few weeks of preparation have finally come to this: March 27–World Theatre Day!wtd-avatar2

Help us celebrate by going to the theatre, participating in a reading, aor  backstage tour. Introduce a friend to the theatre. Join the fun at one of the after parties.

Follow along on the World Theatre Day blog, or follow our Twitter feed.

I am so happy and proud to be one of you.

HAPPY WORLD THEATRE DAY!

 

Hey, Vancouver–Come Celebrate Theatre: International Style! March 20, 2009

Filed under: Blogging,World Theatre Day — Rebecca Coleman @ 6:34 am
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A while back, I posted about a new blog that I started with a group of theatre artists from around the world to celebrate World Theatre Day on a truly international basis. Since then, we have changed the URL of the blog to http://worldtheatreday.org, and its look has been improved greatly, thanks to WordPress expertise of some of my fellow bloggers.

On World Theatre Day, March 27, the blog will act as a central hub for Theatre artists to connect and share thier celebrations with the rest of the world. So be sure to check the blog regularly on March 26, 27 and 28 (because people will be posting from different time zones).

Here in Vancouver, The GVPTA has a raft of stuff you can do to celebrate WTD. But the big party will be happening from 10:30 pm on at The Other Space (formerly The Queen Elizabeth Restaraunt, home of Hoarse Raven and Tony ‘n’ Tina’s Wedding). We will have the blog up on a computer there, so that you can check out the celebrations around the world, and perhaps add to them yourself!

See you there! If not in person, then virtually….

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