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Started by the ITI (International Theatre Institute) in 1961, World Theatre Day is a special event celebrated on March 27 of every year, on a global scale. On this day, various theatre events are organised at both national and international levels to mark the occasion, which was first celebrated on March 27, 1962, exactly one year after its inception. One thing which is synonymous with World Theatre Day is the World Theatre Day Message, which is written by a well-known international figure, invited by the ITI. The invited person shares their insights on a theme related to theatre and international peace. The first person to write the World Theatre Day Message (in 1962) was Jean Cocteau.
The World Theatre Day Message is usually conveyed in more than 50 translations for easy understanding by the millions of theatre fans across the world, and it is transmitted by at least 100 television and radio stations in five continents. Having gained tremendous popularity over the years, World Theatre Day is today celebrated at more than 90 ITI centres, scattered throughout the globe. Institutions, including theatre schools, academies, and universities also commemorate this day.
The goals of World Theatre Day, among others, include: