World Theatre Day


Overview  Global Theater Initiative  International Theatre Institute

World Theatre Day  Global Offerings Resources


International Message  U.S. Message  U.S. Emergent Artist Message


World Theatre Day 2024 Messages:

Jon Fosse (International Message Author)
Luis Alfaro (U.S. Message Author)
Caitlin Nasema Cassidy (U.S. Emergent Artist Message)


About World Theatre Day

World Theatre Day was created in 1961 by the International Theatre Institute (ITI), and is celebrated annually on March 27 by global ITI centers and the international theatre community. Various national and international theatre events are organized to celebrate an international message and remarks from national cultural leaders. The Global Theater Initiative (GTI), a partnership between Theatre Communications Group (TCG) and the Laboratory for Global Performance & Politics (the Lab), encourages U.S. theatres, individual artists, institutions and audiences to celebrate the occasion annually on the 27th of March.

Since 1962, World Theatre Day has been celebrated by the circulation of the World Theatre Day Message through which, at the invitation of ITI, a figure of world stature shares their reflections on the theme of Theatre and a Culture of Peace. The first World Theatre Day international message was written by Jean Cocteau in 1962. Succeeding honorees have included Arthur Miller (1963), Ellen Stewart (1975), Vaclav Havel (1994), Ariane Mnouchkine (2005), Sultan bin Mohammad Al Qasimi (2007), Augusto Boal (2009), Dame Judi Dench (2010), Jessica A. Kaahwa (2011).

In GTI's role as the U.S. center of ITI, a U.S.-based author is chosen to circulate a national message for World Theatre Day in addition to the international message. Past U.S. honorees have included Mildred Ruiz-Sapp and Steven Sapp (2021), Indigenous Direction (2019), Heather Raffo (2018), Kwame Kwei-Armah (2017), Ping Chong (2016), Diane Rodriguez (2014), Jeffrey Wright (2011) and Lynn Nottage (2010). 

In 2022, for the first time, GTI invited a U.S.-based Emergent Artist to pen a message and that author was storyteller/activist Jasmin Cardenas. This is now a continuing feature of the U.S. celebration of World Theatre Day.

To learn more about World Theatre Day, visit the official website at