Thursday, April 2, 2009

Why Theatre: or, What I Loved About World Theatre Day

There 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 it.

In the lead up to World Theatre Day there was a lot of discussion about "Why Theatre?" It was blogged (and again and again). It was videoed a few times. I spent a lot of time thinking about it, but never got as far as writing about it. But here's what it boils down to for me: I tried to get out, and I couldn't.

I did some theatre in high school - stage managed a couple of shows, designed a poster, built some sets & hung some lights. And I liked it. But I didn't see it as something that I could make a career out of. Someone else, sure. But I was cut out for something different. I was going to study PR & marketing, and I was going to work in the music industry doing that.

So I went into university looking to do that. I declared a Communications major (& media certification) before I took my first class and I was ready to conquer the world. But I needed some fine arts electives, so why not just take 1 credit worth of production. Well, 1 credit turned into 3 and soon I found myself declaring a theatre minor. And then a theatre concentration. And then I was stage managing a professional show while still in school. It was only after that experience that I went to my adviser and re-wrote the graduation requirements so that I could do a theatre major without upper level acting classes. Even then I still kept the communications major, just in case.

But here I am, a couple of years out of school and still doing this crazy thing called theatre full time. And I'm here because theatre pursued me and won me.

But now you're wondering what the heck does any of that have to do with World Theatre Day.

For me, World Theatre Day was all about celebrating this crazy thing I love to do & inviting others who love it to celebrate with me. Sure, as Rebecca pointed out, Vancouver's events weren't that well attended, but those of us who were there had fun (see myself & Simon at left). I even stage managed a special World Theatre Day show here in Vancouver. Even more important than any events at a local level was the international co-operation that truely made this a WORLD theatre day. With each online meeting of the facilitation team excitement grew and new relationships were formed. There are still ways to get involved in WTD09. Have you submitted a photo of yourself standing on books yet? Ian over at Theatre is Territory is collecting them from the tumblr site and you can submit yours by e-mailing it to The idea is that the photos will be used to create a commemorative poster from this year's event.

Already people are talking about 2010 and all the things they want to try out, and 2009 has barely wrapped up. I've got to say, I'm looking forward to it.

1 comment:

Kate Foy said...

It often happens that way - I mean that people 'fall in' to theatre, the way you fall in love I think. I have a theory that there's a genetic predisposition in some people where theatre is concerned.

I got it at a very early age.

And it was terrific meeting you through this amazing online theatre project. Up for more of the same in 2010?