It’s March 27th again. A day stamped by UNESCO as World Theatre Day 50 years ago in that way that organizations will… slapping a name on a day as though that could make it special. It can’t of course. And every year there is a susurration of tuts and tsks from the keyboards of those around the world who think that such a day is ridiculous. And they’re right of course. But so is every holiday. Every Birth Day and Christmas Day and Arbor Day and Flag Day and Opening Day is no more or less special than any other day – save what we bring to it.
Theatremakers work hard for small tangible reward and highly variable intangible rewards. We fight for the scraps of municipal budgets that are literally too small to be full line items in municipal construction budgets. We work ridiculous hours, many at more than one job, to feed our energy into an art form that even its adherents mostly consider an anachronism.
And just like every other job that grinds us down, sometimes we need cake. Cake and some friends and a drink and a blessing for a slightly easier load tomorrow. That’s honestly what World Theatre Day has been for me. 4 years ago Rebecca Coleman asked an open question on Twitter as to who wanted in on making World Theatre Day a big ol’ international event. As I was saying just this evening, all of the best things happen to me when I don’t say no…
I met some of the most amazing people in those planning sessions. That year I directed a reading of 7 Jewish Children (that Ms. Churchill viewed herself via livesteam) and the relationships built there led to the plasma that eventually became #2amt.
Cake. Friends. And a slightly easier load tomorrow.
I can’t bring you all cake… though there will be cake here in Austin. Friends in the flesh I can’t promise either. But there’ll be plenty of folks around online all day, brothers and sisters who understand what you do, what you’re trying to do, what you hope to do, and are more than happy to cheer you along as you do it. If you don’t want to make a new friend? Call an old friend and tell stories of long ago. Record an I Am Theatre video (because you are), or just write up a theatre war story you love and share it with us all.
For a lighter tomorrow, lord knows I can’t promise anything like it. But I offer you this wish for your next year:
I wish you work that you are proud of, done for people who can see the you in it. I wish you moments of inspiration that wake you from a stone cold sleep with a need to share it. I wish you connections to people who inspire you and challenge you to become the you you told yourself you would be some day. I wish you the words, the color, the texture, the sounds, the movement that finally helps you say the things you’ve been needing to say, and the space to say it in.
Happy World Theatre Day.
It’s your day.