Skip to Content

World Theatre Day

Created in 1961 by UNESCO, World Theatre Day is celebrated annually on March 27 by theatre communities around the globe. The impetus behind World Theatre Day is to honour and further the goal of UNESCO’s International Theatre Institute (ITI) to celebrate the power of theatre to serve as an indispensable bridge-builder for mutual international understanding and peace as well as to promote and protect cultural diversity and identity in communities throughout the world. 

In Canada it has also become a national rallying cry to policy-makers and partners as to the importance of supporting this sector  




World-class theatre is being created every day across this country, by companies large and small, rural and urban. With studies reporting a national rise in feelings of loneliness and isolation, Canada’s theatres offer a vital opportunity. Theatre is about connection – the spark between audience and performers as the curtain rises, the shared experience as a community, and the conversations that linger after the final bow 

The International Theatre Institute (ITI) commissions an international message each year in celebration of World Theatre Day. Since 1962, World Theatre Day has been celebrated by ITI Centres, ITI Cooperating Members, theatre professionals, theatre organizations, theatre universities and theatre lovers all over the world on the 27th of March. This day is a celebration for those who can see the value and importance of the art form “theatre”, and acts as a wake-up-call for governments, politicians and institutions which have not yet recognized its value to the people and to the individual and have not yet realized its potential for economic growth. 

The World Theatre Day message for 2024 is written by Jon FosseRead the message.

Past Canadian World Theatre Day Messengers