WTD 2012: Being John Malkovich for the World

John Malkovich

This year, World Theatre Day’s international message is from one of the world’s great actors: John Malkovich.

WTD, started by UNESCO’s International Theatre Institute (ITI), is an annual international event held on March 27 to celebrate theatre’s connection to our lives and our dreams. The day marks the 1962 anniversary of the “Theatre of Nations” festival in Paris. Theatre of Nations began one of modern time’s most significant traditions in the arts: the opportunity for artists across cultures and nations (and iron curtains) to meet, perform, and share their visions of the world with international audiences.

Each year, one artist is chosen to present the WTD’s International Message, which is disseminated from cultural outlets and read from stages all over the world.

Here is John Malkovich’s message:

I’m honored to have been asked by the International Theatre Institute ITI at UNESCO to give this greeting commemorating the 50th anniversary of World Theatre Day.
I will address my brief remarks to my fellow theatre workers, peers and comrades.
May your work be compelling and original.
May it be profound, touching, contemplative, and unique.
May it help us to reflect on the question of what it means to be human, and may that reflection be blessed with heart, sincerity, candor, and grace.
May you overcome adversity, censorship, poverty and nihilism, as many of you will most certainly be obliged to do.
May you be blessed with the talent and rigor to teach us about the beating of the human heart in all its complexity, and the humility and curiosity to make it your life’s work.
And may the best of you - for it will only be the best of you, and even then only in the rarest and briefest moments - succeed in framing that most basic of questions, “how do we live?”

This year, maybe we should all try to be John Malkovich.

- Bill Reichblum

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