Alexander Morfov >> news >> archive | 27.03.2016 

World Theatre Day 2016. Be inspired! 

       The world celebration of theatre is only a few days away. This year's message published by the International Theatre Institute under the umbrella of UNESCO to all who love and work in theatre is written by Anatoly Vassiliev. Vassiliev is a noted Russian theatre director and one of the leading European contemporary stage directors. He is artistic director of the Moscow Theatre "School of Dramatic Arts", Théâtre de l'Europe, and professor of drama in Lyon, France. We publish a redacted version of the unofficial English translation made by Natalia Isaeva: 

Do we need theatre?


This question is raised by thousands of professionals disappointed in theatre and by millions of people who are tired of it.


What do we need it for?


In these years when the stage is so insignificant in comparison with the city squares and state lands, where the authentic tragedies of real life are being played.


What is it to us?


Gold-plated galleries and balconies in the theatre halls, velvet armchairs, dirty stage wings, well-polished actors' voices, - or on the contrary, black boxes, stained with mud and blood, with a few insane naked bodies inside.


What can it tell us?




Theatre can tell us everything.


How the gods dwell in heaven, and how prisoners languish in forgotten caves underground, and how passion can elevate us, while love can devastate us, and how the good person is now obsolete in this world, and how deception reigns, and how people live in apartments, while children wither in refugee camps, but then they are forced to return back to the desert, and how day after day we part with our beloveds, - theatre can tell everything.


The theatre has always been and it will always be.


And now, in those last fifty or seventy years, it is particularly needed. Because among all public arts only theatre is giving us - a word from mouth to mouth, a glance from eye to eye, a gesture from hand to hand, and from body to body. It is the ultimate go-between for the human beings - it constitutes the most translucent side of light, it does not belong to either south, or north, or east, or west - it is the essence of light itself, shining from all four corners of the world, immediately recognisable by any person, whether hostile or friendly. 


We need theatre in all its variety. 


Still, I think that among all possible forms and shapes of theatre its archaic forms will now prove to be most needed. Theatre of ritual should not be artificially opposed to that of “civilized” nations. Secular culture is now being more and more emasculated, "cultural information" is erasing simple entities, making us incapable of recognising them.


The theatre is open. Admission is free.


The hell with gadgets and computers - just go to the theatre, occupy whole rows in the stalls and in the galleries, listen to the words and look at living images! - it is theatre in front of you, do not neglect it and do not deprive yourself from it, regardless of your hurried life.


We need every kind of theatre.


There is only one kind of theatre which is unnecessary - that of political games, the theatre of political "mousetraps", the futile theatre of politicians and of politics. What we certainly do not need is the theatre of daily terror - individual and collective; what we do not need is the theatre of corpses and blood on the streets and squares, in the capitals or around the country, the theatre of clashes between religions and nations... 



       In the evening of 27-th March the Union of Bulgarian Actors will traditionally hold the ceremony of the Icarus awards at the Ivan Vazov National Theatre. 


Find more translations of the message and more information about the author here

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