Ghana will join the rest of the world to celebrate the World Theatre Day on March 27th.
The World Theatre Day (WTD),initiated by the International Theatre Institute (ITI) in 1961, has been celebrated since 1962 as an annual global celebration that fosters the values of Theatre as an art form.
The day is also set aside to commemorate the art form “Theater” which is celebrated by ITI Centres, Cooperating members, Theatre professionals, Theatre universities, Theatre organizations and Theatre enthusiasts.
It is a day that Theatre practitioners call to action the government, politicians as well as institutions and individuals to realize the potential of Theatre to improve every aspect of life.
Different forms of events are organized at both national and international levels to mark the occasion around the world.
The celebration is graced with the circulation of the WTD message by a figure of world stature, invited by the ITI.
The message will reflect on the theme of Theatre and the Culture of Peace.
Hellen Mirren, the award winning stage, screen and television actress is the author for this year’s WTD message.
In Ghana, due to Covid 19 restrictions, a 10 minutes’ skit from the play, “Ghana Motion” written by R. A Cantey, will be streamed live on the National Theater’s social media platforms to commemorate this year’s celebration.
Mr. William Ashong, the Programmes Manager of the National Theatre, said, “Due to the restrictions, we are not going to mark the day by doing anything physical in terms of the usual performances outside the theatre or within the theatre”
According to him, in previous years, the celebrations had been marked with various forms of Theatre targeted at the public in an attempt to change the wrong perceptions about Theatre and to spread the knowledge of the values of the art form.
“We did something with the New Horizon School, as part of the World Theatre Day, we presented to and performed with the kids,” he added.
He also said the economic benefits of Theatre had been underestimated as “Theatre generated a great deal of economic benefits for the country; personnel are hired and paid, hotels, food vendors, restaurants and transport services are the downstream value chain associated with productions”.
Dr. Francis Gbormitta, a lecturer of the University of Ghana School of Performing Arts and the President of the Ghana Writer’s Association (GAW), said “If only theatre personnel would explore the benefits that came with using social media platforms such as YouTube, to generate revenue, theatre will thrive in this COVID era.”
According to Mr. Isaac Annor, the Music Director, National Symphony Orchestra, Theater had a lot of benefits that had been overlooked by the Government as well as the general public.
He said that Theatre was one of the sectors that had not been affected by the COVID 19 toll on the economy.
He informed that the art form was very therapeutic and had many benefits for individuals and institutions.
Mr. Annor also spoke about two special cases where there were two autistic persons whose motor skills improved as well as their social skills after participating in activities in the National Theater.
He said, “Theatre is something I believe we should actually support… It is also proven that, any child who is a ‘C’ or a ‘D’ student when he or she gets into any of these disciplines becomes better, it is called the Mozart effect.”