World Theatre Day

World Theatre Day is celebrated every year on March 27 to celebrate the beauty and importance of the theatre arts, the role theatre plays in the entertainment industry, and the significance it plays in our life. 

The International Theatre Institute (ITI) celebrated the first World Theatre Day in 1962 to support the celebration of theatre on a global scale. 

The history of theatre begins in Ancient Greece where tragedies evolved on the stage in the 5th century BC. Sophocles is considered one of the great tragic playwrights who focused on complex, personal plots with character interactions driving the drama. Oedipus Rex is considered his greatest work. 

Greek comedies were also popular in the 5th century, with an annual competition being held in Athens. Aristophanes was a well-known comedic playwright, relying on satirizing contemporary issues in unexpected ways. Lysistrata is one of his better known works where the women of Athens and Sparta band together to end the Peloponnesian War.

Theatre continued to grow and evolve throughout history, serving as both a form of entertainment and social commentary on important issues of the day. Social upheavals like the French Revolution helped to transform modern theatre as we know it, creating a theatre experience accessible and enjoyable for a growing middle class. As countries across Europe and the United States experienced their own industrial revolutions, rapidly growing cities and their residents craved entertainment, and theatres were established to address that desire.

There are many different forms of theatre that are popular around the world. Italy is considered the birthplace of opera. Aida by Giuseppe Verdi is quite popular and was also adapted into a Broadway musical. Broadway, also known as the Great White Way, is an iconic aspect of life in New York City. Famous musicals like The Lion King and Wicked have been performing for more than a decade and have delighted audiences. Plays like Angels in America and August: Osage County are serious dramas that rank in the most successful non-musical shows on Broadway.

If you’re looking for some great theatre performances to watch at home, be sure to check out Kanopy, a streaming service you can access for free with your Yonkers Public Library card. Famous plays like Anna Karenina, King Lear, and many more are available to watch. 

You can alsocheck out DVDs of adaptations of many famous plays from the Yonkers Public Library. Be sure to ask a librarian at your local branch for some recommendations. 

Alison Robles is a part-time page at the Crestwood Library. She is an avid reader with a passion for YA lit, history and science fiction. A Yonkers native, she graduated from Iona University in 2020 with a dual-degree in Marketing and Public Relations.

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