World Theatre Day is celebrated annually on the 27th of March. Various national and international theatre events are organized to mark the occasion, but many events are local with the purpose of drawing attention to theatre and international harmony.
In Kenya the event was held at the Kenya Institute of Education.
The Guest of honour was the Chief Executive Officer of the Kenya Film Classification Board, Dr. Ezekiel Mutua.
The Cultural Counselor of the Embassy of Islamic Republic of Iran also gave a splendid speech on the situation of theatre in Iran.
The following is the excerpt of his speech.
In the Name of God
The Compassionate, the Merciful
The CEO Kenya Film Classification Board
Guests from the Department of Culture
Ladies and Gentlemen
It is my pleasure to be here with you today for the World Theatre Day Celebration in Kenya.
I am happy to be with the experts in the arts and culture sector and especially the experts of theatre in Kenya.
Theatre is a very important art because apart from being a powerful form of entertainment, theatre can also be used to educate the society. A lot of social changes can be made through theatre.
Historically, theater and film have been closely connected in many ways. But my personal opinion is that, theatres have had a very big influence on film.
I believe great movie stars around the world today were at one time great theater artists.
In my speech today I would like to focus on the situation of Theatre in the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Since the beginning of history, Iran had a unique cultural identity. Today, the rich art and culture of Iran has greatly influenced other nations, throughout the world.
The Islamic Republic of Iran has an active theatre industry.
From street theatres to religious-theatre (Ta’azieh), to creative fusion of the traditional and the modern theatre, to Kheymeh Shab Bazi which means puppet plays in my language, Iran has a lot to offer to theatre-lovers.
The government of Iran is also in the front to support the work of Iranian theatre artist very seriously. The Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance has named the last two years 2016 and 2017 the “Year of Theatre” and has allocated more budget to the development of drama, and theatre.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Iran also organizes International Theatre Festivals every year. The Fadjr International Theatre Festival which is the largest and oldest theatre festival in the Middle East.
This year is the 36th edition of the Fadjr International Theater Festival.
Over 200 performances are done during the festival. Over 30 countries are invited to participate including Germany, Spain, Japan, and South Korea, to name a few.
Kenya has also been taking part in the storytelling festival in Iran in which so far 5 Kenyan storytellers have taken part. Just this year in February John Nami from Nairobi took part in storytelling festival in Iran.
Broadly speaking, the Value of Culture and the arts cannot be underestimated as maintain our individual and collective Cultural identities and build our respective communities.
In light of this, my office here in Nairobi is always ready to promote, partner with artist and all those in the Cultural fraternity so that we can strengthen this sector.
We are also ready to give Scholarship for Kenyan Students to Study Art and Theatre in Iran
I look forward to building on the positive working relationship with you .
Thank You very much for listening to me.