International Theatre Institute (UK)
The UK Centre of the International Theatre Institute
The international network for the performing arts
ITI is based at the Alhambra Theatre, Morecambe, in the North West of England, and in London. We hope to also start a base for activities in Edinburgh in 2020. ITI’s international headquarters recently moved from Paris to Shanghai.
Who we are
• The International Theatre Institute is the world’s largest performing arts organisation with centres in almost 100 countries. It is a part of the Unesco umbrella of culture organisations and is non-funding but works as a platform to network and share work globally.
• ITI works with co-operating member organisations like the Professional Association of Canadian Theatre, Australia’s National Institute of Dramatic Art and its Short+Sweet Theatre, and India’s National School of Drama.
• Partner international organisations include the European Federation of Professional Circus Schools (FEDEC), the International Music Council (IMC) and the World Mime Organisation (WMO).
That’s an impressive lot of know-how at your fingertips.
What we do
ITI UK works to create within within the UK that promote international spirit of the performing arts, and to create collaborations with ITI centres overseas. To make this happen, we are working on a UK-specific approach to international work that best allows UK performing arts interface with the rest of the ITI countries and vice-versa.
There wasn’t an ITI UK Centre for a number of years until we formed in 2017, and we’re busy reconnecting the UK with the other centres of the world network of the International Theatre Institute.
The Unesco connection
All ITI Centres promote the ITI idea of world change via the performing arts, making life better, getting people to communicate better. This rests on the charter created by Unesco.
ITI was started up in 1948, a year after the Edinburgh International Festival and Fringe, by Unesco, the world’s United Nations for culture, in collaboration with a forward-thinking team of theatre and dance experts that included British figures such as director Tyrone Guthrie, writer JB Priestley and Unesco’s first director general, biologist and internationalist Julian Huxley.
As with the founding of the Edinburgh International Festival a year before, they put forward their belief that theatre needed an official voice after the devastation of World War II because artists “could and should communicate across borders even when their governments might not”.
A global network for all
ITI’s vision includes projects like creating a World Performing Arts Capital and a World Theatre Festival, and it also focuses on diversity, education, young people and empowering new audiences. Equal access, equal opportunities is the rule. Certainly membership of ITI isn’t the only route to making world change – and the UK performing arts already do a huge amount of positive work in this respect – but there is also something in the idea of the world working together for a common goal.
World Theatre Day & International Dance Day
World Theatre Day takes place across the globe each year on March 27. It is organised by ITI national centres with the international performing arts community – with the emphasis on theatre.
International Dance Day takes place across the globe on April 29 and is organised by ITI’s International Dance Committee. As with World Theatre Day, there isn’t a fixed agenda but involved any (hopefully free) activity in any medium that publicises dance and the wider performing arts.
How does ITI represent the performing arts?
ITI uses the world ‘theatre’ to represent all of the performing arts. ITI is therefore home to the International Dance Committee, the International Festival Forum, the International Monodrama Forum, the International Playwrights’ Forum, the Music Theatre Committee and the Young Practitioners’ Committee. Other ITI activities include committees for promoting Theatre Education and Training, and Artists Rights, Cultural Identity and Development.
Contacts & links
ITI co-directors are: Nick Awde, Stefania Bochicchio, Fin Ross Russell
Phone: Nick Awde +44 (0)7961 154590, Stefania Bochicchio +44 (0)7990 573622
* * *