Let There Be Theatre
(in association with Aurora Nova and 100 other producers all around the globe)
Let There Be Theatre was created to mark the anniversary of Friday the 13th of March 2020, in which most theatres had to shut down all around the globe
On March 13, 2021 to mark the anniversary of the shut down, from a prison in Mexico, to a local theatre in Pakistan, from Guatemala to New York, 120 producers across the globe put on White Rabbit, Red Rabbit at 8 pm local time.
The Premise: Friday the 13th of March 2020 was the day most theatres in the world had to shut down* Initially it was thought that the closure would last just one month or maybe two or until July at the very latest. It soon became clear that most venues had to remain dark until now - January 2021: the longest theatre shutdown in modern history.
We want to mark the anniversary of that day by creating an extraordinary global event that celebrates theatre and the resilience of our sector. An event that generates much needed income as well as hope and inspiration at this time of uncertainty and isolation. On the 13th of March 2021 we want a play to be staged in every country in the world. A play which is living proof that creativity can overcome adversity.
The story behind the idea: Ten years ago, almost to the day, I performed in a show at the Fadjr Festival in Tehran**. At the festival hotel I was introduced to a young unpublished playwright, who did not have a passport, because he had refused to do military service. In order to get his work in front of an audience, he had devised a play that had to be performed as a cold read, without the need of a director, set or rehearsals. All it needed was for a brave performer to agree to read a text in front of a live audience, without first knowing what the play was about. I liked this young man and loved his idea and spontaneously agreed to help produce his show at the Edinburgh Fringe later that year. When I finally saw the show performed live, I realised what this playwright had achieved. Through the power of his words alone he had written himself to freedom.
Now, ten years on, the play White Rabbit Red Rabbit has become one of the most widely performed plays in the world. It has been translated into over 30 languages and been performed by some of the most respected actors in the business. The playwright, Nassim Soleimanpour now lives in Berlin and realises that our world is trapped, much like he was ten years ago. So the idea was born to offer his play as a vehicle to connect and empower producers, artists and audiences around the world.
The Invitation: You are invited to produce White Rabbit Red Rabbit on the 13th of March, 2021 completely free of charge. The performance can happen in any kind of venue, large or small, indoors or outdoors, whatever you have access to and which is allowed under your local COVID restrictions. You may keep all income you receive for the performance but you are encouraged to donate a portion of the takings to a worthy cause, to aid someone in your community in need of help. (Although it also would be completely fine if that someone is yourself.) All you need to do is to find a suitable performer who can be of any gender or occupation (it doesn't have to be a trained actor). It is imperative however that they do not know the play or see the script before performing it in front of an audience. Think of the most famous person you call your friend!