The International Theatre Institute (ITI), an international non-governmental organization (NGO), was founded in Prague in 1948 by UNESCO and the international theatre community. Today, the mission of ITI is to promote the international exchange of knowledge and practice in theatre arts in order to consolidate peace and friendship between peoples, to deepen mutual understanding and increase creative co-operation between all people in the theatre arts.
To achieve this mission, the ITI:
- encourages activities and creation in the field of the live performing arts (drama, dance, music theatre);
- aims to expand existing collaborations between performing arts disciplines and organizations, both national and international;
- establishes international offices and fosters the establishment of ITI Centers in all countries;
- collects documents, disseminates all types of information and issues publications in the realm of the performing arts;
- cooperates actively in the development of the “Theatre of Nations” and encourages and coordinates the organization of theatrical congresses, workshops and meetings of experts, as well as festivals, exhibitions and competitions, both on regional and interregional levels, in cooperation with its members;
- defends the free development of the performing arts and contributes to the protection of the rights of performing arts professionals.
All ITI Centers are guided by the principles of mutual respect of the national traditions of each country. ITI members are asked to serve on Committees – each with their own organizational structure, funding and activities. Members of a committee are delegates of their ITI Center. The committees include:
Communication, Cultural Identity and Development, Dramatic Theatre, International Dance, Music Theatre, Theatre Education and Training, Young Practitioners, the International Festival Forum, International Monodrama Forum, International Playwrights’ Forum and the The New Project Group.
In addition, ITI publishes the World of Theatre, the best reference guide available to explore the diversity of the current global dramatic scene.
All ITI centers are kept apprised of developments in U.S. theatre through complimentary subscriptions to American Theatre magazine, which regularly features international theatre developments and a monthly international festivals column.
ITI now includes approximately 92 Centers, Cooperating Members and Regional Offices which form the basis of the Institute's membership. An ITI Center is made up of professionals active in the theatre life of the country and representative of all branches of the performing arts. Its activities are conducted both on a national and international level.