Good news from Srilankan theatre for Tamils
Sri Lankan theatre reawakens
National Drama Festival 2009 ends in glamour:
* Best drama – Rajiths Dissanayake’s Apasu Herenna Bae
* Best director – Rajitha Dissanayake for Apasu Herenna Bae
* Best script – K.B. Herath’s Jaganma
* Best actor – Saumya Liyanage for Apasu Herenna Bae
* Best actress – Madhini Malwattha for Jaganma
* Best supporting actor – Jehan Srikantha for Ahisinkeyenge Aramaya
* Best supporting actress – Jayani Senanayake for Apasu Herenna Bae
* Best music – Shantha Peries for Jaganma
* Best stage management – Malith Peries and Hewage Bandual for Apasu Herenna Bae
* Best make up artist – Sumedha Hewavitharana for Ahinsekeyenge Aramaya
* Best stage decor – Vijitha Bandara for Velawa Keeyada?
* Best costumes – Lanka Bandaranaike for Ahinsekeyenge Aramaya
* Music – Sahan Ranwala and Pradeep Muthukudarachchi for Velawa Keeyada?
* Costumes – Kamal Kanthi Bogoda for Jaganma and Susanga Kandawalarachchi for Sihinawalata Paata Denna
* Best drama – K. Mohan Kumar’s Muttae
* Best supporting actor – K. Mohan Kumar for Muttae and D.V. Polraj for Al Kadalil Oru Sappam
* Best actor – K. Mohan Kumar for Muttae
* Best music – A. Charandas for Muttae
* Best stage setting – S. Pakyaraj for Al Kadalil Oru appam
* Best stage decor – S. sathyan for Al Kadalil Oru Sappam
* Best make up artist – Ambiga Surendra for Muttae
Another momentum for many a local dramatists was celebrated in their life drama as the 50th National Drama Festival concluded in a grand scale on November 19 at the BMICH.
The annual prime event of dramatists, organized by the cultural department and drama sub committee of the National Arts Council has marked
its silver jubilee this year. National Drama Festival Awards has been the apex appreciation ceremony for Sri Lankan stage dramas.
The impact and influence have been enormous at this annual event to enrich the Sri Lankan drama field. With the greatest difficulties it has been carried out through the past 50 years continuously by the organizers. The first National Drama Awards ceremony was held in 1959.
From the dramas staged during 2008, five Sinhala dramas and two Tamil dramas have been selected to the final round of 2009 National drama festival. It is for the first time in the history that Tamil stage dramas have been considered for these awards.
It has opened the screen to a new experience and will be an immense support for the progress of Tamil arts and culture in Sri Lanka. Twenty-four awards have been awarded in this year’s ceremony among various aspects of stage dramas.
After the welcome speech by the Cultural Affairs Director E. M. Abhayaratne, chief guest of the award ceremony Prime Minister Ratansiri Wickramanayaka addressed the gathering and pointed out the importance of wide range discussions in producing quality dramas.
He assured the Government’s support to the development of arts and dramas. Cultural and National Heritage Minister Mahinda Yapa Abeywardana emphasized the responsibility of artists in cultural and moral development in the society through self determination. Justice and Law reforms Deputy Minister V. Puthrasiganani made a fresh proposal to bring the English dramas in to the National Drama Festival. Chairman of the drama sub committee of the Sri Lanka Arts Council Dr. Patrick Ratnayake delivered a countdown speech about the history of National Drama Festival Awards ceremony. The jury chairperson Jayantha Chandrasiri briefed the audience about the judges’ assessment.
Rajitha Disanayaka’s Apasu Harenna Be received six awards including the best drama, best direction, best actor for 2009. The drama emerges the struggle between greed for power and wealth versus inner noble purity inside the human mind and how mankind eternally trapped in their expectations. Saumya Liyanage and Madini Malwaththa received the best actor and best actress awards respectively.
The tenth volume of the Abhinaya magazine along with the book titled Sri Lankawe Natya Uthsawa Ithihasaya (History of Sri Lankan Drama Festival) were presented to Premier Ratnasiri Wickramanayaka at the ceremony. This year’s Abhinaya is dedicated to dramatists of the 1980s and their works.
Compared to previous year a significant growth in the audience was evident in this year’s festival. Theatre halls were packed up during festival show times. It has been a great encouragement for the dramatists. With the dawn of peace in the country, people are in a more peaceful mind to engage in arts and cultural activities.
After naming 2007 as the ‘year of drama’ by the Cultural and National Heritage Ministry, various programs have been carried out through out the country to popularize dramas. Cultural centres played a major role by conducting drama courses and competitions.
It has helped rural talents to be brought to the national level stage. Introduction of drama and theatre as a subject to the school curriculum has cultivated along with enthusiasm among schoolchildren in the aesthetic education. Even though stage drama has not developed as an industry, compared to films and tele dramas, it is no secret that stage dramas have produced veteran actors who are now in the films and teledramas. With good quality productions dramatists will be able to keep their audience inside the theatres. The background is being set up for the reawakening of Sri Lankan stage drama.