TV Times

Dhananjaya brings ‘Theatre of Dreams’

The series of stage dramas ‘Sihina Rangahala’ - Theatre of Dreams written and directed by Dananjaya Karunaratne will be staged on July 26 at Elphinston, at 3.30 p.m. and 6.30 p.m. The festival include ‘Valentine Enakan’ (Waiting for Valentine), ‘Last bus eke Kathawa’ (The Story of the Last Bus), ‘Chandrawathie Samaga Rathriyak’ (A night with Chandrawathi), ‘Duwana un Dennek’ (Two people on run) and ‘Oba Sapekshai’, all award winners at both the State and Youth Drama Festivals.

Dramatist Dhananjaya

The cast who are featured in the dramas are Chandani Seneviratne and Susith Nishantha (Valentine Enakan), Saumya Liyanage (Last bus eke Kathawa), Palitha Silva and Madini Malwatha (Chandrawathie Samage Rathriyak), Chamal Ranasinghe and Dimithu Chinthaka (Duwana un Dennek) and Chamila Reins and Sanath Wimalasiri (Oba Sapekshai).

Music direction in all the dramas is by Kapila Poogalaarachchi, lighting designer Wasantha Kumara, make-up artist Bhanu Prasanna while Kosala Thottawaththage is the assistant director. Stage supervision by Sameera Nuwan and Sumeda Niroshan, stage arrangements and costumes will be by Dananjaya himself and Jude Srimal will be the chief organizer of ‘Sihina Rangahala’.

The festival is sponsored by Sunethra Bandaranaike Foundation. The latest addition to the series ‘Duwana Un Dennek’ a tragic-comedy influence dby physical theatre will also be staged during ‘Sihina Rangahala’.

Over the past few years Dhananjaya has been experimenting in search of a more proactive and sensitive style of theatre. The festival is the outcome of his experiments. The plays have been reproduced with the original cast due to popular demand and they are being coloured up with novel presentations. One of the plays, ‘Last Bus Eke Kathawa’ has been translated in to English and been performed in many countries and it also has been published as a book under the title ‘Las Bus Eke Kathawa’.

Dhananjaya at a rehearsal in Australia

Dhananjaya Karunarathne is an experimental playwright, director who has written and directed a large number of plays and he has gained a bachelor’s degree in painting and sculpture at the Institute of Aesthetic Studies, University of Kelaniya and a Masters Degree in theatre arts at the University of Wollongong, Australia.

In the last few years Dhananjaya has been involved with the Merrigong Theatre Company in Australia. The young playwright is well known for developing his own theatre concept named 'Theatre Against the Audience'. The concept seeks to find the maximum impact that a play can have on an audience. What Theatre Against the Audience aims to do is make the experience of the play against the audience. This concept is currently in its early stages. A Theatre Against the Audience production is created to ensure that the audience feels personally responsible for the 'drama' in the play.

Presently Dhananjaya is working as a visiting lecturer in theatre arts at the University of Visual and the Performing Arts.

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