Mirror Magazine

Thoughtful visions
By Anuradha Samarajiva
A moment in time is, by its very nature, brief. But that isn’t a concern for the students of Gateway International School, who hope to provide an entire evening of entertainment with their show A Moment in Time.

Three dramas are planned: Ert’s Wonderful Machine, Childhood, and Alice in America Land. They all sound completely different, but the show’s director Sashi Mendis de Costa says there’s a common theme binding them all together. That idea is, “the importance of creativity and imagination.”

Ert’s Wonderful Machine, says Sashi, is the story of an imaginative child named Ert, who constructs a wonderful machine. This play deals most obviously with the evening’s creative theme. Childhood revolves around the theme of parent and child relationships. Alice in America Land is a modern version of the classic Lewis Carroll story: fantasy performed with “funny and weird characters.”

With three plays lined up, it’s no surprise that the cast comprises eighty students. What is unusual is that both junior and senior school students are taking part in the same production. With a cast ranging in age from ten to nineteen, Sashi feels that “It’s very nice bringing the two together,” and she hasn’t had any problems doing so.

It’s very important for the parents to appreciate what their children do when they take part in productions like this one. Sashi believes, “the very fact of getting on stage and performing gives children so much confidence,” and she’s very grateful to all the parents who supported their children and the show. The director also appreciates the support she’s received from the school, saying, “I’m grateful Gateway stresses on drama and creative arts.”

Of the experience Sashi says, “It’s enjoyment and fun teamed up with hard work.” The show features not only acting, but also singing and dancing. The choreographer Kapila Palihawadana is a “very innovative dance teacher,” says Sashi. Students help with the backstage work, and the show wouldn’t be complete without costumes and sets. “Some of the costumes are very elaborate because of the fantasy involved, and when we needed to go overboard, we did,” smiles Sashi.

In the end, she says, “It’s about participation.” She thinks an imaginative production like this one is essential for children because “kids have such packed lives, and parents don’t recognise the importance of free time to be creative.” So she hopes that A Moment in Time, even if it lasts for just an evening, will make people realise the importance of creativity in their lives, and hopefully inspire them to make time for it.

A Moment in Time plays at the Lionel Wendt at 7.00 p.m. on August 7 and 8. Tickets can be purchased at the Lionel Wendt or Gateway International School.


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