New quest for Revelations Academy

By Tahnee Hopman, Pic by Sanka Vidanagama

The young voices of the Revelations Academy of Performing Arts and Creativity are enthusiastic participants in a quest.  To the viewer, it would seem that the quest is twofold- not only do the characters they play embark on an adventurous and often perilous journey for the sake of friendship, but this theatrical venture is also a personal quest- for making new friends, trying out new things and having the time of their lives.

The outcome of their quest- aptly named 'A Quest for Friendship'- will take the stage of the Lionel Wendt on July 3 and 4 at 7 pm.  As the students take on the characters of super toys, magical creatures and evil queens, their quest involves battling first experiences of stage fright, learning lines and perfecting choreography. And despite the fact that many of them are first-timers on stage, they appear to handle the pressure well. 

Peals of laughter and a little good natured rough-housing are frequent occurrences as they practice; and despite the fact that a great deal of effort and hard work has been put in, the end of a long and tiring day of practicing does not seemed to have had an adverse impact on energy levels. 

“And this is the best part of the production,” smiles Sanjeev Jayaratnam. “We get a huge thrill out of the fact that each member of the cast thoroughly enjoys the experience. At the end of the day, the whole point of performing on stage is- having learned something- to revel in the experience without being tired out or over- rehearsed.” 

As a result, the performance is spontaneous and fun filled; and it is clear that with each time an act is practiced the performer learns something new.  “The cast has come a long way since we began the venture,” explains Ishan De Lanerolle.

“There were children who had to deal with problems of self-consciousness and diffidence but as of now they have shed their inhibitions and the result is very satisfactory as our objective here is not just to take on talented kids and make them even better but to work with children who believe that they are not suited for the stage and give them the confidence they need to do well.” 

A Quest for Friendship is an original musical, with the script and lyrics by Krishan Jayaratnam who is also the director, music by Sanjeev Jayaratnam, production and music direction by Ishan De Lanerolle, with Paulmarie Mendis (music track orchestrator and executer), Indu Dharmasena (choreographer and lighting) and Sanwada Dharmasena (choreography) and Thelma Jayaratnam (stage set designer and executer).

“As far as we know there are no original English musicals in this country which have been written specifically for kids- at least we have not come across one at the time we started out and we felt that the gap needed to be filled.” Comprising a holistic approach to performance which includes acting, singing and dancing, the performance will not only appeal to a diverse audience but also presents opportunities for the students themselves to be creative.

“The costumes were designed by Krishani Nanayakkara- a student at the academy, and the actors were given the chance to bring in their own interpretations into the characters they will play,” explains Krishan Jayaratnam. 

“ I am really impressed with the talent that I have seen so far, working with the students of the Revelations Academy, says Indu Dharmasena. “The script is extremely clever and the music too is complex and I feel that the cast has risen to the challenge extremely well.  Sponsors for the show are The Sunday Times, The Daily Mirror and Real Radio.

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