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Journey of the Dragon

19 June - Lional Wendt
20 June - Lional Wendt
23 July - Lumbini Theatre
15 August - Lional Wendt
22 September - Akuressa
24 September - Ampara
25 September - Elphinston Theatre
02 October - Lional Wendt
07 October - Marandagahamula
20 October - Polonnaruwa
05 November - Negambo
06 November - Gampola
27 November - Lional Wendt
05 December - Batticaloa

14 January - New Delhi
27 January -Tower Hall
02 February - Embilipitiya
19 February - Jaffna
23 February - Peradeniya
30 March - Ratnapura
01 April - University of Sri Jayawardenepura
07 April - Anuradhapura
26 September - University of Kelaniya
10 October - Kanthale

29 January - Gampaha

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Makarakshaya in Gampaha

A show of Makarakshaya was held at the Bandaranaike College, Gampaha on 29th January 2012. The show was organized by Mr. Jude Srimal. The crowd exceeded 500 and the show was highly commended by the audience.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Dragon goes to Anuradhapura

The play was performed at the Central College Auditorium, Anuradhapura on 07th April 2011. The shows were organized by the Monetary Association Managers' Society of Anuradhapura.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Makarakshaya in University of Sri Jayawardenepura.

           A show of the play Makarakshaya was organized at the University of Sri Jayawardenepura on 01st April 2011. The show was presented by the TrikonE Cultural Foundation in association with the Department of Business Economics - Business Economics Students' Association (bizcon) 
          The number of audience exceeded 700 and varied from students to lecturers and the general public of the area. Professor Sunil Ariyarathne, a senior lecturer of the Department of Sinhala and Mass Communication of the university addressed the audience sharing his comments and experiences with the play and the director previously to the show.

The Dragon at Ratnapura

Two shows of the play Makarakshaya were held at the Town Hall Ratnapura on 30th March 2011. The shows were a huge success among school children and the general public.

Previousely to this show a series of theatre workshops were also held at various schools in the area by Mr. Bandaranayake and his team.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Open-Air Theatre Festival - University of Peradeniya

         The Open-Air Theatre Festival of University of Peradeniya was held from 20th to 25th February 2011. The play Makarakshaya was performed on 23rd and received a large audience exceeding 5000 viewers. 


Paper Articles about the performance in Jaffna

The Dragon goes to Jaffna

                 Makarakshaya was performed on 19th February 2011 at the Weerasingham Hall, Jaffna.
               The play was a huge success. The audience for this performance varied from university students to political party members to members of Sri Lankan Army to Sinhalese and Tamil public. Most of the viewers commented on the theme and the performance at the end of the play.


Bharat Rang Mahotsav Brochures

Makarakshaya in Delhi


What awaits our drama culture?

Senior dramatist Dharmasiri Bandaranayake delves into lessons learnt at Bharat Rang Mahotsav, New Delhi, and questions where our theatre is heading in the absence of a national cultural policy
By Randima Attygalle
Bharat Rang Mahotsav (National Theatre Festival), an artistic effort of the National School of Drama, New Delhi, instrumental in bringing dramatic skill of reputed artistes from all corners of the globe to one common dais, marked its successful 13th milestone in New Delhi last month.
Hybridity being the hallmark of this much acclaimed international theatre festival, it seeks to create a common platform for the veteran and the novice – the latter to imbibe the former.
Senior dramatist Dharmasiri Bandaranayake’s Makarakshaya, an adaptation of Yevgeny Shvart’s The Dragon, was honoured as the Sri Lankan representation at Bharat Rang Mahotsav which was concluded on January 22. The Nation spoke to Bandaranayake upon his return from Delhi, to share his experience of this ambitious theatrical venture and many a stumble block he and his cast had to battle with, in order to make the performance on a foreign soil a reality.
“Dramatists from all over the world can submit their work for this international drama festival, but to be eligible for performance, they have to be accepted by a panel of judges comprising leading Indian names in the field of drama. Makarakshaya was accepted for performance among nearly 80 plays selected for the festival,” Bandaranayake briefed about the selection criteria.
Bandaranayake’s maiden foreign performance at Bharat Rang Mahotsav was an experience of tri-fold dimensions for him. “It was no doubt a refreshing theatrical experience, to have had the opportunity of sharing and learning from one another’s experience, to be exposed to some of the icons in the filed of contemporary global drama and at the same time, it aroused lot of self-pity, experiencing the respect of the Indian Government and the step-motherly treatment of our own,” frustration unmistakable in his words.
Call for a national cultural policy
Claiming the largest participating cast of 38 artistes, Makarakshaya’s journey to New Delhi was by no means a rosy one. According to Bandaranayake, many appeals to the authorities at the Cultural Ministry to seek their support in this endeavour were fallen on deaf ears. “As an artiste who had been contributing to local drama, since early 70s, I questioned myself if I deserved to be called a Sri Lankan artiste, if I were a Sri Lankan citizen in the first place, to be receiving such step-motherly treatment by so called watchdogs of art and drama in this country,” Bandaranayake said further, extending his sincere thanks to SriLankan Airlines who responded to his plea with concessionary air tickets and Hivos-Netherlands for their financial patronage. ‘Festival of Dramas’ staged by Bandaranayake as a fund-raiser for the journey was washed away in the torrential rains which drenched the entire city which further handicapped the cast, who was salvaged by mutual friends through financial patronage.
Absence of a national cultural policy is identified as a lacuna which needs urgent addressing, believes Bandaranayake who draws a parallel with the Indian experience. “There has to be a yardstick which determines on what grounds certain artistes are supported and others are shunned. A national policy should not be tainted by party colours, but it should necessary be a watchdog of creative labour,” elaborates Bandaranayake.
Building bridges
A solid bridge of the ‘veteran and the amateur’ perceived at the Bharat Rang Mahotsav is another fine illustration of a rich theatre culture in breeding, lessons of which should inspire the local drama culture believes Bandaranayake. “Drama cannot thrive in isolation, the youth should be willing to be inspired by the veterans, the reason why we had a rich culture of drama nourished by artistes such as Sugathapala de Silva, Dayananda Gunawardene and Henry Jayasena. But sadly we don’t see an authentic drama culture today, but a culture no different to tele-scripts. In such a context, the ability of those going with the bandwagon to explore a classical play is a big question,” added Bandaranayake.
“Drama is all about sharing, exploring,” cites Bandaranayake who identifies a timely need of a harmonious blend between the Sinhala and English theatre. “This is a rejuvenating experience, to be enriched by the finer aspects of each school,” he cites. Bandaranayake, notable for his fine exploitation of the ‘English theatre skill’ in his plays such as Makarakshaya, Trojan Kanthawo, Ekadhipathi firmly believes in going beyond the conventional boundaries of drama-making.
“Staging a Sinhala play at the Lionel Wendt or harnessing predominantly the ‘English theatre skill’ does not mean that it’s catered to ‘Kolamba hathe’ theatre-goers, this is the narrow mindset which often goes against enriching a rich drama culture in the country,” Bandaranayake opined further.
Drama is beyond a mere script, it conceives actors of stature. “Many of our cinematic legends were moulded on the stage. For instance, when Tony Ranasinghe starred in Delowak Athara, we flocked to see not the cinema actor then but the sensational actor of charisma we saw on stage. Personality of an artiste is nourished through the calibre of art he advocates. We remember legends such as Henry Jayasena, Prof Sarachchandra, Sugathapala de Silva, Dayananda Gunawardene and many more of this stock of dramatists for the stature and integrity they sought to champion on the stage,” concluded Bandaranayake.

Monday, February 28, 2011

13th Bharat Rang Mahotsav

 Makarakshaya performed at the 13th Bharat Rang Mahotsav which was held from 08th to 22nd January 2011 in Delhi, India. The festival is organized annually by the National School of Drama. The team of Makarakshaya was the largest team that participated in the festival this year.
        Various foreign productions were also performed alongside with this play. The play was viewed by an audience of a wide range from university students to diplomats to foreign theatre directors. There was a huge enthusiasm about the theme and the presentation of this production.

        A discussion was held about the play with the director, Mr. Dharmasiri Bandaranayake on the following day. Lecturers of the National School of Drama, students, theatre lovers and directors participated in this discussion.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Batticaloa Poster

Saturday, December 11, 2010

‘THE DRAGON’ goes to India

Dharmasiri Bandaranayake’s stage play vies for festival honours

The new production of veteran dramatist, actor and film director Dharmasiri Bandaranayake’s stage play Makarakshaya (The Dragon), has been selected to represent Sri Lanka in the Bharat Rang Mahotsav Theatre Festival (Indian National Drama Festival).

The festival will be held from January 8 to 22 in New Delhi, India.
It is organised annually by the National School of Drama in India.
Stage plays representing various countries will be staged in the festival.
All facilities, except travelling expenses, for the group of the play will be provided by the Indian Government. Budget of the travelling expenses for 40 members of the group including air tickets and delivery of stage properties adds up to Rs 1,250,000.
A theatre festival has been organised from November 26 to 28 at Lionel Wendt, Colombo, to raise funds to cover this expense to represent the play, Makarakshaya (The Dragon), in the Bharat Rang Mahotsav Theatre Festival (Indian National Drama Festival). The invitation provides Sri Lanka an opportunity to expose Sinhala drama to the South Asian cultural scene and consolidate rebuilding peace and reconciliation.
Following plays will be staged in the festival:
Eka-Adhipathi – November 26 – 6.45pm
This play obtained nine awards at the State Drama Festival including best direction, best actor, best set designing and best make-up in 1976 and 1,507 shows have been staged all over the country including the new production.
Cast: Dharmasiri Bandaranayake, Janaka Kumbukage, Malkanthi Jayasinghe, Sampath Thennakoon, Chamila Peiris, Daya Edirisinghe, Lalith Rajapaksha,Chulla Jayawardhana, Vasantha Vittachch, Leonard Cooray, Lalith Rajapaksha, Lal Peris, Upul Nishantha, and others Music: Premasiri Khemadasa
Makarakshaya (Sinhala translation of the play The Dragon written by Soviet playwright Yevgeni Shvarts) –November 27 – 6.45pm
This play obtained 11 awards at the State Drama Festival including best play, best direction, best translation, best music, best set designing, best choreography and best stage lighting in year 1985 and 911 shows have been staged all over the country including the new production
Cast: Dharmasiri Bandaranayake, Yashoda Wimaladharma, Dharmapriya Dias, Janaka Kumbukage, Lakshaman Mendis, Leonard Cooray, Chulla Jayawardhane, Warnathunga Senanayake, and others Music: Nadika Weligodapola, Choreography: Jehan Aloysius

Trojan Women (Sinhala translation of the play The Trojan Women written by Greek playwright Euripides) – November 28 – 6.45pm

This play obtained nine awards at the State Drama Festival including best direction, best supporting actor, best supporting actress, best set designing, best costume designing, best choreography, best stage lighting and best stage management in year 2000 and 161 shows have been staged all over the country including the Northerm and Eastern Provinces.
Cast: Anoja Weerasinghe, Yashoda Wimaladharma, Meena Kumarie, Neil Alas, Jehan Aloysius, Perny Roshini,Vathsala Ranasinghe, Upul Nishantha, Nilmini Buwaneka,Thilini Weerasinghe, Anusha Dissanayake,Jeevanie Kumari, Deepa Willorarachchi, Kumudu Prashanthi, Thushari Gunarathne, and others Music: Rookantha Gunathilake
Choreography: Jerome de Silva