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Somalatha Subasinghe Theatre Festival for young audiences

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Somalatha Subasinghe Play House presents its annual theatre festival for children from 7 to 9 December, at the Lionel Wendt Theatre. 

The festival will feature the following three plays produced by Somalatha Subasinghe Play House: 

Ratmalee (Red Riding Hood) and Thoppi Velenda (The Hat Seller) written and directed by Somalatha Subasinghe on 7 December 3:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.

‘Walas Pawula’ (The Three Bears and Goldilocks) written by Somalatha Subasinghe and directed by Chandana Aluthge on 8 and 9 December at 3:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Ratmalee, Thoppi Velenda and Walas Pawula

Based on international and fairy tales and local folk tale, these musical productions are produced with the intention of instilling in children, a sense of basic art forms and pride in our own culture. They also encourage them to understand the importance of family and its values. In addition, the lessons of love, humanity, responsibility, hard work and world awareness are refreshingly presented in these plays. 

In the adaptations, new characters and situations have been incorporated to facilitate an intellectual discourse with the Sri Lankan child and action and humour on stage are subtly mixed to provide the audiences with an aesthetic journey of entertainment. 

Thoppi Velenda (The Hat Seller) is ​a prescribed text for Grade seven Sinhala Language and literature of the national curriculum. Thoppi Velenda has been performed in many a number of children’s theatre festivals in France, India, Bangladesh, Australia and South Korea. 

If you grew up with Somalatha Subasinghe’s plays and enjoyed them as a child, now is the time for you to introduce them to your children. And if neither you nor your child has ever seen them, then this theatre festival is the ideal opportunity to do so.The cast includes Wickrama Seneviratne, Mayura Perera, Saviour Kanishka, Thilakshini Ratnayake, Kumudu Wickramathanthri, Geetha Alahakoon, Thiwanka Ranasinghe, Dhanushka Dias, Chamara Gamaathige, Sameera Lakmal Wimalasiri, Keshika Koralage, Nayanathara de Silva, Pramod Edirisinghe, Renuka Liyanage, Dilip Kumara Koralage, Susith Ishantha and Kesara Hasarinda. 

Somalatha Subasinghe Play House (SSPH) was established in 1981 by the Late Somalatha Subasinghe as a voluntary organisation to further course of theatre for Children and Youth in Sri Lanka. Over the years, it has produced a repertoire of internationally acclaimed theatre for children and youth and award-winning mainstream theatre productions. The professional theatre group has showcased Sri Lankan culture at a number of international children’s theatre festivals in Europe and Asia. This institution was incorporated in the parliament in January 2007 under the Act of Lanka Children’s and Youth Theatre Foundation (LCYTF), No. 3 of 2007 to further its quest for the young audiences in Sri Lanka.  

LCYTF is the national representative of ASSITEJ International, a global network for theatre for children and youth that spans across continents. Through ASSITEJ International LCYTF promotes artists engaged in children’s and youth theatre to take part in international seminars, workshops, festivals, etc. LYCTF was conferred the ‘Bunka Award’ presented by the Embassy of Japan for the Best Achievement in Performing Arts in 1997. In 2005, Kaushalya Fernando, an Artistic Director of LCYTF was conferred the ‘Bunka Award’ for her outstanding contribution to theatre arts and acting. 

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