Theatre activities on International Children’s Day

Saturday, 29 October 2011 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Lanka Children’s and Youth Theatre Foundation (LCYTF) or popularly known as Play House-Kotte and Assitej Sri Lanka Centre will be organising theatre performances for young audiences in Anuradhapura and Galle. The event is organised with the courtesy of HNB Assurance PLC.  

HNB Assurance has extended its relentless support to uplift the theatre for the young ones for the last six years.   

On 2 November Vikurthi (Distortion), a very popular youth play written and directed by Somalatha Subasinghe is performed in Anuradhapura at Swarnapali College Auditorium for school children and on 4 November  Punchi Apata Den Therei (We Know it Now) and Toppi Velenda (The Hat Seller), written and directed by Somalatha Subasinghe, in the morning for children and Vikurthi in the evening will be performed in Galle at St. Aloysius College Auditorium.  We Know it Now and The Hat Seller are based on famous international folk tales. They are produced as musicals with the objective to instil in children, a sense of basic art forms and a pride in local culture as well as to promote the importance of the institution of family and its values.

In addition, the lessons of love, humanity and world awareness are refreshingly presented in these plays. In the adaptations, new characters and situations have been incorporated particularly to facilitate an intellectual and entertaining discourse with the Sri Lankan child.  

The production style of the plays has been developed so as to give the young audiences an aesthetic journey of entertainment.  

The two plays have participated in international children’s theatre festivals in France, South Korea and Bangladesh and have performed for young audiences in India, Australia and the Netherlands.

Distortion is a satirical exposure of hapless generation of youth whose lives were dominated by incessant struggle between the parents’ aspirations and the youth’s abilities and preferences. In the 1980’s, at the time the drama was conceived, the wide spread social tendency was that the aspiring parents trying to achieve the missed opportunities of their own lives through their children.

Consequently, the children were forced to study for competitive government examinations such as GCE (O/L) and GCE (A/L), specifically in the science stream disregarding their aptitudes and available resources at respective schools and the universities.  

The play discusses in depth how this anti-social process denied youth of their own life, which in turn deeply affects them in many ways.  The production is a semi-musical which is a familiar theatrical experience to the local audiences.  

Distortion was first performed in 1982 in Colombo and since then had performed more than 1000 performances in Sri Lanka. The play is considered a land mark theatre production and as a result it became a trend setter of new style of modern theatre in Sri Lanka. It is also considered as a pioneering effort of youth theatre concept in Sri Lanka.  

The professional theatre group of the Play-House-Kotte has performed Distortion in English in major cities in India and Australia in 2000.  The play has received well by the foreign audiences.

Distortion cast includes Kaushalya Fernando, Namal Jayasinghe, Prasannajith Abeysuriya, Geetha Alahakoon, Mayura Kanchana, Pujitha de Mel, Sanjaya Hettiarachchi, Nimmi Priyadharshini, Wickrama Seneviratne, Sulochana Weerasinghe, Dilum Buddhika Perera, Palitha Abeyratne, Ishara Wickramasena.