mind adventures

an experimental theatre company set up in sri lanka in 1999.

do you know these people?

have you worked with them? do you have pictures or articles with/about them? would you be willing to speak about them?a few years ago, a coffee-table-ish book came out called ‘applause at the wendt’, which claimed to cover the history of the lionel wendt theatre alongside the development of local english theatre and its productions. the years stated are 1953 – 2003.

most of the book covers the early practitioners in great detail, which is vital because we all need to know something about where we come from. but these articles are more like memoirs and as such largely descriptive, floridly so at times. there are plenty of eulogies for richard de zoysa. bless the man, he almost taught me a level drama. he was assassinated murdered tortured to death before we could begin. god knows we could use a man like him in times like these. if only to keep us theatre people real and alive to what our purpose should be. the articles are largely anecdotal, and don’t attempt to analyse his politics or their impact and influence on theatre.

as a theatre scholar, i find this frustrating. particularly as i teach drama and theatre to many young people today. also because the development of english theatre in sri lanka is a core aspect of my post graduate thesis, and the lack of lucid, objective writing drives me nuts.

and most baffling of all – considering its a book that claims to cover everything up to 2003, it does not make much mention at all of some of the biggest and most important theatre practitioners that have been active for 20 years or more now. two or three lines about them here and there, and even then, not all of them.

these people :-

jerome l. de silva

steve de la zilwa,

indu dharmasena

wendy whatmore

irene wanigaratne

jith peiries

neidra vittachchi

nafeesa amirudeen

mohamed adamaly

feroze kamardeen

ruwanthie de chickera

and more, including, with all possible humility, myself 🙂

oh, there’s a small essay at the back, which mentions jehan aloysius, but the rest of us are just bunched together in ‘and others’ or something equally inept.

all of us had already had several productions each at the wendt, years before this book came out in 2003. not to mention that companies like the workshop players and stagelight&magic inc have contributed significantly to recent technological advancements at the theatre. could they just not be bothered? did it sound too much like research?

so i’m going to put together all the evidence i can about english theatre in the last 30 years. this will include not only profiles of companies and directors, but also of actors, all kinds of designers, producers, technology, sponsors, everything.

i’m starting by searching online for everything about my own company. and i’ll be looking simultaneously for press of other companies’ shows too. if you’ve been in a show at the wendt and it has been covered in the press, let me know.

also please contact me if you have pictures, newspaper articles, have been in any productions with the listed people above. and of course, i’d love to hear your stories : )

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16 Comments»

  shanuki wrote @

I could offer my two cents about Jerome!!!

  shanuki wrote @

And Aunty Irene.

  daytripper wrote @

yay. my first volunteer : ) superb! i’ll contact you next week, and we’ll set up an interview.

  Palmyrah wrote @

You could ask me, I suppose. I know most of those people quite well.

  Ruvin wrote @

i only know a very little… hmpf

  daytripper wrote @

yes yes, ruvin, i am not asking you anything.
richard, you’re on the list of people i need to talk to.

  Sophist wrote @

I know a few things about this Tracy bird. She’s a few raisins short of a fruitcake. Meet at the corner of Havelock and Keppetipola I’ll tell you more….

  hashir wrote @

well.. i know many of them by name.. and met a few.. and worked only with a couple of the ppl mentioned. -feroze and tracy.

as many would be knowing Feroze Kamardeen is one of the founders of Stage Light & Magic. i think i kinda knew him even before he started this theatre company. this was when i was a kid.. some where around 1994 or 95 or before that (in some 90’s.. cant remember exactly.. all i know was i was a little school boy).. and feroze was one of the older boys in school (D. S. Senanayake College). and they took part in the all island shakspear drama competition… and feroze won the best actor award. the first time some one from DS won something coz most ppl thought it was a typical ‘vidyalaya’ with students who didnt know a single word of english. and i think this performance was done with very less stage props and costumes.. i.e bare minimum. hence forth the legends of the Dons followed (Chamat Arambewela, Kusal De Silva, Sashane Perera (cant remember if Makshood Meerasaib was before or after feroze :-S) ) (and i’m still not sure if Ifaz bin Jameel was in the same school.. i dont have a good memory – sorry!). then feroze came and helped brush up some of the few Elizabeth Moir school productions like ‘Bring it On’ and ‘Dazzle’ (while i was at Moir)- right now working along with Feroze and SLM with his latest production – “Thank you for voting”.
(i think i remember seeing in one of my brother’s scrap books an article with a photo of feroze and his cast while at DS with all the white uniform and all- should be able to find it.)

Tracy (i know i’m writing on your blog.. but i’m writing the following as if i’m writing to someone else!)- when i first met her it was at a speech and drama exam at the wendy whatmore acadamy(she was the examiner!). and again i was very small. all i remember was that she was being very nice and had goth looking rings on her fingers! and she have me 99% for that exam! the next time i met tracy was in 2006 for Chatroom. she was introduced via deshan to do the design stuff along with asvajith. it was a pretty good experience working with her.. then again there was a rerun when i came back and helped with the projector handling for the production!

well should that do?

  daytripper wrote @

sophist, i know where you live.
hashir, thanks. i don’t remember examining you at all…but still have the rings : )

  hashir wrote @

well i was very small. and very plumpy. and wearing spectacles. well of course you wouldn’t have known it was me!

  nazreen wrote @

know most of them, think they are wonderful. what we need is a resurgence of THE ART CENTRE CLUB. So many more to know.

  daytripper wrote @

i SO agree. i have a cunning plan naz, and if it works out, things will resurge sooner than expected : )

  Forbidden fruit wrote @

Alas, I know all of them…. very well. But my view is obviously biased in their favour…:-)

  beachbumm wrote @

hmm i know u 🙂 … steve i’ve worked with profetionally (As in advertising productions)

Adam I acted with in thicker than blood – Delons’ production

Jith, Indu & ruwanthi i know but never worked – Jith produced or rather was mentioned as producer on the poster & souvanire in playing doctor which was directed by vinodh

  Scuzzy Sleezo wrote @

Ifaz binjameel is from the same school. DS have altogether won eight best actor awards since 1987 including makhshood meerasaibu’s three in a row in 93, 94 and 1995. They have thus far won three best supporting actor awards since the trophy was introduced in 2003.

Makhshood was after feroze and was directed by feroze in their winning shakespeare productions in 1993 and 94.

anywyas… many more to come 🙂

  me wrote @

who are u forbidden fruit ?
you say that alas you know me.
And would be biased.
And you are young. Very.
Anyway, nothing lost. Be biased.


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