mind adventures

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

ruvin to direct ‘after class’

ruvin makes his directorial debut for mind adventures with ‘after class’ – a tense psychological thriller written by aspiring playwright jithendra seneviratne.

set in two different times and places, ‘after class’ seeks to provoke emotional and intellectual engagement with concepts of morality and ethics. the action occurs in two very disparate atmospheres – a university and an island in the throes of a revolution.

jithendra currently resides in new york, working in theatre administration. in sri lanka,  he worked consistently with the workshop players. this is his first play.

ruvin has directed productions for visakha vidhyalaya and wesley college for the all-island shakespeare drama competition and royal college’s drama comp. he was also invited to direct for ‘noir III’ hosted by stagelight&magic last year. this is his first full-length production.

mind adventures is holding auditions on the 10th of november at the wendy whatmore academy in col 3. auditions begin at ten am. we are looking for 15 actors. a set of audition requirements will be released soon.

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Our July Show Cancelled – ABYT Afoot.

To all our friends,

It is with sadness that we announce that we have decided to cancel the new show that was due to go on stage in July 2012. Read the rest of this entry »

cast as mother

scroll down to our blogroll and click on ‘stages theatre group’. the theatre company is run by the truly gifted, intellectual and utterly compelling ruwanthie de chickera. i have been working with her for over a year now on a project that features some of the most respected women in sri lankan theatre. a preview of the show runs for a single night on the 24th of may at the wendt. do read the ‘stages’ blog for more details.

Mind Adventures Welcomes…

Mind Adventures is pleased to be working with two actors we’ve never worked with before. Both Nushelle de Silva and Sulochana Dissanayake have extensive experience on-stage, both in and outside of Sri Lanka, and we’re delighted they’ve joined the cast of our new show, bringing to to it their experience, talent and dynamic creative instinct.

Sulochana Dissanayake

Sulochana Dissanayake - Actor, theatre-director, puppeteer.

Sulochana is a freelance theatre-artist engaged in theater-creation, and theatre-based HR training and education, based in Pita-Kotte, Sri Lanka. She graduated from Bates College,  (USA) in May 2009 with Bachelor of Arts Degrees in Economics and Theatre. Formally trained in acting, directing and play-writing, she pursued internships to gain professional theater experience in leading American theaters/programmes. She worked as an Apprentice for the Williamstown Theater Festival 2007, one of the leading summer stock theaters in USA, where she co-created an original ensemble piece. In summer 2008, she was selected for a Directing Internship at The Guthrie Theater – one of the top ten regional theaters of USA located in Minnesota, and went onto to direct one of the 2 mainstage productions of Bates College – becoming one of the rare students to be awarded a position usually reserved for faculty.

She has travelled to and worked with theatre in Hungary, Czech Republic, Austria, South Africa and Indonesia. In Indonesia, she worked with internationally acclaimed artists who combined ancient traditions of puppetry to create contemporary performances that delighted local and foreign audiences by retaining a unique cultural identity.

 

Nushelle de Silva

Nushelle as The Skriker.

Nushelle has worked with Tracy Holsinger several times before, while a student of Ladies’ College, Colombo, when she acted in productions directed by Tracy for the Annual Inter-School Drama Competition and the Annual All-Island Shakespeare Drama Competition. She graduated from Princeton University in 2011 with a Major in Architecture and a Minor in Theatre, and believes she is putting her degree in design to good use in the devising and rehearsal process for Mind Adventures’ new show, exploring the relationship between religion and politics, cutting out cardboard puppets, and learning how to weave cloth. She’s never attempted devised theatre before, but is excited about the process.

At Princeton, she has played several notable roles: including the title role in Caryl Churchill’s The Skriker as part of her theatre thesis, for which she was awarded the Francis LeMoyne Page Theatre Award for distinctive achievement in theatre, Lady Anne in Richard III, Ophelia in Hamlet, and the Tooth Fairy in God’s Ear. Currently, she is using a university fellowship to run a series of theatre and arts workshops for formerly displaced children in Mullaitivu.

Shadow-Play and Puppets

Mind Adventures’ new production, another original devised piece, will use both shadow-play and puppetry to reinterpret and explore the story of the Valahassa Jathaka tale. It features she-demons (yakkhinis) and a Flying Cloud Horse – so you see where our fascination with it lies.

Mind Adventures hopes to use the fertile ground of local mythology to explore and unravel old as well as modern truths, drawing parallels between fiction and reality, and then and now. The play, currently an untitled WIP, will also explore   the complex nature of politics and power: the dynamic between political manipulation and ambition, political agendas and alliances, and the hunger for power and the abuse of power.

We’re also excited to be working with, for the first time, the theatrical devices of shadow-theatre and puppetry. We had an opportunity to merely scratch the surface of some rudimentary shadow-theatre with the short piece we devised for the BUNKA awards last year, but with this production, we’re able to more fully experiment and explore the possibilities with this device.

We’re delighted we’re working with Sulochana Dissanayake, a graduate of Bates College (USA) and an actor and dramatist well-versed in the mechanics of puppetry and shadow-puppetry, who will be devising as well as performing. We also have Nushelle de Silva joining our cast, who most recently played the title role in Caryl Churchill”s ‘The Skryker’ at Princeton University.Sarah Kester, a theatre enthusiast with extensive experience in Costume Design, and Thilini Perera, a Graphic Designer who’s just discovered her love for Stop-Motion Animation form the Art Department that is bringing to life the visual element of the show through shadows and cut-outs.

Click here to view Deshan Tennekoon’s set of our weekend sessions.

‘at the end of the world*’ begins

*at least, that’s what i’m calling it for now.

the trouble with having too many ideas is choosing which to keep and which to throw.  so begins the process for our new show.

the story doesn’t exist right now. but i have a good idea of how to start. i think i know how to tell it. Read the rest of this entry »

Rehearsing/Devising for BUNKA Award Show

The Bunka (Cultural) Award is awarded by the Japan Sri Lanka Friendship Cultural Fund in Sri Lanka. The Bunka Awards are presented annually by the Fund which was established in 1993, on the initiative of the Japanese Solidarity Association and the Japanese Commerce and Industry Association in Sri Lanka, in collaboration with the Embassy of Japan. It is awarded to Sri Lankan artists and creative persons in various fields, in order to encourage and promote individual and collective talent in these fields in Sri Lanka. This year, Artistic Director of Mind Adventures, Tracy Holsinger, is one of the recipients.

Some members of Mind Adventures and a guest actor, directed by Tracy, are currently devising a short piece of theatre (as yet unnamed!) for a show on the 22nd of October to commemorate the recipients of the Award.

This new piece is entirely physical, and uses a simple story, told through movement and some theatrical devices, like mime and shadowplay.

Here are some photos from an initial devising session. All photos by Deshan Tennekoon.