Fantasy Vs. Reality! | Daily News

Fantasy Vs. Reality!

The participants with the Teacher in Charge
The participants with the Teacher in Charge

The dramatists of Sirimavo Bandaranaike Vidyalaya are overcomers in every sense of the word. Dramatic Moves features these hard working and resilient girls who ardently practice drama and pursue victory.

English Drama, Teacher in Charge, Inoka Palihawadana commented on the friendships formed in doing drama.

These friendships are lasting friendships and these friendships are the best part of student life.

“After taking part in a drama, you find a difference in the students. We teach them to express their feelings and that makes them more confident. It is almost a kind of a meditation. It helps them even in their lives.

We see friendships continuing after the drama, even though they are from different classes.

They have not met earlier before the drama, but after the drama the bonds have remained. It is mostly the unity they get from drama. We feel that all should do drama. The students who are seasoned in drama also help out. So what we need is a lot of participation.

We also learn a lot because students are very different from each other. But once they get united it is remarkable. They get to know that the characters they enact are really there in society. This teaches them how to react to situations in life,” said Palihawadana.

All Societies, Teacher in Charge, Kumani Boyagoda pointed out that the emotional side in students’ benefit from doing drama.

“I have been teaching for nearly 20 years and at Sirimavo Bandaranaike Vidyalaya there are nearly 50 societies. Here drama plays a different role. Our children are enthusiastic about taking part in the drama competitions.

 

We have inter-house drama competitions as well. The students have to live in the drama, unlike other societies. So the children are able to build themselves up emotionally. That is their strong point. Our students are able to balance their academic work and their drama,” said Boyagoda.

Self- discovery

Dramatist Imara Gamage, felt that drama is a process of self- discovery that begins at a very young age laying the foundation for greater things in life. This initial step and exposure surely prepares someone for what comes next in life.

 

“Most of the time I was perceived as a silent person because I am not a talkative or bubbly person in public. But through drama they realized that I was not the person they thought I was! When you get to enact these characters you get to show a different side of yourself. I believe drama has given me that exposure,” said Gamage.

When the girls enact different characters, they have the opportunity to enact humour or anger or different other emotions. They get to depict it through their character.

For Gamage, it helped her develop the way she expressed her feelings.

“Even though Shakespeare lived during the 16th or 17th century, the feelings are still real and the plot and characters are still relevant to this age.

There are people who are like Romeo and Juliet today. We all have seen people like that in today’s society. So when it comes to getting into that character is not that hard,” said Gamage.

The school once did a production by themselves called Fantasy Vs. Reality and it was related to the Disney World, and in that Gamage got to play the character of Aladdin who is a playful guy and a male part.

“Aladdin is playful and funny and I am not good at playing those characters, but I got the Best Supporting Actor for that character.

I put a lot of effort to get into that character, so it was a great experience. When getting into the character even when it is a complex character, it helps to know each detail about it. A lot depends on the research you do.

Once we did Othello, we read about the character and watched DVDs, and we get to see how those characters are depicted through these adaptations,” explained Gamage.

Innovation and creation

President Binuri Weerasinghe has been fortunate enough to receive a life altering experience. She has had the opportunity to play an extraordinary character, a character with depth and a plot of intrigue. It is a once in lifetime experience for many and one that is greatly valued.

“Last year when we did Shakespeare we did Hamlet and I portrayed the part of King Claudius. (The man who married Hamlet’s mother) that was a side to a person I had never explored before. That was the most complex character I have ever portrayed.

When you think of King Claudius there are so many emotions involved – there is love, anger, betrayal, loyalty and all at once. It is definitely the most complex character I have ever done,” explained Weerasinghe

Weerasinghe has certainly had her baptism of fire in drama. She has had an experience that brought out the best out of her. She has learnt how to think quickly and how to think positively and productively.

“On one occasion, I recall we had to write our own script for an inter-house drama competition and we had to perform it on World Children’s Day. So there was a three month gap between that.

Then I was told in a day’s time we have to perform that drama! I could not remember a single word! I went through the script that was written by us and the idea went in to my head, I did not study any lines, it was just on the spot and I created the lines. Because you just cannot study it overnight. So innovation and creation all that happens when you forget your lines on stage!,” pointed out Weerasinghe.

The inter-house drama competitions take place annually. Some people who have not done it before are absorbed into this because it is very active. It is a brilliant way to identify talent and push people to know what they are good at.

To get comfortable doing drama, you need to do it for some time. It helps them explore sides of them they did not know.

“Drama as a whole develops a person in so many aspects and sometimes you cannot even describe how. You get to explore the feelings inside you. That is hard to achieve through other aspects of art. Drama does that for me and other people to whom I have spoken. Drama is a really good way to express yourself and find freedom within yourself,” said Weerasinghe.

Weerasinghe entered drama at a tender age. She credits who she is today to her experience in drama. She has discovered sides of herself that she never knew. It is a huge influence on her life.

“To create chemistry between two actors you really need to get to know the person, before you get on stage. Getting to know your fellow actors make it easier. You have to talk with each other and make each other feel at ease.

Be friends. The more you know the person the more comfortable you are around them,” said Weerasinghe.

From what she says, drama is not only your character but the characters around you. Your character on stage and off stage is affected by other characters around you. That is an enriching experience.

Lastly All Societies, Teacher in Charge, Kumani Boyagoda stated that what the school has achieved is due to the unwavering support of the other teachers.

“I would like to specially acknowledge the tremendous support given by the Principal R.M.A.R. Herath, Asst. Principal Champa Illankoon, English Teacher, Sunethra Weerasinghe, English Coordinator, Gayathri Dharmarathne and the Sinhala Drama Teachers, Jayani Kapuge and Ishara Wickramasena. They have been a huge support to us in every way possible.

Sunethra Weerasinghe has helped us a lot in doing drama. And it is not only her but all the other wonderful teachers who have helped and molded our students. They have all been real pillars of strength,” said Boyagoda.

 
 
 

 

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