Sarasavi Rangamadala comes to life! | Daily News

Sarasavi Rangamadala comes to life!

Colombo University, Sri Palee Campus, Mass Media Department, Lecturer, Dilan Dharshana. Pictures by Sarath Peiris
Colombo University, Sri Palee Campus, Mass Media Department, Lecturer, Dilan Dharshana. Pictures by Sarath Peiris

Drama performed on stage is the earliest form of Drama. However drama heard on radio certainly has its own unique appeal. It has its own fascination. Here all depends on the magnetic quality of the voice. Until the arrival of television, radio was the medium of news and entertainment. And still radio is a favourite amongst all ages.

Sarasavi Rangamadala is a radio drama series which is a collaborative effort of the Faculty of Mass Media of the Sri Palee Campusof the Colombo University and the SLBC Commercial Service. This radio drama series features short stories of the past and modern day. The works of Ediriweera Sarathchandra and Martin Wickramasinghe comes to life on radio.

The opening ceremony of Sarasavi Rangamadala will be held on December 9 at the SLBC premises Kumaratunga auditorium at 6.30pm. It will be aired on every Wednesday at 8pm. It is a 30 min radio drama that will carry on for one year.

Dramatic moves speaks to Colombo University, Sri Palee Campus, Mass Media Department, Lecturer, Dilan Dharshana and his students on this exciting event.

Sri Palee Campus of the Colombo University has two Faculties and they are the Faculty of Performing Arts and the Faculty of Mass Media. Under the Faculty of Performing Arts, Music, Dancing, Art, Drama and Theatre, Screen Studies and Art and Design are taught as main subjects. Under the Faculty of Mass Media, Radio, Print, Television and Media Studies are the main subjects taught.

“The biggest problem that we see in the Mass Media industry is that the students only know theory. But they do not understand and do not know how to handle the practical side of it. One purpose of the Faculty of Mass Media at Sri Palee Campus is to create a human being with theoretical and practical knowledge, along with creativity. I feel this is essential. A student must know how to apply himself or herself in practical way. This radio drama series is our answer to this,” said Dharshana.

By doing this radio drama series, the student is taught how to write a drama script, how to enhance his or her powers of audibility, how to think creatively and how to put together a production.

“I also feel that students should be encouraged to read. They need to read extensively on many subjects. With this drama series they will be encouraged to read because this drama series will feature short stories. So this is the ideal opportunity to get them to read such stories by Ediriweera Sarathchandra and Martin Wickremasinghe and also modern day short stories,” stated Dharshana.

Getting the right people involved was difficult initially. It took some time for this concept to get ingrained in the students. They did not realize that they could do something like this in the first place. They did not realize what was inside of them. They did not realize their potential.

“Then we had to create a media society. That took some time as well. But once the students got familiarized with the concept the numbers started to grow. Having been a student at Sri Palee Campus of the Colombo University I have plenty of knowledge when it comes to the practical side of matters. Right now we have around 30 to 35 students.

This will have a ripple effect where subsequent generations will also be trained in this manner,” pointed out Dharshana.

These are extremely interesting and captivating short stories that are very relevant to modern day society. They show the genius of the old masters. These are some of the finest short stories ever to have been written.

“The goal of University education is creating a well -balanced human being with a creative side. This can be done by any form of drama be it radio or plays. He or she should be able to contribute to the betterment of society. He or she should be energetic and resourceful.

This should come from within the University. Professor Sarathchandra used the university students in his works. The University students took part in all of that. I feel the university needs that kind of environment.

We need students who have more than qualifications. We need them to be versatile role models who can think differently. So this is a little step along the way,” explained Dharshana. Dharshana would like to thank the following people who helped him – Visiting Lecturers Janaka Mahabellana, Pradeep Jayarathna, SLBC, Chairman, Sudarshana Gunawardena, SLBC Deputy Director General, Mayuri Abeysinghe, Commercial Service Controller, Chandani De Silva, Sujeewa Harischandra, Producer, Sarasavi Rangamadala, Nishantha Kariyapperuma, Rector, Sri Palee Campus, Prof. Ranjan Hettiarachchi and Acting Head, Sri Palee Campus, Dr. Dharmakeerthi Sri Ranjan and also Sound Engineer and Programme Assistant Sandaruwan Liyanage.

The reality of life

Sri Palee Campus print media student, Shyamalee Devikafelt that it has been a wonderful example of the great feats that can be achieved when people come together. Like Rajakaruna, she also felt that qualities hidden inside of her had been brought out.

“I am a print media student and I never really had the chance to collaborate with students from different streams as I have done in this programme. In the Mass Media faculty the streams are Print, TV, Radio and Media studies. I am a third year student. We never thought that this would be such a success. So we familiarized ourselves by reading short stories. We discovered its depth. We had discourses. That was how we got the ideas to write our scripts. We never thought that we were this good and we never thought that we had this in us. In a way we never thought, our abilities came out. The abilities that were hidden within us came out,” said Devika.

Devika pointed out that a good writer is able to portray the characters in real life society and that nature of society itself is in his or her works. He or she is able to show the reality of life in his or her works. The characters in novels come to life in our minds. We are able to relate to these characters because we find something in common with these characters. We receive pleasure and the knowledge from reading about these characters. That same experience we can get out of listening to this show on the radio.

“People are so busy nowadays that they do not have time to read books. But maybe in the car they can listen on the radio. This programme can do that. There is a sense of freedom for me in doing this programme. It is stimulating and enjoyable. It is a great experience,” stated Devika.

A big responsibility

Sri Palee Student, Tachini Rajakaruna never realized she had such abilities within her. She never realized that her mind had such untapped potential. “Taking part in this programme has been a great experience. I do media studies at Campus and that is theory based, with exams.

I am a third year student. I have never quite done something which is fully practical. I took part in this out of curiosity when I was told by sir. We did not think that something like this could actually happen! The first day we did script writing.

Then we had a full day workshop and there was a recording. Then we thought that this could actually go forwards,” said Rajakaruna Rajakaruna pointed out that she is not much of a writer for she had never written scripts before.

“So then we were all told to write scripts. I was in shock, because like I said before I am not much of a writer. Writing a script is a big responsibility. So I told the lecturer if writing the script is compulsory I would like to leave the programme. Then the lecturer told me to give it a try.

So I wrote a script and told the lecturer not to place very high expectations on what I had done. So at the end there were a number of scripts written by a group of us and from that two were chosen, and from the two one was mine!,” said Rajakaruna. This shows that we all have skills and potential within us and what happened was that the lecturer was able to bring it out of Rajakaruna. Then that was developed. “So now I am writing scripts and I am fulfilling my potential. Now so many people are coming on board. Now I feel strong and I feel I have found that which was within me,” stated Rajakaruna.




Sri Palee Campus student, Anuruddha Sena Dhilankara felt that as students the experience is an eye opener.

“As University students by doing this programme we look at all of this from a different angle. There is something special about it. We look at society from a certain angle. Because of this I feel that this programme is something unique.

Radio drama is something different because everything depends on the voice and its different tones and manifestations.

What I have got from radio drama is that I have discovered something about myself when it comes to interacting with students.

Through doing programmes like this you come to understand human character. You learn how to work with people. You enact so many characters.

You come to understand life itself. You understand the problems people face.

I can definitely say that I am a much stronger person having done drama,” said Dhilankara.







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