In memory of Henry
festival of theatre to commemorate the 79th birth anniversary of 'Sudu
Seeya' Henry Jayasena will be held at the Lumbini theatre from July 6-8.
His demise last year was a heartfelt loss to the theatre industry and
in memory of this great thespian and actor, a special festival will be
held in his honour. "Thavath Udesanak" a play written and produced in
1964 will take stage on July 6, which is the birth date of Henry
Jayasena. Two of his other masterpieces "Kuweni" and "Hunuwataye Kathawe"
will be staged on July 7 and 8 consecutively.
Henry Jayasena was born on 6 July 1931 in Bendiyamulla, Gampaha.
Having studied at the Gampaha branch of Lorenz College and at Nalanda
College Colombo, he began his career as an Assistant Teacher of English
at the Dehipe Primary School in Padiyapellela in the Nuwara Eliya
district in 1950 where he directed his first play, 'Janaki'. Jaysena
left this post a few months later after passing the General Clerical
Service Examination and securing a job with the Public Works Department
(PWD) of Sri Lanka.
While with PWD, Jaysena created many of his most famous plays,
Janelaya (1962), Thavath Udesenak (1964), Manaranjana Wedawarjana
(1965), Ahas Malilga (1966), Hunuwataye Kathawa (1967), Apata Puthey
Magak Nethey (1968), Diriya Mawa (1972), Makara (1973) and Sarana Siyoth
Se Puthini Habha Yana (1975). Before retiring from government work, he
also served as Deputy Director for the National Youth Services Council
(Arts and Sports Division) and the Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation (Programmes
Also during this time Jaysena was a reputed film actor. An early role
was in Sri 296 (1959). During the 1960s, Jaysena played the starring
roles of Piyal in Gamperaliya (1964), Azdak in Hunuwataye Kathawa (1967)
and Lalith in Dahasak Sithuvili (1968). Dr Henry Jayasena died on
November 11, 2009 in Colombo, Sri Lanka.