With Gamarala Divya Loketa and Ratmalee on July 13:
Somalatha Subasinghe back on centre stage
Two plays for children, Gamarala Divya Loketa and Ratmalee, written
and directed by Mrs. Somalatha Subasinghe is being revived by the Lanka
Children's and Youth Theatre Foundation (LCYTF) to be performed on July
13 at 3.30 p.m. and 6.30 p.m. at the Lionel Wendt theatre.
The plays are semi-musicals which present to the young and
impressionable mind, important values and lessons in life. Subtly mixed
with the action and humour on stage are invaluable lessons of love,
responsibility, friendship, courage, trust and world awareness.
Somalatha Subasinghe - actress, playwright, director and the renowned
theatre educationist is a name that is irreversible woven into the
children's and youth theatre and also the mainstream theatre of Sri
Lanka. In recognition of her contribution to the Sri Lankan theatre for
the last fifty years, she was conferred the title of Kalasoori and later
the Kalakeerthi by the President of Sri Lanka. With her intuitive
understanding of the mind of a child, and her compassion for children,
she has gifted the children of Sri Lanka with many beautiful creations
that speak to the innermost soul of the child. Her contribution to
theatre and to the children of Sri Lanka is truly iconic.
Mrs. Subasinghe was conferred upon, with the covetous Degree of
Doctor of Philosophy (Honoris Causa) in December 2013 by the esteemed
University of the Visual and Performing Arts, Colombo, Sri Lanka in
appreciation of her continuous contribution to Sri Lankan theatre since
Mrs. Subasinghe has also brought fame to Sri Lanka by representing
the country at a number of international conferences on theatre for
children and youth.
She was the Sri Lankan representative at the first ever Women's
Playwright Conference held in New York in 1988. She continued to
represent Sri Lanka in Women's Playwright Conferences thereafter.
In her capacity as the President of International Association of
Theatre for Children and Youth in Sri Lanka (ASSITEJ Sri Lanka), Mrs.
Subasinghe has given several young and promising performing artists, a
much needed international exposure.
Mrs. Subasinghe's best contribution to the children of our country is
the Lanka Children's and Youth Theatre Foundation (LCYTF), better known
as the Play House - Kotte, which was donated and established by her in
Over the years LCYTF had produced a repertoire of internationally
acclaimed, mainly musical theatre for children and youth, and
award-winning mainstream theatre productions.
Her creations have redefined children's and youth theatre in Sri
Lanka, and have received international recognition. They have showcased
our culture at a number of international children's theatre festivals in
Europe and Asia.
Today LCYTF is the leading producer of theatre for children and
youth, and one of the major training and skills development centres for
actors and other creative professionals in Sri Lanka. LCYTF was
conferred the Bunka Award, presented by the Embassy of Japan for the
Best Achievement in Performing Arts, in 1997.