Fiesta for Theatre lovers

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By 2017-03-19

By A.B. Perera

The Colombo International Theatre Festival (CITF) will commence at the Eastern University on 31 March. It will be held in Colombo from 3 April to 9 April. The festival will include theatre forums, workshops and felicitations, and features 13 foreign productions. Over 200 dramatists will also attend the festival. The Colombo International Theatre Festival, which was organized for the first time Sri Lanka in 2012 was a turning point in Sri Lankan theatre. Even though we are a small organization we have built a considerable relationship with international artists and institutions through the CITF.

This year's festival features work by Sri Lankan as well as foreign dramatists. It will be a festival that theatre goers should not miss, since it features, perhaps the best dramas from around the globe. For instance, one of the highlights is sure to be Tharavo Igilethi by Lucian Bulathsinghala. A veteran play writer, libretto and lyricist Lucian Bulathsinghala's Tharawo Igilethi is an adaptation based on a Roman play named, 'The Brothers Menachmi' by Plautus (BC.254-184) who is acclaimed as the father of European Comedy. The Brothers Menachmi influenced Shakespeare to create his play, A Comedy of Errors. Tharavo Igilethi was so popular throughout its premier in 1981 as a 'Semi Musical' with a musical score by the late Visharada Gunadasa Kapuge.

"OOPICASSOO" by Julia Dina Heße is a German drama. Adventurous and with unlimited fantasy, two actors discover the world of colours and see themselves and reality in a new and different way. They dip their brush into the paint, a luminous line crosses the sheet of paper. What happens next? Do we see a face emerging, an animal or something completely different? It's up to our imagination and anything can happen when blue, red and yellow meet an empty white sheet of paper.

Inspired by painter Pablo Picasso, who kept reinventing his art and wouldn't let rules restrict his creative work, Muenster's Theatre for Young Audiences explores the art of painting with all senses, sounds and music. Colour, material, body and voices merge items and situations of childrens daily life with unexpected ideas and inventive fantasies. Two actors discover the realm of shapes and colours and thereby create artworks on stage that are inspired by Picasso's playful and creative view on art.

TROLL by Tinou Mérigot is Swedish-French drama. In the forest, in my home country Sweden, where the midwinter night freeze is intense. Where the midsummer sun shines all day... It is there, in these forest where it happens a lot of strange things that I´m now going to tell you...

In this beautiful forest lived a great number of tiny people with crooked backs, lame and very, very old. Or some giants – 3 times as tall as I am... and many, many more. They are small or large, gentle or vicious, foolish or clumsy, intelligent but often very silly... But they are there! In the forest, observing us, teasing us, envying us. We call them TROLLS!

In Transit by Aditi Venkateshwaran is an Indian drama produced in Pune.

"So much of the city is in our bodies." – Anne Michaels How do we understand the life of our own bodies? How are we able to re-see movement and the ideas contained in the body? How does one see more deeply into our mundane day-to-day movement as a form of intelligence, rediscovering its capacity for ideas, understanding fully what the body knows. Looking at the world in its entirety and our respective, small earthly existence with all its whims, mysteries, delusions, hopes and fears, all our heritage, contradictions, fluctuating abilities to understand and recognize life, our ability or more often inability to love, trust, understand, all those egos and the many others within and outside us, all that flares up in moments of recognition. Running forwards, ever forward and sometimes backwards. A constant need to reach somewhere, perhaps nowhere. Finding an intersection in the context of conflicts and narratives; theories of trauma and healing and their artistic expression while being in transit. The piece examines the representation of systemic and subjective movement in the contemporary cultural looking at bodiesin transit.

"When I'll become a cloud "by Iryna Tsypina is a drama from Belarus.

Janusz Korczak. He lived for children, he died for children. On thd 6th of August 1942, he entered the gas chamber of the Treblinka extermination camp, he entered with children from his "Dom Sierot", he couldn't leave them alone in that gas chamber, so they are in the clouds at last... It's easy to breeze, it's easy to laugh, it's easy to be a child again. But here is also heard the whistle of a steam locomotive from the nightmare, that is already far away. That locomotive carried away people every day in an unknown direction, and never brought back. Children are tired of being afraid; they invent a story, a kind tale about the good King Matiush.

The rich repertoire of dramas that will be staged during the festival should provide the deserving Sri Lankan theatregoers with rare insights into the life and diverse cultures of humanity.

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