Dhananjaya Karunarathne is a published playwright, director and designer working as an independent artist in Sri Lanka and Australia.
From his early childhood, Dhananjaya showed an interest in both art and drama. However, a deeper affinity with the theatre led him to explore this world and develop his unique theatre practice.
Dhananjaya brought his theatre to Australia in 2004, commencing a Master of Creative Arts - Theatre at the University of Wollongong, later to be followed by a Master of Creative Arts Research degree in 2009. In this time, Dhananjaya continued to develop his theatre and commenced his involvement with the Merrigong Theatre Company which has provided much support for his theatre practice. Several of Dhananjaya's scripts have been translated, discussed and staged as part of Merrigong's Theatre Programs. One of his most notable Australian productions is A Sri Lankan Tamil Asylum Seekers Story as Performed by Australian Actors Under the Guidance of a Sinhalese Director co-directed with David Williams and presented by Merrigong Theatre Company.
Dhananjaya also has a great passion for teaching theatre. He has over many years developed his own style of teaching drama and theatre. He has utilised and refined this teaching style whilst conducting drama workshops across Sri Lanka as a workshop instructor for the National Youth Services Council. He has also employed his teaching methods in academic institutions as a visiting Lecturer in Theatre in Universities in Sri Lanka.These teaching experiments have encouraged him to explore the actor-spectator relationship, which has further informed his study and practice.
Currently, Dhananjaya is working with a Sydney-based theatre movement called the Sydney-Colombo Theatre Project as its workshop instructor and artistic director in developing theatre activities in the minority communities.