A Sri Lankan Tamil Asylum Seeker's Story (full-scale production)
Dhananjaya's new production will be staged from September 16th to 26th in 2015 at the Illawarra Performing Arts Centre. This play was staged last year by the Merrigong Studio Session program as part of Dhananjaya's postgraduate research degree. The show was extremely well received, with Merrigong choosing it to further develop as their full scale production for 2015. The redeveloped production has a new length of two hours and also features a new cast with actors Adam Booth and Anthony Gooley. This time David Williams, is joining Dhanajaya on the production as co-director. Because David also addresses contemporary issues in experimental style Merrigong thought this would be a perfect pairing! Tickets are on sale now.
A Sri Lankan Tamil Asylum Seeker's Story (studio production)
A Sri Lankan Tamil Asylum Seeker's Story was staged on the 24th - 26th July 2014 at the Illawarra Performing Arts Centre to a full house on Friday, and with the other two days almost full. It was one of the most successful shows the Merrigong Studio Sessions has ever presented. After each show many audience members wanted to talk about the issue and we had a great intellectual discussion. A perfect evening! Our big thanks go to Merrigong Theatre Company director Simon Hinton, his committed team, and all the other people who helped make this happen.
"This is one of the most refreshing plays I've seen in a long time. Bold, funny, important and wise, it shows us a perspective we don't often see on the Australian stage, and I urge anyone who is interested in fresh storytelling to see it."
-Tim Roseman, Artistic Director, Playwriting Australia
it was a great success. It's really stayed in my mind since Friday, and I hope you can keep developing the piece, as it is great, vital, challenging theatre, which leaves us with many questions to ponder. Congratulations, a great premiere for this work!
-Simon Hinton, Director, Merriging Theatre Company
A Sri Lankan Tamil asylum seeker's story- Development and public script reading for Merrigong's Ruff - New Works in Progress at Illawarra Performing Arts Centre on March 13th-15th in 2014
The script went through two day development workshop under the guidance of dramaturge, Caleb Lewis and a public reading through Merrigong Theatre Company's Ruff - New Works in Progress.
Acid Rain Theatre Festival
Dhananajaya Karunarathne's Acid Rain Theatre Festival was held at Lionel Wendt, Colombo on Jan 31st to Feb 2nd, 2014. Organised by Jude Srimal, it was sponsored by the Sunethra Bandaranaike Foundation.
With the exception of Theatre of Dreams, this festival consisted of Dhananajaya's later works, premiering Bhuddika's Life, Doublegamekarayoo and Acid Rain.
The cast and crew were as follows: Actors: Chanadani Senevirathna, Susith Ishantha, Sulochana Weerasinga, Kaushlaya Fenando, Jagath Manuwarna, Priyantha Srikumara, Buddhika Dhamayanatha and Kalana Perera. Stage Managers: Kosala Thotawatta, Sachnintana Dolopihilla, Promodh Edirisinha. Lighting: Chandana Aluthge, Music: Kapila Poogalaarchchi,Make up: Wasantha Kuamara.
A Sri Lankan Tamil Asylum Seeker's Story Playwriting Australia Workshop
After being submitted by the Merrigong Theatre Company, the first draft of this play was selected for further development through Playwriting Australia's National Script Workshop.
The script was workshopped in Sydney under the guidance of prominent dramaturge Jane Bodie (Head of Post Graduate at NIDA), with the actors Nicholas Brown, Ben Wood, Carlos Sivalingam and Merrigong's Artistic Associate Anne-Louise Rentell at the Playwriting Australia Workshop September 20th - 27th in Sydney.
The National Script workshop provides playwrights with up to two weeks to collaborate with a creative team to develop a script through intensive practical investigation.
Sri Lankan Tamil Asylum Seeker's Story - First improvisation workshop at the University of Wollongong.
After research, the first improvisation workshop was conducted by Dhananjaya at Performance Space, UoW on September 3rd, 2012. Actors included Anne-Louise Rentell, James Harding, Lauren Scott Young and Director Solomon Thomas.
A collection of one act plays performed at Elphinstone Theatre on August 29th, 2008.
The plays included Valantine Enakan, Chandrawathi Smaga Rathriyak, Obe Sapeshai, Eka Kathawa and Duwanaun Dennek
Written and directed by Dhananjaya Karunarathne
Organised by Jude Srimal, sponsored by the Sunethra Bandaranaike Foundation.
Sydney-Colombo Theatre Project
As a result of three years of theatre workshops conducted by Dhananjaya with some Sri Lankan theatre lovers, an experimental theatre group called Sydney-Colombo Theatre Project was founded in July 2017. www.sctproject.org
On July 30th 2017, the very first project of the Sydney-Colombo Theatre Project was launched, called Diaspora Act. In Diaspora Act current political and social issues of the Sri Lankan diasporic society are acted out in a forum theatre-style.
Selected Events Only
The Zoo Story & The Story of the Last Bus
This project was part of Merrigong Theatre Company’s Independent Producers Program in 2007. The Story of the Last Bus was selected to be translated and produced by Phillip Hinton and Dhananjaya with the support of the Merrigong Theatre Company through the Merrigong Theatre Development Program.
The Zoo Story (A University of Wollongong Project)
This is an experimental production directed by Dhananjaya for the Faculty of Creative Arts at the University of Wollongong in 2003. The setting chosen for the play was outdoors where the actors and the audience would be exposed both to the natural environment of a park and the movement of people and traffic, as people would expect to find.
The audience was limited to around twenty people for each show in an informal arrangement that facilitated the spontaneous movement of the actors around them, thus creating the impression that the audience was a part of the performance.
From the background of parkland trees, traffic movement and passers-by, Jerry emerges to engage a shy and relaxed Peter in conversation. Before long Jerry is asserting his point of view upon Peter, attacking him and making him feel decidedly uncomfortable by his intrusive and aggressive manner.