Source: The Sunday Times
Date: 05/09/1999Young dramatist Buddhika Damayantha must be a happy man. Having got to the final round of the prestigious State Drama Festival in three consecutive years, he hit the jackpot this year. 'Davasa Thama Gevun Ne', a translation of an American play. Murray Schsigal's 'The Typists' was adjudged the Best Play for 1998 and Buddhika bagged the Best Director's Award.
The play also produced the Best Actor (Saumya Liyanage) and Best Actress (Jayani Senanayake).
Buddhika, an old boy of Dharmapala Vidyalaya, Pannipitiya showed his talents in the field of drama while at school when he was a keen participant in the plays organised by the school literary society and the Boy Scouts group. In the early nineties he followed the National Youth Services Council (NYSC) drama course.
Buddhika concentrates on translations. In 1994 he produced 'Adhipathiyage Marana Manchakaya', a translation of Samuel Becket's 'The End Game'. It was the year's best production at the Youth Drama Festival and collected seven awards. The play was also selected for the final round of the State Drama Festival.
He picked on American dramatist Edward Albee's 'The Zoo Story' for his next production - 'Padadaya'. Having come up to the final round of the 1997 Festival, it won the award for the best translation and best supporting actor. 'Palingurena' based on Tennessee William's 'The Glass Menagerie' was in the final round of the 1998 Festival and again picked up the award for the best translation. In addition the best supporting actress was from 'Palingurena'.
'Davasa Thama Gevyn Ne' has been translated by S. Karunaratne who describes it as an effort to fill in a gap in the Sinhala drama literature. He points out that at a time when there is such enthusiasm among young dramatists, it is timely to introduce the works of avant-garde dramatists in the western world, particularly what falls into the absurd category.
It's quite an achievement to reach the top with one's fourth play, particularly in a very competitive environment. Well done Buddhika, keep it up!