INTERVIEWS with ARTISTS

BEN VEREEN

JEANINE TESORI

PSALMAYENE 24

SYLVIA MCNAIR

MICHAEL McELROY

DEIDRE KINAHAN

BOB ARI

PAUL TAZEWELL

PATRICIA ROZARIO

NANCY RHODES

MAIA DANZIGER

EARL “PEANUTT” MONTGOMERY

WILLIE RUFF

DENNIS D’AMICO

GRACE CACHOCHA

KAREN SAILLANT

JENNIFER HORNE

JEANIE THOMPSON

ROBERT PERRY

WAYNE SIDES

JAMIE LEE McMAHAN

SPOTLIGHT ON ARTISTS

Zana Marjanovic

Dr. Ashley William Joseph

M. Safeer

Kevin Kimani Kahuro

Ilire Vinca

Avra Sidiropoulou

Sujatha Balakrishnan

Mihaela Dragan

Farah Deen

Katy Lipson

Juan Maldonado

Odile Gakire Katese

Hartmut von Lieres

Dragan Jovičić

Sachin Gupta

Jill Navarre

subscribe
now

 

artists resources

 

books
&
plays

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”
– Eleanor Roosevelt

“Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.”
– Lao Tzu

“Write if you will: but write about the world as it is and as you think it ought to be and must be—if there is to be a world.”
– Lorraine Hansberry

“The highest result of education is tolerance.”
– Helen Keller

“We must use time creatively, in the knowledge that the time is always ripe to do right.”
– Martin Luther King, Jr

“You dance love, and you dance joy, and you dance dreams.”
– Gene Kelly

“Living consciously involves being genuine; it involves listening and responding to others honestly and openly; it involves being in the moment.”
– Sidney Poitier

“Life is short, Break the Rules. Forgive quickly, Kiss SLOWLY. Love truly. Laugh uncontrollably And never regret ANYTHING That makes you smile.”
– Mark Twain

“One must surrender entirely to the power of one’s artistic nature. It will do all the necessary things. Do not impose any solution upon yourself in advance.”
– Yevgeny Vakhtangov

“As an artist, I feel that we must try many things—but above all, we must dare to fail. You must have the courage to be willing to risk everything to really express it all.”
– John Cassavetes

“An artist must be free to choose what he does, certainly, but he must also never be afraid to do what he might choose.”
– Langston Hughes

“Each of us have a gift given us freely by the universe. And each of us with every breath gives something back.”
– Kim Stanley

“All kinds of art serve to the greatest of the arts - the art of living on earth.”
– Bertolt Brecht

“The advancement and diffusion of knowledge is the only guardian of true liberty.”
– James Madison

“You have to live spherically — in many directions. Never lose your childish enthusiasm — and things will come your way.”
– Federico Fellini

“If you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself, and make a change.”
– Michael Jackson

“Before you take a decision, consider its effect on the next seven generations.”
– Hopi proverb:

“Live! Live the wonderful life that is in you! Let nothing be lost upon you. Be always searching for new sensations. Be afraid of nothing.”
– Oscar Wilde

“We cannot trample upon the humanity of others without devaluing our own.”
– Chinua Achebe

INTERVIEWS with ARTISTS

BEN VEREEN

JEANINE TESORI

PSALMAYENE 24

SYLVIA MCNAIR

MICHAEL McELROY

DEIDRE KINAHAN

BOB ARI

PAUL TAZEWELL

PATRICIA ROZARIO

NANCY RHODES

MAIA DANZIGER

EARL “PEANUTT” MONTGOMERY

WILLIE RUFF

DENNIS D’AMICO

GRACE CACHOCHA

KAREN SAILLANT

JENNIFER HORNE

JEANIE THOMPSON

ROBERT PERRY

WAYNE SIDES

JAMIE LEE McMAHAN

SPOTLIGHT ON ARTISTS

Zana Marjanovic

Dr. Ashley William Joseph

M. Safeer

Kevin Kimani Kahuro

Ilire Vinca

Avra Sidiropoulou

Sujatha Balakrishnan

Mihaela Dragan

Farah Deen

Katy Lipson

Juan Maldonado

Odile Gakire Katese

Hartmut von Lieres

Dragan Jovičić

Sachin Gupta

Jill Navarre


Articles

Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre Company

Black Theatre United

Mabou Mines

Theater J

Pangea World Theater

Round House Theatre

Bucks County Playhouse

Charleston Stage

Maryland Ensemble Theatre

Chesapeake Shakespeare Company

PURE Theatre Company

Ronald Rand’s “CREATE! How Extraordinary People Live to Create and Create to Live”

Virginia Stage Company

Constellation Theatre Company

League of Professional Theatre Women

Maryland Hall

BlackRock Center for the Arts

Great American Songbook Foundation & Academy

Kennedy Center REACH

Inter Act Art Theatre

“Grand Ball in the Belle Epoch” – Edwardian Period Style Salon

Acting Teachers of America

Oh Eagle, come with wings
Outspread in sunny skies.
Oh Eagle, come and bring us peace,
thy gentle peace.
Oh Eagle, come and give new life
to us who pray.
Remember the circle of the sky, the
stars, and the brown eagle.
the great life of the Sun,
the young within the nest,
Remember the sacredness of things.”
- Pawnee prayer

“And above all,
watch with glittering eyes
the whole world
around you
because the greatest secrets
are always are hidden
in the most unlikely places.
Those who don’t believe
in magic
will never find it.”
- Roald Dahl

Ronald Rand in Let It Be Art

“To create one's world in any of the arts takes courage.”
– Georgia O’Keefe

“The purpose of human life is to serve, and to show compassion and the will to help others.”
– Albert Schweitzer

“A word does not start as a word – it is an end product which begins as an impulse, stimulated by attitude and behavior which dictates the need for expression.”
– Peter Brook

“The power of art is the power of truth.”
– Julian Beck

“An artist must be free to choose what he does, certainly, but he must also never be afraid to do what he might choose.”
– Langston Hughes

“Each of us have a gift given us freely by the universe. And each of us with every breath gives something back.”
– Kim Stanley

“All kinds of art serve to the greatest of the arts - the art of living on earth.”
– Bertolt Brecht

“The advancement and diffusion of knowledge is the only guardian of true liberty.”
– James Madison

“You have to live spherically — in many directions. Never lose your childish enthusiasm — and things will come your way.”
– Federico Fellini

“If you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself, and make a change.”
– Michael Jackson

“To grasp the full significance of life is the actor's duty, to interpret it is his problem, and to express it his dedication.”  
– Marlon Brando

“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart.”
– Helen Keller

“The theatre should be treated with respect. The theatre is a wonderful place, a house of strange enchantment, a temple of illusion.”
– Noel Coward

“Cultivate an ever continuous power of observation...see the sunlight and everything that is to be seen.”
– John Singer Sargent

“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.”
– T.S. Eliot

"Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world."
– Harriet Tubman

“Feel is if you are reborn each day and rediscover the world of nature which are joyfully a part.”
– Pablo Casals, at the age of 96

“The secret of all natural and human law is movement that meets with devotion”
– I Ching

“You are led through your lifetime by the inner learning creature, the playful spiritual being that is your real self.”
– Richard Bach

“Never underestimate the power of dreams and the influence of the human spirit. We are all the same in this notion: The potential for greatness lives within each of us.”
– Wilma Rudolph

“Always dream and shoot higher than you know you can do. Don’t bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself.”
– William Faulkner

“Every day is a new day. It is better to be lucky. But I would rather be exact. Then when luck comes you are ready.”
– Ernest Hemingway:

“Art is a nation's most precious heritage. For it is in our works of art that we reveal to ourselves, and to others, the inner vision which guides us as a Nation. And where there is no vision, the people perish.”
– President Lyndon B. Johnson

“My favorite piece of music is the one we hear all the time if we are quiet.”
– John Cage

“In a moment of grace, we can grasp eternity in the palm of our hand. This is the gift given to creative individuals who can identify with the mysteries of life through art.”
– Marcel Marceau:

“Music is the electrical soil in which the spirit lives, thinks and invents.”
– Ludwig van Beethoven

“There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening that is translated through you into action--and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. If you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is; nor how valuable it is; nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours, clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep open and aware directly of the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open. No artist is pleased. There is no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching, and makes us more alive than the others.”
- Martha Graham to Agnes de Mille

 

“In a moment of grace, we can grasp eternity in the palm of our hand. This is the gift given to creative individuals who can identify with the mysteries of life through art.”
– Marcel Marceau:

“Music is the electrical soil in which the spirit lives, thinks and invents.”
– Ludwig van Beethoven

“Use your knowledge, and your heart, to stand up for those who can't stand, speak for those who can't speak, be a beacon of light.”
– Julie Andrews

“...Beneath the surface of an ordinary everyday normal casual conscious existence there lies a vast dynamic world of impulse and dream...”
– Robert Edmond Jones

“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.”
– Samuel Beckett

“Being an actor is a religious calling because you've been given the ability, the gift to inspire humanity.”
– Sandy Meisner

“Whenever you are reading beauty around you, you are restoring your own soul.”
– Alice Walker

“The only reason to write is from love.”
– Stephen Sondheim

“To create one's world in any of the arts takes courage.”
– Georgia O’Keefe

 

 

“The purpose of human life is to serve, and to show compassion and the will to help others.”
– Albert Schweitzer

“A word does not start as a word – it is an end product which begins as an impulse, stimulated by attitude and behavior which dictates the need for expression.”
– Peter Brook

“The power of art is the power of truth.”
– Julian Beck

“An artist must be free to choose what he does, certainly, but he must also never be afraid to do what he might choose.”
– Langston Hughes

“Each of us have a gift given us freely by the universe. And each of us with every breath gives something back.”
– Kim Stanley

“All kinds of art serve to the greatest of the arts - the art of living on earth.”
– Bertolt Brecht

“The advancement and diffusion of knowledge is the only guardian of true liberty.”
– James Madison

“You have to live spherically — in many directions. Never lose your childish enthusiasm — and things will come your way.”
– Federico Fellini

“If you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself, and make a change.”
– Michael Jackson

“Before you take a decision, consider its effect on the next seven generations.”
– Hopi proverb:

“Live! Live the wonderful life that is in you! Let nothing be lost upon you. Be always searching for new sensations. Be afraid of nothing.”
– Oscar Wilde

“We cannot trample upon the humanity of others without devaluing our own.”
– Chinua Achebe

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”
– Eleanor Roosevelt

“Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.”
– Lao Tzu

“Write if you will: but write about the world as it is and as you think it ought to be and must be—if there is to be a world.”
– Lorraine Hansberry

“The highest result of education is tolerance.”
– Helen Keller

“We must use time creatively, in the knowledge that the time is always ripe to do right.”
– Martin Luther King, Jr

“You dance love, and you dance joy, and you dance dreams.”
– Gene Kelly

“Living consciously involves being genuine; it involves listening and responding to others honestly and openly; it involves being in the moment.”
– Sidney Poitier

“Life is short, Break the Rules. Forgive quickly, Kiss SLOWLY. Love truly. Laugh uncontrollably And never regret ANYTHING That makes you smile.”
– Mark Twain

“One must surrender entirely to the power of one’s artistic nature. It will do all the necessary things. Do not impose any solution upon yourself in advance.”
– Yevgeny Vakhtangov

“As an artist, I feel that we must try many things—but above all, we must dare to fail. You must have the courage to be willing to risk everything to really express it all.”
– John Cassavetes

“Stella Adler always said no one could teach acting, but she could. She had a knack for teaching people about themselves, enabling them to use their emotions, and bring out their hidden sensitivity. She also had a gift for communicating her knowledge; she could tell you not only when you were wrong, but why. He instincts were unerring and extraordinary. If I hit a sour note in a scene, she knew it immediately and said, “No, wait, wait, wait…that’s wrong!” and then dug into her large reserve of intuitive intelligence to explain why my character would behave in a certain way based on the author’s vision. She taught me to be real and not to try to act out an emotion that I didn’t personally experience during a performance. Once she told a reporter that she thought one of the assets I brought to acting was a high degree of curiosity about people. It’s true that I have always had an unwavering curiosity about people – and I have always made it my business to find out. If I can’t figure somebody out, I’ll follow them like a weasel with persistence until I find out what his nature is and how he functions, not for any reasons of advantage. I have always been equally curious about my own potential and limits, and tested myself to learn how much I could stand of one thing or another – how honest I could be, how false, how materialistic or other-worldly, how frightened, to what extent I could take a risk and what terrified me the most.” - Marlon Brando

"Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”
- Harriet Tubman

“It is a great piece of good fortune when an actor can instinctly grasp a play with his whole being. In such happy but rare circumstances it is better to forget all about laws and methods, and give himself up to the power of his creative nature.”
- Constantin Stanislavsky

“Integrity is doing the right thing when no one is watching.”
- C.S. Lewis

“Be silly. Be honest. Be kind.”
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The only revolution that counts is a revolution of the human spirit.”
- Henrik Ibsen

 “You are not your thoughts or behavior. You are beneath the thinker. You are the stillness beneath the mental noise. You are the love and joy beneath the pain.”
- Eckhart Tolle

“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.”
- Robert F. Kennedy

“Faith is taking the first step, even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Do not wait; the time will never be ‘just right.’ Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along.”
- Napoleon Hill

“Life shrinks or expands according to one’s courage.” 
- Anais Nin

 

Hirschfeld

M. Safeer, Founder of Inter Act Arts Theatre & Colombo International Theatre Festival

Inter Act Arts Theatre (IAA) of Sri Lanka

Inter Act Arts Theatre (IAA) based in Colombo, Sri Lanka was founded by M. Safeer in 1990, dedicated to cultured society, full of humanity with a social and cultural change, and presents the world-renowned Colombo International Theatre Festival for the past nine years in Sri Lanka.

Ronald Rand with Jayalath S. Gomes, Festival Secretary

Over the past two and a half decades, IAA has been involved in theater and the performing arts as a multi-ethnic, multi-language and a multi-religious group comprising of Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim representatives. IAA has led the way introducing Forum Theater in Sinhala and Tamil languages, and introducing the innovation of the use of a black box theater as a different dimension to Sri Lankan Theatre.

For the 8th consecutive year in 2019, Mr. M. Safeer and the IAA presented the Colombo International Theatre Festival in Colombo, with Opening Ceremonies at the Goethe House in Colombo introduced by the inspiring Dr. Petra Raymond, Director of the Goethe Institute, and led by Eshantha de Andrado, Rowena Jayaweera and Dewni Pathinisekara. A documentary film of the late renowned Sri Lankan actor, Dr. Jayalath Manorathne, was shown with an introduction by Mr. Waruna Alahakoon, Deputy Director of Education, Ministry of Education of Sri Lanka.

Presentation after a Production presented by IAA Presentation at Colombo International Theatre Festival

Presentation after a Production presented by IAA Presentation at Colombo International Theatre Festival

Ronald Rand with special guests at Colombo International Theatre Festival, 2019, including Thomas Stumpp, Head of the Theatre Dance at Goethe Institute, Germany and Dr. Petra Raymond, Director, Goethe Institute, Colombo, Sri Lanka

Performance during Opening Ceremonies, Colombo International Theatre Festival, 2019

Performance during Opening Ceremonies, Colombo International Theatre Festival, 2019

Audience at Opening Ceremonies, Colombo International Theatre Festival, 2019

Young performers of Sri Lanka’s Red Apples International Theatre company who performed in ”Do Re Mi Fa So La T'” in Colombo International Theatre Festival, 2019 (named as best childrens’ performance of the year in Sri Lanka), directed by Sachithra Rahubadda.

National University of Theatre and Film of Romania students who performed in “Rehearsal for Elsinore” during the Colombo International Theatre Festival, 2019, led by Bogdana Darie and Romina Sehlanec with Andreea Jicman, Victor Badol, Andrei Atabay, Carmen Galca, Natalia Dragomir, Cristan Jicman, Ioana Lixandtoaia and Miruna Sovaiala.

Everyone traveled to the famous Elphinstone Theatre to watch pre-performances in the lobby by Sri Lankan students during each night of the Festival, and along with excited audiences experience the talents of not just the Sri Lankan Theatre community but also gifted performers from around the world.

Special Guests, Panelists and Performers at the Colombo International Theatre Festival, 2019 including Ronald Rand, Rituparna Biswas, Subhendu Bhandari

Famous Elphinstone Theatre where performances of Colombo International Theatre Festival, 2019 took place

Banners at the front of the famous Elphinstone Theatre where performances of Colombo International Theatre Festival, 2019 took place

Pre-performances took place before performances
in the lobby by Sri Lankan talented students
at the Colombo International Theatre Festival, 2019

Sri Lanka theater troupes and performances included: Inter Act Art Theatre’s production of M. Safeer’s “Kevin,” Vinivida Theater’s “Menna Ape Rajjuruwo” by D.K. Atigala; Musaeus College’s “The Flight of Fancy” by Nimasha Fernando; “Grease Yaka Returns” written and directed by Rajitha Hettiarachchi and Nishantha de Silva; and Red Apples International Theatre performed a childrens’ drama, ”Do Re Mi Fa So La T'” which had been named as best childrens’ performance in the year in Sri Lanka, directed by Sachithra Rahubadda; and “Nokiya Hitapu deyak”  by Nalin Lusena with Sudarashana Krishantha, Rebeca Dilrukshi, Chamanthi Attanayaka.

 

One of the talented Sri Lanka students during a pre-performance in the lobby by Sri Lankan talented students at the Colombo International Theatre Festival, 2019

Acclaimed international performers and troupes invited from around the world performing in the Festival included Ronald Rand representing the United States performing in his internationally-acclaimed solo play, “LET IT BE ART!” as Harold Clurman, the “elder Statesman of the American Theater;” Austrian performance group, Hungry Sharks, led by Valentin Alfery and Dusana Baltic with noted Hip-Hop dancer, Farah Deen performing “The Sky Above, the Mud below;” Melanie Florschutz and Michael Dohnert in “Things to Wear” from Germany; National University of Theatre and Film of Romania students in “Rehearsal for Elsinore,” led by Bogdana Darie and Romina Sehlanec with Andreea Jicman, Victor Badol, Andrei Atabay, Carmen Galca, Natalia Dragomir, Cristan Jicman, Ioana Lixandtoaia and Miruna Sovaiala; Rudreshwar’s production of ”Soul to Soul” by Satich R. Narvekar from India; and Amta Parichay’s production of “Eladidi” with Rituparna Biswas, directed by Subhendu Bhandari.

Audience members in the famous Elphinstone Theatre at the Colombo International Theatre Festival, 2019

Ronald Rand during his performance as
Harold Clurman in “LET IT BE ART! in the
Colombo International Theatre Festival, 2019

Jayalath S. Gomes, Festival Secretary was delighted everyone came but reminded everyone of the recent dramatic events that befell Sri Lanka by saying: “Let me start with a rest in peace for those innocent people who laid down their lives on the Easter Sunday extremist attack and quick recovery for those who were wounded.”

“Even with the usual obstacles we were ready to stage our 8th Colombo International Theatre festival in early June when these unfortunate accident incidents took place. We had two options either to cancel or to postpone the Festival. When I informed the foreign teams about the situation in Sri Lanka, they were very sympathetic and encouraged us not to cancel but to postpone the event until the situation improved.”

Ronald Rand at the conclusion of his performance in “LET IT BE ART! in the Colombo International Theatre Festival, 2019, delivering his thanks in the Sinhala language

Ronald Rand receiving an award from Kakumoto Atsushi and M. Safeer, after his performance as Harold Clurman in “LET IT BE ART! in the Colombo International Theatre Festival, 2019

“Our gratitude to those who were involved in bringing the country to normalcy within a short span of time. When authorities of many countries had warned their citizens about the risks involved in going to Sri Lanka, other than one team, all teams of performers who were to participate in the Festival initially are here with us today. We are proud of you. We salute the performers and not forgetting our partners for trusting us.”

Sri Lanka’s Red Apples International Theatre’s production of a childrens’ drama, ”Do Re Mi Fa So La T'” (named as Best Childrens’ Performance of the year in Sri Lanka), directed by Sachithra Rahubadda in the Colombo International Theatre Festival, 2019

Sri Lanka’s Musaeus College’s “The Flight of Fancy” by Nimasha Fernando, in the Colombo International Theatre Festival, 2019

Sri Lanka’s Vinivida Theater’s “Menna Ape Rajjuruwo” by D.K. Atigala, in the Colombo International Theatre Festival, 2019

Thomas Stumpp, Head of the Theatre Dance at Goethe Institute, Germany was a special guest and shared his ideas about this year’s Festival: “For years the International Theater Festival in Colombo has been an important partner in the field of theater for the Goethe Institute. It is particularly worth mentioning that Festival Director, M. Safeer has always seen theater as a diverse art form that is intended as a theatrical art, regardless of the audience for which a staging is intended.”

“Grease Yaka Returns” written and directed by Rajitha Hettiarachchi and Nishantha de Silva, in the Colombo International Theatre Festival, 2019

Farah Deen performing “The Sky Above, the Mud below,” in the Colombo International Theatre Festival, 2019

Melanie Florschutz and Michael Dohnert in “Things to Wear” from Germany, in the Colombo International Theatre Festival, 2019

“While there are still differences in Germany between children’s theater and adult theater and different festivals take place, it is a matter of course the International Theatre Festival in Colombo invites what has quality and makes no distinction…The culture and productions shown at the Festival have a lasting effect on the invited German groups in their further work, including this year’s group – Melanie Florschutz and Michael Dohnert in “Things to Wear” from Germany. This reciprocal impulse in principle applies to any kind of cultural exchange, and it is important to us that such an exchange actually takes place.”

“Nokiya Hitapu deyak” by Nalin Lusena with Sudarashana Krishantha, Rebeca Dilrukshi, Chamanthi Attanayaka, in the Colombo International Theatre Festival, 2019

During the Fstival, M. Safeer’s play, “Kevin,” was performed, directed by M. Safeer and performed by Sudarashana Bandara as Kevin, Vishaka Jayaweera as the Mother, Sujeewa Pathinisekara as the father, and the “Colors” were: Asiri Dulanja, Chamodi Dayawansa, Nawanjana Jayasekara, Mithun Charitha, Nimesha Kaushalya, and Chanuka Maduhansa.

16. During the International Theater Forum, International Performing Artist/Artistic Director Ronald Rand delivering his Talk, at the Colombo International Theatre Festival, 2019, with Lead Moderator Sachithra Rahubadda, and Gaya Nagahawatta.

Over the years, Inter Art Act Theatre has won several awards at Sri Lanka national and international competitions. Their productions include the M. Safeer’s play, “Kevin,” directed by Mr. Safeer, which follows the story of the struggles and obstacles faced by a young Autistic boy called Kevin. The play is an emotional evening portraying the difficulties his parents are faced with because of the situation and the mental trauma that it brings upon Kevin.

During the International Theater Forum, Hungry Sharks Artistic Director, Valemtin Alfrey and producer Dusana Baltic and performer, Farah Deen delivering a Talk at the Colombo International Theatre Festival, 2019

M. Safeer has said about his play, “I had the opportunity to visit many countries regarding to theater-related work during the last two decades. I was able to gain a lot of knowledge and experience about children and youth theater. I met many dramatists in the world and shared knowledge with them, experiencing the potentials of writing a play like this, ‘walking beyond the traditional drama field.’”

International Performing Artist Ronald Rand conducting his Master Workshop, “Art of Transformation” (in three languages in English, Sinhala and Tamil, with two translators) at the Colombo International Theatre Festival, 2019

“Kevin is my first children play written in English. I had met Kevin as a character when I read an article in a newspaper about thirty years ago. He was caught between the fear of his father and the affection of his mother. Since I also have children I have experienced the fear that children may feel towards their father. This kind of fear may exist in every child, even those without special needs. Yet, I feel it is an unhealthy emotion for children in the Sri Lankan society.”

International Performing Artist Ronald Rand conducting his Master Workshop, “Art of Transformation” (in three languages in English, Sinhala and Tamil, with two translators) at the Colombo International Theatre Festival, 2019

As a director, at some instances during the play, I have tried to experiment with the lights to achieve certain lighting effects to capture Kevin’s mood swings. I hope “Kevin” will be a meaningful experience to children and parents alike.”

At the Colombo International Theatre Festival, there were also several master workshops presented, along with lectures at an International Forum by leading performers, directors, scholars and producers in the Festival, moderated by Sachithra Rahubadda, Artistic Director of Red Apple International Theatre. Those who participated included Thomas Stumpp of Germany, Ronald Rand of the USA, Valemtin Alfrey and Farah Deen, Kakumoto Atsushi, Ausanne Schyns, Michael Meyer, Associate Professor Bogdana Daire and Subhendu Bhandari.

International Performing Artist Ronald Rand with all the participants of his Master Workshop, “Art of Transformation” at the Colombo International Theatre Festival, 2019

Mr. Safeer commented about the Festival: “It has been a miracle journey throughout these eight years and this year especially, with the situation the country experienced, we were very unsure that the Festival would even be held. But we decided to focus on the silver lining in the dark cloud and worked hard to make this event a success. Ultimately I believe it has been just that.”

“Another achievement is being able to felicitate veteran Sri Lankan theater personality Dr. Jayalath Manorathne. Dr. Manorathne has been doing yeoman service to the local theater for five decades.”

Another important presentation by M. Safeer was the Sri Lankan premiere of an adaptation of “The Diary of Anne Frank” in English and Sinhala languages, directed by M. Safeer on March 5th and 6th at the Goethe Institute in Colombo (with an Exhibition on Anne Frank at the German Cultural Center. The cast of the play included Amaya Bogoda, Jayanath Bandara, Vishaka Jayaweera, Pimal K. Perera and Cithrarina Mendis. Art, videography and design was created by Saliya Liyanarachchi, with music by M. Sharaf.

Poster of performances of an adaptation, based on the world famous
“Diary of Anne Frank” directed by M. Safeer, staged in both English
and Sinhala languages at the Goethe Institute.

About his adaptation, Mr. M. Safeer said: “In creating this play based on Anne Frank’s world famous book, it was my aim to not only recreate what happened seventy years ago in Europe, but also connect it to what people went through in the present context in Sri Lankan society, especially after the Easter Sunday attack.”

“As a Muslim, I saw through Anne Frank’s Diary the agony, the mental pressure and the unease the entire society of Sri Lanka underwent after the recent Easter Sunday attack. Anne and the family went into hiding, in the same way parents of this country did not send their children to schools, withdrew from public places, went straight home after work and got felt caged at home.”

“What happened seventy years ago is repeating itself, even today. Many inhuman acts are taking place based on ethnic, religious, cast, creed, power and the class. There seems to be no end to these acts. All of us are engaged in an unending war. History repeats itself.”

Other IAA productions include “Mano Abhuta,” “Mak Nisada Yath,” “Kandawurak,” “Aranbayak ho Awasanayak Nometha,” “Antrawai,” “Ayemath with,” Gangata Udin Kokku Giya,” “Thrikonaya,” “Dheewaree Geethaya,” “Ege Horawa,” “Siripala Tharaha Wela,” “Sanda Saviya,” Hetavat Kavadavat (translation), “Shadha Muhunu,” “Kandawurak,” “Dushtanthayak,” “Pashchattapa,” “Oya Dora Arinna,” “Karunawen Sawandenna” (first bilingual production), “Mama Ipadune Iye Nemei,” (in Sinhala and Tamil), “Bahoru” (in Sinhala and Tamil), “Shasi Danawwa,” “Beanpole,” “Come in a Circle (in Sinhala and Tamil), “Empty Space Chair Taken,” Beanpole” (in Tamil), and “Pompinia.” Ballets have included: “Kadatolu Nimeshaya,” and “Isimbuwa.”

One of IAA’s main objectives has been to train young people, schoolteachers, and university students island-wide in modern theater and acting techniques. IAA has a publishing section introducing books on the art of theater, and also work to give the youth of all ethnicities with creative ideologies, the opportunity to work part-time to fulfill their objectives.

Contact info: Jayalath S. Gomes-Festival Secretary, M. Safeer-Festival Director, Colombo International Theater Festival, InterAct Art Black Box Theater House, 171/ 3, Koswatta Rd, Nawala, Rajagiriya Sri Lanka, 94 117 201 299, interactartsl@gmail.com, interactart.wordpress.com, www.citfsrilanka.com



"It is a law of life that man cannot live for himself alone. Extreme individualism is insanity. The world's problems are also our personal problems. Health is achieved through maintaining our personal truth in a balanced relation of love to the rest of the world. No expression is more emblematic of this relation than the creative act which we call art. No art by its very constitution typifies the social nature of that creative act more than the theatre. The theatre, to be fully understood and appreciated, must be seen as a manifestation of this process of interchange between society and the individual. It must be judged as a continuous development of groups of individuals within society, a development which becomes richer, acquires greater force and value as it grows with the society in which it originates. Only in this way can the theatre nourish us.  - Harold Clurman

The Soul of the American Actor Newspaper