SRI LANKA: DRAMATHERAPY WEEK CELEBRATION
27TH OCTOBER 2019
Sri Lanka Association for Dramatherapists celebrated the International Dramatherapy Week on 27th October at Senehasa Education Research Resource and Information Centre in Colombo. The theme of the celebration was ‘Social Cohesion and Reconciliation’. Mr. Wijerathne Warakagoda, veteran actor in Sri Lanka was the Guest of Honour at this occasion. As a ritual, the traditional oil lamp was lit, to commence the programme of the Day.
A crowd of fifty people attended and actively engaged in the two workshops. Ms. Tehani Chitty, dramatherapist conducted the opening workshop on ‘Self-Compassion’. Since Sri Lanka underwent a gruesome experience on Easter Sunday, Tehani’s workshop dealt on the themes of knowing one’s emotions, respecting others, and accepting diversity. Dr. Nishanthi Dolage, psychiatrist, conducted a session on ‘Managing Anger’. She utilized activities to show the neurobiological impact of dramatherapy, and also made use of applied theatre techniques to understand and manage anger.
Dr. Ravindra Ranasinha, dramatherapist, in his keynote speech said: “Dramatherapy goes beyond clinical setting. It has the task of healing the communities. Our people were set apart after the April 21st bomb attack. Today, we are here to know what makes us different from others, and how we should move forward together, within the multicultural setting in Sri Lanka. This Day aims towards this important mission”. Dr. Ranasinha thanked the Action Committee of the Association for their effort in organizing this event. Also, he wished the participants for a day of healing and education.
One participant said: “This is an eye-opener”. Several said: “Our expectation was entertainment, but after attending the two sessions we understood that dramatherapy is a different discipline. It touched our hearts and minds. We were made to think and change our ways”. Another participant said: “I felt comfortable with this group, and process my own issues. I learnt a lot. I learnt that I’ve got to change.”
The celebration concluded with the Vote of Thanks delivered by the Secretary of the Association, Ms. Theja Jayasinghe.