A project that collects the stories and experiences of the elders of society and takes them to young people in the form of storytelling and live performance, ‘Dear Children, Sincerely…’ – A conversation across generations is taking place this weekend.

The project is based on long conversations with a cross section of the generation born in the 30s. This remarkable generation, who are now nearing the end of their lives, have lived through the entire history of modern Sri Lanka – colonialism, independence, the insurrections, the civil war, the technological revolution and post war Sri Lanka.

Tracy Holsinger
Tracy Holsinger

These conversations have resulted in two pieces of original theatre. The first is a collaboration between local company – Stages Theatre Group and Rwandan theatre group Mashirika. The second sees Stages working with the Mind Adventures Theatre Company.
“Sri Lanka’s journey towards reconciliation is a conversation that needs to take place on many levels; between communities, within communities, within ourselves and across generations. We need to give each other the space to talk and we need to open our minds to listen. This project – which seeks out the elders of our society – and together with them, creates performances for young people – is, at its very core – a conversation across generations. A conversation about who we were, how we changed, what we lost, what we are left with” says Artistic Director, Stages Theatre Group, Ruwanthie De Chickera.

The Rwandan-Sri Lankan Theatre Collaboration of ‘Dear Children, Sincerely…’ will be performed till January 31 at 7.30pm at the Western Province Aesthetic Resort (NADA theatre opposite the Planetarium), Colombo, Sri Lanka. This production has also been invited to perform at the prestigious National School of Drama – 18th Bharat Rang Mahotsav theatre festival in New Delhi in February this year.

Ruwanthie De Chickera
Ruwanthie De Chickera

The second production – ‘A Conversation Across Generations’ has been created based on several of the original interviews, as well as conversations with those involved in human rights work today. The resulting monologues are directed by Tracy Holsinger, Artistic Director of Mind Adventures. Describing the pieces Tracy says, “The themes covered in this production range from thoughts on growing old and losing touch with younger generations, to reflections on the JVP insurrection in the late 80s, to the dawning realisation that ethnic division had begun in earnest and would lead to communal violence, to the consequences of war – specifically, the plight of the internally displaced”. These monologues will be followed by Public Discussions which will be mediated by Radhika Hettiarachchi, and will take place at the ICES at 10am on 30 and 31.

Tickets for “Dear Children, Sincerely…..” are now available at Barefoot Cafe and NADA Theatre.  For the monologues and discussions, write into or pick up invitations at ICES.

The event is sponsored by the Esufally Family Foundation, the Sunethra Bandaranaike Trust and the Search for Common Ground. Media sponsors TNL Radio and Rhythm FM.

Stages Theatre Group
Stages Theatre Group is a collective of artistes that has for over a decade been pushing the boundaries of Sri Lankan theatre through a number of original plays, innovative collaborations, translations, bilingual plays, theatre projects and workshops.

Mind Adventures Theatre Company
Inspired by events and people in Sri Lanka, they are committed to creating and staging original work that explores socio-political concepts in a compelling and engaging manner. Their plays are devised, and often site specific and immersive.

Mashirika is a pioneering professional company in Rwanda. They are constantly exploring new ways to develop, to learn and to create exciting theatre. They bring together passions, fashions, moods, moves, sounds, networks, anger, forms, styles, challenges, engagement, words, rhythms, visions and visuals in their theatre.