On the 31st of this month, the Mind Adventures Theatre Company in collaboration with the Janakaraliya Cultural Foundation presents ‘Kaerakena Keliya’. The show is based on ‘The Travelling Circus’ adapted and devised from ‘The Boy Who Speaks in Numbers’ by Mike Masilamani which was first performed by Mind Adventures in 2009. The new production is directed by Tracy Holsinger and will be performed both in Sinhala and Tamil.

Kaerakena Keliya (2)The original production focused on the IDP camps and the thousands who were detained in them for so long. Seven years on, the focus of this production is on raising awareness about missing persons and promoting communal tolerance. “The play’s content is still controversial but at the very heart of it, is a story that is as heartwarming as it is sorrowful and poignant. I am very interested in transitional justice and memorialization, and in a post-war context, it is vital that theatre creates space for new narratives and dialogue and challenges people to think about reconciliation by telling stories that deal justly with victims and victors alike; this is how we begin to move forward,” says Tracy.
Ryan Holsinger translated the English script of ‘The Boy Who Speaks in Numbers’ into Sinhala. All the songs and melodies were rewritten. Now that, the Sinhala script is complete, Janakaraliya’s Rasaiah Loganandan will translate it into Tamil.

The Sinhala production will be staged at the Western Province Aesthetic Resort. The Tamil show will be staged in Janakaraliya’s mobile theatre in Jaffna. Both versions of the show will tour the country. The collaboration between the two theatre companies will extend beyond this production and they have designed a series of workshops around the themes in the play that they hope to conduct in schools across the country.

Janakaraliya’s main acting troupe – Sumudu Mallawaarachchi, Rasaiah Loganandan, Ronika Chamalee, Selvaraj Leelawathy, Nishantha Kularatne, Thiyagaraja Sivanesan, Ajanthan Shanthakumar, Devran Sri Livera, Arosha Tharanganie and Inoka Lankapura star in Kaerakena Keliya.

Janakaraliya is a mobile cultural organisation that uses a collapsible theatre and travels through districts with its theatre group. The drama group consists of Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim youth recruited from various parts of the country, all of whom have been trained under a single roof by veteran dramatists.

Janakaraliya Cultural Foundation and Mind Adventures Theatre Company present Kaerakena Keliya on May 31, at 7pm at the Western Province Aesthetic Resort (NADA) on Stanley Wijesundara Mawatha, Colombo7. Ticket is priced at Rs 200, email to reserve.