2020 was a year where Covid-19 restrictions had greatly affected the theatre scene. Performing arts in general have taken a drastic hit. Social distancing guidelines made any sort of large performance or competition near impossible.
The Trinity College Drama Society planned on hosting a competition during the first few months of 2020 but the pandemic cut short any possibility of that happening. This made the boys think outside the box as they looked towards an online platform to organise and conduct a Drama Festival. After many nights of planning, they finally decided to have their festival “Star Wars to Shakespeare” on the 17th and 18th of December on Zoom.
The competition was held under 5 main categories:
- Shakespeare Monologues
- Original Skits
- Modern Drama Extracts
- Musical Theatre Extract
- Extracts from Movies and TV shows
Around 110 participants from 13 schools took part in the festival, making it an enjoyable two days of entertainment for all theatre enthusiasts. The competition was streamed live on the College Facebook page as well, making available for everyone to watch the performances.
The schools which took part at the festival were:
Ananda College, Colombo
Royal College, Colombo
Gateway College, Kandy
Gateway College, Rajagiriya
Gateway College, Dehiwala
Gateway College, Negombo
Lyceum International School, Nugegoda
Musaeus College, Colombo
Holy Family Convent, Bambalapitiya
Kandy Girls’ High School
Mahamaya College, Kandy
Good Shepherd Convent, Kandy
Elizabeth Moir School
The first day of the festival had the Shakespeare Monologue, Modern Drama Extract, and Original Skit competitions, while the second day of the festival had the Musical Theatre Extract and Extracts from Movies and TV Shows competitions.
The best three performances from each category were chosen. Awards were given to the Best Overall Solo performance and Best Overall Group performance as well.
The Best Overall Solo Performance had a three-way tie with all three participants hailing from Elizabeth Moir School:
Leeth Singhage – Shakespeare Monologue
Serika Siriwardhana – Musical Theatre Extract
Rishika Sanaya Senevirathne – Musical Theatre Extract
The Best Overall Duet or Group Performance was awarded to Kandy Girls’ High School for their Musical Theatre Extract. This performance won the highest points at the Festival as well.
After the two days of entertainment the following schools emerged overall winners:
1st Place – Gateway College, Rajagiriya
2nd Place – Elizabeth Moir School
3rd Place – Kandy Girls’ High School
We spoke to Mr. Jerome de Silva, a prominent figure in the Sri Lankan theatre scene. Mr de Silva, who watched the live stream on Facebook had this to say about the festival:
“It was a very good initiative by you guys. We have had all these classes and examinations happening online but it was not an inter-school thing. With the current situation I feel this is the way forward and you guys did a tremendous job. I’m sure all the boys and girls would have loved to put their costumes on and get back to theatre.”
The MIC, Mr Aslam Marikar, was thoroughly impressed with the work work put in by the boys:
“It was very well organized. The students were very conscious of being professional which is a quality I can happily applaud . The participating schools did a marvellous job with their performances. Everyone I spoke to including some of the judges were very impressed with the efforts that the students had put into their acts: that sort of commitment too assisted with making this competition what it became.
Well done guys for keeping the spirit of theatre alive in 2020. A special mention must go out to Rahul, Adithya, Pavara and Gesith I hope I did not miss anyone out, the seniors that took this project upon themselves and saw it through.”
The members of the Drama Society of Trinity College would like to extend their gratitude to the judges who took time of their schedules to be with them at the competition.
Nishantha de Silva – Shakespeare Monologues
Thushara Hettihamu – Modern Drama Extract
Rajitha Hettiarachchi – Original Skits
Dimitri Goonathilake – Musical Theatre Extracts
Ray Martenstyn – Extracts from Movies and TV Shows
The boys would also like to thank the participants for all their performances that made the Festival a colourful one for all the viewers. They also to thank their MIC Mr. Aslam Marikar for all his support given to make this event a successful and an enjoyable one.