My first interaction with the British Council was in 1992. The intensive workshops on Shakespeare with Willie Richards culminated in the performance of 'We're All Mixed Up About Shakespeare' which was performed at the Colombo and Kandy British Council Halls. The British Council was a hub of training for young actors, through the regular workshops with foreign directors. The library was a great resource for scripts and research in those days before the Internet.
I first joined as a workshop participant and actor doing regular performances for Shakespeare's birthday (1992 - 1994). The British Council then sponsored my scholarships to Bangalore, India in 2000 and 2001 to attend Residential Workshops in Writing and Directing, conducted by Royal Court Theatre of London, organised the South Asian British Council and ART Bangalore. The British Council also supported the first original script I wrote, 'The Ritual' (which was subsequently shortlisted for the year 2008 Gratiaen Prize). The show was performed at the British Council garden in 2002 and later performed in Kandy and India with British Council support.
During our early years, my theatre troupe 'CentreStage Productions' felt we had been 'adopted' by the British Council.
Since then, I have had interactions nearly every year with the British Council including sponsorship for my play 'Rag - The Musical', and the venue for a re-staging of 'Pyramus & Thisby' (My Lankanised adaptation of Shakespeare's 'A Midsummer Night's Dream'). In 2014, the British Council chose me to represent Sri Lanka at the 'Unlimited' festival for Disability Arts, where my two Mix-abilities performances of Tchaikovsky's 'Swan Lake' and 'Nutcracker' with disabled performers from Sunera Foundation and injured soldiers were discussed and presented.
During our early years, my theatre troupe 'CentreStage Productions' felt we had been 'adopted' by the British Council. My troupe is now 18 years old, and consistently producing and promoting original writing, theatre, education and social change. We proudly represent the country at overseas festivals each year as well.