It all started with having a visionary father who was an enthusiastic member of the British Council Library and brought stacks of new books home weekly - devoured by myself and my two siblings. When I was in primary school, he’d beg and plead the British Council Arts Manager to provide space for me in the drama workshops run by visiting British artists. No matter how many times the Arts Manager explained the workshop was aimed at adults, my Father wouldn’t take no for an answer and she generously accommodated me alongside the Sri Lankan theatre and screen stars. I’d watch these professionals in action open-mouthed. That early exposure was fundamental to nourishing my passion for theatre which became my professional career.
From being a beneficiary of the British Council, my relationship has evolved into being a creator of art that can expand the circle of beneficiaries of the British Council.
As a child, I felt that the British Council was a place you could access some of the best talents in the world. As an adult, I feel this is a place that gives you a chance for your wildest experiments - which is vital for a successful outcome.
I started to work closely with the British Council during the Women of the World Festival - which opened my eyes to the myriad of issues faced by girls and women in Sri Lanka and across the globe. It led to a Voice and Choices grant enabling us to take our Little Girl Giant (the tallest female puppet in the country) to audiences of students, parents and teachers across the island. From being a beneficiary of the British Council, my relationship has evolved into being a creator of art that can expand the circle of beneficiaries of the British Council.
One of the most interesting moments I had at the British Council as an adult was being in full clown costume, waiting to perform our puppet show ‘Why? Saama’ (on gender equality) at the library. We were waiting in the corridors that led to the classrooms which were packed as usual on Saturday morning and before we knew it, so many curious faces were pressed against the door watching us with teachers trying their best to continue the lessons despite the clown invasion! All the teachers ended up bringing their entire classrooms to the show, so everyone got to see the clowns in action.
Get your children involved at the British Council! That early exposure is key to paving the way for genuine passion which can inspire them to create careers they love!