Prof. Saumya Liyanage

Prof. Saumya Liyanage

Director-Centre of Social Reconciliation of VAPA | Professor

Qualifications: BA in Uni. of Kelaniya, MCA in Flinders University, PhD in La Trobe University


Saumya Liyanage has been working as an actor and a theatre scholar in Sri Lanka over two decades and has received best actor awards and many accolades at leading theatre and film festivals in the country. Saumya completed his Master of Creative Arts Degree at Flinders University, South Australia in 2003 and received his PhD from La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia in 2014. He has published many papers and articles in national and international journals and has presented research papers at the International Federation for Theatre Research (IFTR) and Australasian Drama, Dance, and Performance Studies (ADSA) conferences. His recent book is titled ‘Meditations on Acting: Essays on Theory Practice and Performance’ published by DEV Publishing, Colombo. Saumya has received BUNKA award for his contribution to culture and arts from the Japanese Embassy in Sri Lanka.

Research Interests:

Theatre and Film Acting, Performance Practice and Actor Training, Phenomenology and Performance, Performance Theories


  • Book – Meditations on Acting: Essays on Theory, Practice, and Performance ISBN 978-955-4029-00-2, DEV Publishing 2016
  • Book – “Fo Ranga Wedamulu: Theatre Workshops by Dario Fo” published by Vishada Publication, Sri Lanka in 2010, ISBN number: 9789550 090020 2010


  • AHEAD Research Grant of 10 million rupees for the project titled
  • Lamp in a windless place: Developing an actor training methodology through Sri Lankan combative arts forms’ 2019
  • Felicitation Award, Colombo International Theatre Festival 2016
  • BUNKA Award for Culture and Arts, Embassy of Japan 2015
  • La Trobe University Postgraduate Research Scholarships (LTUFFRS/LTUPGS) 2010
  • La Trobe University FHUSS Internal Research Grant Scheme (IRGS) for ADSA conference attendance 2013
  • La Trobe University School Grant (CACE) Scheme 2012 for the field work conducted in Sri Lanka between October and September 2012
  • La Trobe University SRE (sustainable Research Excellence) Grant 2012
  • Bursary Award IFTR (International Federation for Theatre Research) in July 2012 and Attended the annual IFTR conference in Santiago, Chile
  • Veronica Kelly Award for the outstanding postgraduate research paper presented at ADSA (Australasian Association for Theatre Drama and
  • Performance Studies) Conference held at Monash University, Clayton Campus in July 28-2nd August 2011.
  • “Saundarya Abhimani” felicitation award from the University of the Visual & Performing Arts, Colombo in 2010 for the achievement of acting in Sri Lankan film industry 2011
  • Winner of World Bank Research Grant of $ 3000 for conducting a one month study on ‘Actor Training and Teaching Methodologies’ at National School of Drama New Delhi, India, January 2009
  • Winner of the Presidential Scholarship Award worth of $ 10,000 for the Performing Arts in 1993.This award was awarded by the Her Excellency the President of Sri Lanka, Mrs. Chandrika Bandaranayake Kumaranathunga 1993

Awards for Theatre Acting

  • Best Actor Award (‘No Return’ a play by Rajitha Disanayake) at the National Drama Festival 2009
  • Best Actor Award (‘Mata Erehiwa Mama’ a play by Piyal Kariyawasam) at the State Drama Festival 2001
  • Best Actor Award (‘Dawasa Thama Gewnne’-Sinhala translation of ‘The Typist’ by Murrey Shisgul directed by Buddhika Damayantha) at the State Drama Festival 1999
  • Best Actor Award (‘Kontharaththuwa’ a play by Piyal Kariyawasam) at the National Youth Drama competition 1994

Awards for Screen Acting

  • Best Actor at the Sarasaviya film Award for the movies titled Alone in a Valley directed by Boodee Keerthisena 2018
  • Best Actor at the SIGNIS film awards for the movie Alone in a valley directed by Boodee Keerthisena 2018
  • Special Jury Award for acting (Me Mage Sandai A film by Asoka Handagama at the Presidential Film Awards 2011
  • Silver Award for Best Creative Performance for the film ‘Aba’ at SIGNIS Film Awards 2010
  • Best Actor Award (‘Aganthukaya’ a film by Wasantha Obesekara) at 32nd Sarasaviya Film Awards 2010
  • Best Supporting Actor (‘Wala Patala’ [Penumbra]) a film by Vijitha Gunarathna) at 32 Sarasaviya Film Awards 2010
  • Silver Award for Best Creative Performance (‘Aganthukaya’ a film by Wasantha Obesekara) at SIGNIS Film Awards 2009
  • Golden Award for the Best Actor (‘Me Mage Sandai’ a film by Asoka Handagama) at the SIGNIS Film Awards 2002.



Other Links :

Google Scholar   |  ResearchGate