Mr. Prasannajith Abeysuriya

Name: Mr. Prasannajith Abeysuriya

Qualifications: MA

Position: Senior Lecturer | Department Drama Ballet and Modern Dance

Profile:

Prasannajith Abeysuriya enters the art of drama while he is in his alma mater. As a student in Welmpitiya Vidyawardna Vidyalaya in 1975 the first sign of his career is seen with writing and directing the drama ‘Midiwatta’ for the inter school drama competition in Colombo district which was coordinated by the Lions club. He won the award for the best actor in this particular competition. His early abilities in the alma mater confirm that the art of drama has affected his life immensely. The influence of the area where he was grown up and the option of having the opportunity to watch dramas in the capital and the characteristics of his teachers in his early life have affected his early career. He enters the open stage a prompter with the drama ‘Gamane Ya’ of Sirithunga Perera in 1976. He has played parts in stage management and prompting in the dramas of Sirithunge Perera in between 1976-1980. He end his school life with the access to the career of drama.

By winning the award for the best actor for his own drama ‘Midiwatta’ Prasannajith proves that he has a great ability in acting and creates the opportunity for him to join the open stage with the drama ‘Parana Coat’ of Sirithunge Perera in 1980. It has to be reminded that Prasannajith was born and grown up in an area where so many great drama artists were among who contributed lot to the art of drama in Sri Lanka. He has played roles in Vesak drams in the area. However as it’s a well known fact that a young guy who has an affection towards the art of drama could only start conveying his abilities through the street drama in the beginning but not by the stage drama Prasannajith underwent the same. By joining Gamini Hathtotuwagama’s open Street Drama Group in 1980 and performing as an active member with passion in the group till 2002 paved the way for him to elaborate his abilities in acting and to realize the potential energy an artist could have. Dedicating his young life for street drama for over two decades mean a great empathy for the whole arena of drama.
It can be clearly mentioned that Prasannajith has obtained not only a theoretical knowledge but also practical acquaintance about the art of drama with immense courage in his early career. That foundation was made strong by joining a full time drama course which was held at State Institute of Theatre Arts in Ministry of Cultural Affairs in 1987 and Children’s and Youth Theater Organization conducted by Mrs. Somalatha Subasinghe. He had to resign from the executive job which he was engaged fulltime in the private garment industry in order to occupy full time in the drama field and to gain theoretical and practical knowledge of it. It’s a dedication made by him when compared to the modern generation who are always focused on studies for occupation. In the year 1993 he joins the University of Kelaniya and obtains a special degree for performing art and later Master degree for drama and theater from university of Sri Jayewardenepura. He is currently working as a senior lecturer in the University of The Visual Arts and Performing Art. His journey of creativity and education has led a great example for young artist in the modern era.
Prasannajith becomes a great ambassador and a mentor to the Sri Lankan drama and theatre field as well as for the upcoming performing artists, as he accomplished all areas of it, such like script writing, directing, acting, costume designing, lighting, stage designing and been honored by the general public.

Publications:

Dukgannarala (Drama script)- 1993

Dordanda (Drama script ) -1996

Sri Lankawe Weedi Natya Nalawa – 2016

Somalatha Subasinghe Rangakala Karya Sadhanaya – 2019

Kelani Palma, Hathlis Wasaraka Ranghbhishekaya – 2019

Awards:

For Script Writiting:

Best Script Writer 2nd place – State Drama festival &Youth Drama festival
in 1989 For the play of Dukgannarala.

State Drama festival & Youth Drama festival in 1995
For the play of Dordanda.

For Directing:

Nominated as Best play of the year – State Drama festival &Youth Drama festival In 1989 For the play of Dukgannarala.

Best Director & Best play of the year – Youth Drama festival in 19 For the play of Dordanda.

Nominated as Best play of the year – State Drama festival in 1995 For the play of Dordanda.

For Stage Drama Acting:

Best Actor in Inter School Drama Competition 1976.

Merit Awards for Youth Drama festivals in 1989 /1994/1995.

Nominated as Best Actor ( Short play) State Drama festival in 1998.

Nominated as Best Actor ( length play) State Drama festival in 2006.

Nominated as Best supporting Actor State Drama festivals in 2000/2007/2018.

For Tele Drama Acting:

Best supporting Actor Sumathi Tele award in 2009 for Samanalunta Wedi Thiyanna, Raigam Tele Award in 2009 for Handawa).

Costume Designing:

Youth Drama Awards-1989 – Dukgannarala 1994 – Sakwadawala 1995 – Dordanda. 1997 – Arundahiee.

State Drama Awards- 1995 – Dordanda. 2000 – Asani Walahaka.

Choreography:

Youth Drama Awards- 1995 – Dordanda, 1997 – Arundahiee

State Drama Awards- 1995 – Dordanda. 2000 – Asani Walahaka 2018 – Maya Bhandana

Special Awards:  Bunka Award from Japanese Embassy 2009

Achievements:

Participated for Children drama workshop, (Grips Theater workshop conducted by German cultural Institute ) Bangalore, INDIA, 1994

Conducting a workshop and Monitoring ‘Dukgannarala’ Drama Production was written by Prasannajith Abeysuriya and translated into English by Professor Ranjani Obesekara as “Bearer of woes” and it was produced by the University of Drew in New Jerzy City, USA, 2003

Conducting a workshop and Performed street drama with PAHURA STREET DRAMA GROUP International Theater Festival in Lahor (Rafi Fear Theater Festival) Pakistan, 2006

Participated as Sri Lankan representative for ASITEJJ annual meeting & International Childrens Theater Festival in 0kinawa, JAPAN, 2012

Performed SINHABAHU & MANAME for 100th Birthday Celibration of Prof Ediriweeera Sarachchandra in UNESCO. PARIS, FRANCE,2014

Conducting a workshop and Performed International theatre festival of New Dhilli. – 2017

Conducting a workshop and Performed ITFOK – (International Theatre Festival of Kerala ) Kerala – 2018

Other Links :