ADDING DIMENSIONS TO A THEATRICAL EXPERIENCE
As the founding director of theatre company ‘Theatre Junction’ which began in 2012, Anushka Senenayake has been critically innovative and consistently progressive. What we admire of Anushka is her grit and the manner in which she addresses complex subject matters and decadent traditions through her plays, which recently fruitioned powerfully in the popular production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s ‘Cinderella’ (2017), a noteworthy theatrical interpretation of the modern dynamics of a defiant young woman expressed through alternative types of performance tastefully.
Anushka has a double major in Drama and Economics from Converse College, United States, after having initially practiced theatre from Ladies College, Colombo. Her ethos as a director is to embody a sense of boldness at the heart of her teaching. In the socio-political climate ridden with unrest, the director felt a sense of responsibility as an artist and humanist voice to shed light on the suffering prevalent in such issues and their solutions. Theatre has much to do with community engagement and houses the potential to mirror a society back unto itself.
Performance of Challenge
‘Theatre Junction’ has almost produced a dramatic performance annually, starting off with ‘Time And Motion’ (2012), taking place at the Lionel Wendt Theatre, an abstract collection of short plays which explored the human relationship with time and the fast-paced energy of modern culture. This was followed by ‘Philip Glass Buys A Loaf of Bread’ (2012), in which spoken words mimicked compositional frameworks produced by the classical musician Philip Glass. Anushka practiced writing and exploring the practice of drama during her time in college. Often taking part in acting roles, and being an assistant director until senior year, she ultimately decided to take the art of direction in her own hands. In addition to this her short plays were performed by the department, prompting further exposure.
Much of Anushka’s work positions itself onto contemporary pulse and context, whereas the traditional approach for most in theatre would be to perform a classical piece. The modern take of ‘Dead Man’s Cell Phone’ (2013) addressed humanity’s consuming relationships with technology. ‘The Last Five Years’ (2015) together with performance artist Asitha Tennekoon, was an introspective two-person musical that took place at the Lionel Wendt Theatre collaborating with composer Natasha Senanayake. ‘Next To Normal’ (2016) addressed the condition of depression through a rock musical, which provoked many conversations, workshops and talks surrounding the stigma often cast on mental health and music culture...
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