Organization - Janakaraliya Cultural Foundation

Basic Information
English Janakaraliya Cultural Foundation
Local language ජනකරළිය සංස්කෘතික පදනම
Country Sri Lanka
Category UNESCO-Accredited NGO
Domain Oral Traditions and Expressions
Performing Arts
Function Documentation
Education and Training
Promotion
Established year 2003
Objectives
  • To create awareness among people of every strata regarding the importance of cultural and spiritual development integrated to the material or physical development and importance and probability of using drama and theatre as well as other arts as supportive human mediums within that integral development in order to build a sensitive, creative, wise and active society.
  • To provide open access for the majority of people in the country to performance theatre, without any ethnic, socio-cultural or political discrimination, thereby broadening the usage of arts and motivating them through various methods to participate in drama, theatre and other forms of art.
  • To use and encourage to exploit drama and theatre and other forms of art to facilitate majority of society to build self esteem, comprehend, tolerate, appreciate and admire each other and their various ideologies, inclinations and behaviours as well as cultures that help to communicate and interact with each other effectively to support creating a society in which everybody can live in harmony and peace.
  • To encourage the society to understand the nature and foster good relationships with the nature enabling them to live in harmony with nature.
  • To prepare, print, publish, issue, edit and circulate books, brochures, pamphlets, journals, magazines, periodicals, articles, bulletins and audio visual materials facilitating to disseminate information and knowledge on drama and theatre arts as well as its ancillary arts as educational subjects along with audio-visual media to fulfil the same purpose.
  • To sponsor or/and conduct workshops, conferences, seminars, group studies and public lectures on drama and theatre in any part of the country or outside Sri Lanka.
  • To grant assistance to individuals, primary community based organizations, government institutions or working together with them for achieving objectives of the Foundation.
Introduction

Janakaraliya, led by veteran dramatist Parakrama Niriella works across Sri Lanka with different ethnic groups. Janakaraliya is a cooperating member of the International Theater Institute (ITI) of UNESCO. It is a bi- lingual collective of youth trained in all skills necessary for drama production, which moves from one location to another with their collapsible tent hall, performing plays to audiences who otherwise have no access to such recreation. In a deeper discourse, “Janakaraliya” is an experimental process in applied theatre with stage plays taken out of their traditional proscenium stage into an arena platform and placed within a circle of audience. It thus creates a closer interactive experience for the audience. This novel experience for rural society has ignited a new interest in drama. This is evident in the Janakaraliya team that is almost all rural from both Sinhala and Tamil areas, including the plantation sector.

The organisation uses drama & theatre as an aesthetic, participatory medium of communication for spiritual & cultural development of the Sri Lankan society, through improvement of its creative, aesthetic and intellectual strengths, its self-esteem as a peaceful, tolerable society while preparing the society to meet challenges in socio economic and cultural development as a dynamic social member of regional and international community that lives in harmony with its own natural habitats.

Janakaraliya Theatre of the People has developed theatre groups where people from diverse ethnicities come together, work, and interact breaking caste/religious/gender/rural-urban/other barriers and providing community space with bilingual dramas. This has resulted in reconciliation, social inclusion and has been largely successful in overcoming the language barrier among the Tamils and the Sinhalese. Janakaraliya safeguards oral traditions and expressions, local and indigenous performing art traditions, social practices, rituals and festive events and performance and applied theatre practices of rural and urban areas of Srilanka.

Major Activities
  • Janakaraliya has an expert theatre team producing and performing artistic quality plays in both Sinhala and Tamil Languages in last 15 years. They have also established first bilingual theatre to produce & promote dramas in Sinhala and Tamil. It also sponsors and conducts workshops, conferences, seminars, group studies and public lectures on drama and theatre in any part of the country or outside Sri Lanka.
  • Janakaraliya ran a programme “Theatre for social cohesion” to promote cultural bonding among students of Tamil, Muslim and Singhali schools. This project created a space for students and teachers of all communities to come closer and work together to develop a story and perform the same. The outcome was cultural and social integration and in the same time it helped in safeguarding the traditional folk theater forms.
  • The “Mini Mobile Theatre” setup of the Janakaraliya drama group has created awareness among the people of every strata regarding the importance of cultural and spiritual development integrated to the material or physical development and importance and probability of using drama and theatre as well as other arts as supportive human mediums within that integral development in order to build a sensitive, creative, wise and active society.
  • Janakaraliya introduces drama to school children and train teachers to use drama as a teaching tool. Education, and Training for school children using drama & theatre as an aesthetic, participatory medium of communication for spiritual & cultural development of the Sri Lankan society, through improvement of its creative, aesthetic and intellectual strengths, its self-esteem as a peaceful, tolerable society has claimed to be one of the most successful effort ever taken by Sri Lanka in ushering peace and Harmony among all ethnicities. This directly impacted in creating social harmony through educational programs.
  • The young artists are getting a platform to showcase their talents in performing arts. It is also providing them an open space and local live audience to interact. Janakaraliya creates an audience for minority artists and performances in the majority ethnic areas by promoting their work in the other parts of the country.
  • The organisation prepares, print, publish, issue, edit and circulate books, brochures, pamphlets, journals, magazines, periodicals, articles, bulletins and audio visual materials facilitating to disseminate information and knowledge on drama, theatre and performing arts as well as its ancillary arts as educational subjects along with audio-visual media.
Contact Information (Organization)
Website www.janakaraliya.org
Address 238A, Rajagiriya Road, Rajagiriya
Tel +94112872718, Mobile: +94773175638
Fax +94112888419
E-mail janakaraliya@gmail.com

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