“Untouched” awarded for best monodrama at the Egyptian film festival

Writer and director Sujeewa Pathinisekara shares his experience

intact, written and directed by Sri Lankan playwright Sujeewa Pathinisekara and presented by Inter Act Art (IAA), was recently selected as Best Monodrama at the Sham El-Sheikh International Drama Festival held in Sham El City -Sheikh in Egypt.

intact is performed by Subuddhi Lakmali and choreographed by M. Safeer.

Dedicated to a cultured and humane society with social and cultural change, Colombo-based IAA was founded by Mr. Safeer in 1990. It has presented the world famous Colombo International Theater Festival for the past nine years in Sri Lanka. Sagara Wijesinghe created the music for the monodrama while Wasantha Kumara and Pathinisekara served as lighting designers. Staging was provided by Nirosh Kavirathna, Mr. Sharaf and Mr. Shafraz.

Writer and director Sujeewa Pathinisekara

Brunch had a conversation with Pathinisekara to find out more about the drama and the price.

Giving us a brief glimpse into the inspiration behind the play, Pathinisekara explained that he wrote this play about two years ago and was inspired by the notions and plot left behind by certain books and films he had watched. Made during the first Covid-19 lockdown in 2019, Pathinisekara said the play was made as a monodrama, mostly due to practical issues, while the other reason was that it was scheduled for a festival in the Arab Emirates. United.

Explaining the plot a little to us, he said, “This is the story of three people – a woman; her husband, who is a doctor; and the doctor’s patient, who entered their life. He further explained that the woman was not happy with her marriage because her partner was not too attentive to her and was absorbed in her work.

One day the husband tells his wife about one of his patients, whom the wife loves very much. They eventually met at a dinner party and hit it off. “Here, the wife asks the husband to dance, which he rejects, thus prompting the wife to sleep with the patient.” He further added that the rest of the story revolves around the relationship of wife and patient as well as how the husband handles the situation.

Internationally famous

Pathinisekara told us that the Sham El-Sheik International Theater Festival was held in four categories: street theater, special space theater, ensemble theater and monodrama. A total of 21 countries participated in this festival, selected from 302 entries.

The team behind ‘Untouched’ at the awards ceremony

Sharing his thoughts on getting the award, he said he was thrilled and proud to have been able to win this award and bring honor and glory to his country. “We had a very big ceremony because in Egypt, this award is very important, and this drama was the first time that Sri Lanka won a playwright’s award in Egypt, so it’s quite an honor,” noted Pathinisekara.

intact represented the Monodrama category and received the Mohamed Sayyed Al Afkam Prize – the only prize awarded in said category. He added that intact won this award in a competition with international recognition and fame.

intact also participated in two international theater festivals in United Arab Emirates and India in 2020. The play was performed at the Preksha Drama Festival in Colombo last year.

In the near future, Pathinisekara explained that Athens, Greece and Saudi Arabia have also requested the participation of Pathinisekara in their respective awards ceremonies. “All of these countries recognized the coin and congratulated it on a job well done. We have been invited to more overseas award ceremonies, so this piece will move and hopefully win more international awards, ”he commented.

Darcy J. Skinner