Cast as Mother

a reading of the Passing Stage manuscript

Created by 13 artist mothers

Directed by Ruwanthie de Chickera

Synopsis         Production       Reviews         Looking Back        Devising        Rehearsals        Cast         Downloads


Cast as Mother is a dramatized reading of the process and content of the Passing
Stage project, in which 13 artist mothers wrote anonymously for 1 ½ years on
motherhood in Sri Lanka, reflecting on it through the lens of theatre.

May  2012
Lionel Wendt Theatre
Colombo, Sri Lanka

Running time – 1 ½ hrs (no interval)
Language - English ; Sinhala

The opening show was supported by  The Sunethra Bandaranaike Trust, Women and Media Collective

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The Passing  Stage  Project 

In November 2010, Ruwanthie invited fellow artists who were mothers, to participate in a writing process reflecting on motherhood through the lens of theatre.
Over 1½ years,
13 women responded to 7 writings tasks sent to them. 
The group wrote under pseudonyms and through anonymous emails. They explored topics such as love, sex, marriage, education, country and religion.
All the writings were finally collected, translated and compiled into a 300-page bilingual manuscript.
This manuscript defined the scope and direction of the production.

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Cast as Mother takes the audience chronologically through the writing process of the “Passing Stage” manuscript, from its initial concept through the 7 writing tasks completed over 1 ½ years, by 13 artist mothers.

The production starred several well-known women theatre practitioners who had contributed as writers to the “Passing Stage” manuscript including Kaushalya Fernando, Dilrukshi Fonseka, Tracy Holsinger, Izhara Huzair Zubair, Nadie
Kammallaweera, Niranjala Manjari and Chamila Peiris.

The production marked the end of the Passing Stage project and acted as a preview
to Kalumaali.



“If motherhood in Asia, and especially in Sri Lanka, is one of the prototypical roles which frame the lives of women, ‘Cast as Mother’ effectively explored the multidimensionality of the lives of these women, irreducible to this single socially-sanctioned role.”

Harshana Rambukwella Groundviews

More Reviews


Looking Back

Artists involved in creating this play reflect on the creative process; explaining how the idea came about, how it grew, changed and what finally made it to the production.

Read the Resource Pack and watch the Stages Looking Back Video to gain insight into the process behind creating this play.


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Rehearsals for Cast as Mother started as soon as the Passing Stage writing process ended.
Priority was given to inviting the original writers of the manuscript to perform in the dramatized reading.
New artists were brought in to stand in for the writers who could not participate in the show.
Rehearsals for the play comprised close readings of the manuscript and improvisations around the writing excerpts.
No changes were made to the writing itself.
The cast worked in both Sinhala and English.



Malshani Delgahapitiya