DCS Monologues

part of the “Dear Children, Sincerely…” project

Directed by Tracy Holsinger

Synopsis         Production       Reviews         Looking Back        Rehearsals        Cast         Downloads
 

SYNOPSIS

The DCS Monologues are personal narratives created from the interviews of the DCS
project – a theatre research project which collects the stories and experiences of the
generation born in the 1930s and takes them to contemporary audiences in the form
of storytelling and live performance.

January, 2016
International Center for Ethnic Studies,
Colombo, Sri Lanka

Running time – 10 – 20 mins each
Language - English, Sinhala, Tamil


The opening show was supported by  The Esufally Foundation, GIZ, Sri Lanka
The Neelan Tiruchelvam Trust
Fokus
Search for Common Ground

 

Production 

The DCS Monologues are a collection of personal stories of the remarkable generation born in the 1930s. Each DCS monologue tells the story of one such individual.

Some monologues reflect the lives of prominent, public personalities; others, the lives of lesser known people. Together they provide insight into personal
lives which ran parallel to iconic historical events.

The DCS Monologues were first performed in 2015 in Sri Lanka. DCS stories have since been sourced and performed in Ireland, Rwanda, the UK and Pakistan.

Tamil Medal Winner

In 1958 Sri Lanka made history when a young high-jumper from Jaffna secured the Gold Medal in the Asian Games.
This day in 1958 also marked the beginning of the overt Sinhala-Tamil conflict, with riots breaking out against the Tamils by the Sinhalese.

Tamil Medal Winner was first performed by Rev. Joshua Ratnam in 2016 and then Arjun Vignaraja in 2017.

 

It is written by Ruwanthie de Chickera and directed by Tracy Holsinger.

The monologue is available in English, Tamil and Sinhala.

 Design

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… a world-class young athlete wins a gold for

Sri Lanka and then leaves the country …

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… an elderly Tamil lady who lived through the 30-year civil war is displaced right at the end of it…

Manik Farm

Created from a poem written by a doctor who visited the notorious Manik Farm refugee camps, this monologue brings together the gentle observations of an elderly Tamil lady, struggling to come to terms with the reality of the long term displacement that affected the people of the North, at the end of the Civil War.

 

Manik Farm is performed by Selvi Sachithanandam.
It is written by Ruwanthie de Chickera and directed by Tracy Holsinger.
The monologue is available in English, Tamil and Sinhala.

 Design

Ranmali Mirchandani and Sanjeewa Upendra

… a faithful butler observes the attempted Military Coup engineered by the upper class he serves…

The Ceylon Coup

The 1962 ‘Gentlemen’s Coup’ was seen as the rising up of the elite Christian English-speaking class against the State – in response to the measures brought in by the Sinhala-Only bill.
In this monologue, a lady belonging to this social class tells the audience the story of the coup, aided by her loyal

man-servant, who has his own version of what transpired.

 

The Ceylon Coup is performed by Ranmali Mirchandani and Sanjeewa Upendra.
It is written and directed by Ruwanthie de Chickera.
The performance is a play in two languages and is available in English Tamil and Sinhala.

 Design

Pia Hatch_ Alone With Computers (2) by P

… a retired doctor surrounded by devices struggles to stay connected to her children overseas…

Alone With Computers

In this piece, a retired doctor and mother of five, spends her time navigating the latest technological gadgets gifted to her by her children, all of whom now live overseas and who stay in touch with her using these devices.

This monologue focuses on the strange dilemma that many of the people of this generation find themselves in, which is a situation of isolation and enforced dependency on technology in order to stay connected to their families and loved ones.

 

Alone With Computers was first performed by Azira Esufally in 2016. It has subsequently been performed by Pia Hatch (English), Nilmini Buwaneka (Sinhala)
and Shiraneei Mills (Tamil) – 2017.

 

It is written by Ruwanthie de Chickera and directed by Tracy Holsinger.
The monologue is available in English, Tamil and Sinhala.

 Design

Viranthi Cooray_ The Disappearances Comm

… a commissioner struggling with her own loss faces countless women searching for hope and answers…

The Disappearance Commission

This monologue, which is narrated from the perspective of a woman commissioner, reflects on the complex undertaking of the Disappearance Commission, one of the very first public commissions set up in the 1990s to inquire into the disappearances of thousands of young men and women who
were abducted and killed during the two JVP youth insurrections in 1971 and 1989.

The monologue talks about the expectations this commission created, the very specific challenges it dealt with and the social breakdown that occurs when a country experiences a culture of disappearances.

The Disappearances Commission was initially performed by Ruwanthie de Chickera in 2016 and then Viranthi Cooray.

 

It is written by Ruwanthie de Chickera and directed by Tracy Holsinger.

The monologue is available in English, Tamil and Sinhala.

 Design

Chandrasekera and the Crown Jewels

Two old friends – a Sinhalese and a Tamil – reminisce about the horrific events of the five-day program against the Tamil people in 1983. The Tamil lady recounts a story of tenderness and humour that occurred in the madness and terror of the riots. This monologue focuses on the strange dilemma that many of the people of this generation find themselves in, which is a situation of isolation and enforced dependency on technology in order to stay connected to their families and loved ones.

 

Alone With Computers was first performed by Azira Esufally in 2016. It has subsequently been performed by Pia Hatch (English), Nilmini Buwaneka (Sinhala)
and Shiraneei Mills (Tamil) – 2017.

 

It is written by Ruwanthie de Chickera and directed by Tracy Holsinger.
The monologue is available in English, Tamil and Sinhala.

 Design

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… a Tamil lady searches for a neighbour she can trust with her ancestral jewellery during the 1983 racial riots…

Muslim Man of Ceylon (now Sri Lanka)

In this monologue a 93-year-old Muslim man, born and bred in Sri Lanka, struggles to come to terms with the shock of the 2019 Easter Bombings in Sri Lanka and the implications on the Muslim community. Belonging to a generation that valued gentleness and decency, strengthened by his own personal interest in reading books and humans and politics, this
monologue gently traces the perspective of an elderly man faithful to a country he no longer recognizes.

 

Muslim Man of Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) features Mr. Madhi Hussein. It was first screened in Colombo in 2019 as part of DCS Seven Decades of Sri Lanka.

 

It is narrated by Mr. Hussein and edited by Ruwanthie de Chickera.
The video monologue is available in English.

 Design

Mon_Mus Man.jpg

… a 93-year-old Muslim man tries to understand his country in the wake of
the 2019 Easter Bombings…

Aerial Forest

… a Pakistani socialist searches for family and belonging amidst the rise of capitalism and religious fundamentalism…

Partition is not Migration

In this monologue, a Pakistani artist and socialist reminisces about his childhood and family, divided across three cities (Delhi, Dhaka and Karachi) which then turn into three countries (India, Bangladesh and Pakistan).
The monologue recounts the journey of a young boy in search of an identitfy, a country and a sense of belonging in the wake of the fragmentation of the region and the collapse of the socialist ideal.

Partition is not Migration was first performed in Karachi in 2020 as part of
DCS Remembrance Day. It was performed by Osama Tahir.

 

It is written by Ruwanthie de Chickera and directed by Tracy Holsinger.
The monologue is available in English.

 
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Reviews

What a play like “Dear Children, Sincerely…” deserves isn’t apathy, or oohs and aahs,
but genuinely felt, genuinely articulated contemplation.

Uditha Devapriya, Daily Mirror

More Reviews

 
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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.

Resource Pack

Looking Back

 

Rehearsals 

DCS Seven Decades rehearsals required a lot of hard work. The success of the play rests on the strength and connection of the ensemble. The play is also very demanding physically - with every actor of the ensemble playing several roles and
appearing on stage in every scene.
As such, in addition to the work on building character, rehearsals focused on developing the connectivity between the ensemble and raising the levels of their physical endurance, flexibility and strength.
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Cast

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Azira Esufally

Alone With Computers (English)

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Pia Hatch

Alone With Computers (English)

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Nilmini Buwaneka

Alone With Computers (Sinhala)

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Viranthi Cooray

The Disappearance Commission (English/Sinhala)

 

Downloads 

Resource Pack

Reviews

Design