Girls at Checkpoints

wars are dotted by checkpoints… and women’s secrets…

Directed by Ruwanthie de Chickera

Synopsis         Production        Reflections       Devising       Rehearsals       Cast         Downloads


Part of the Dear Children, Sincerely… Project, Girls at Checkpoints is a research- based, devised play that follows the interwoven narration of three real-life incidents of violence against women and girls that occurred at military checkpoints in Sri Lanka during the civil war.

June, 2017
Mercury Theatre,

Colchester, United Kingdom

Running time – 20 minutes
Language - English

The opening show was supported by the The Arts and Research Council, University of Essex.



This play was written and directed by Ruwanthie de Chickera. It chronicles three incidents of violation of women at military checkpoints in Sri Lanka - the Krishanti Kumaraswami rape and murder which led to a court case, the prolonged molestation of two little sisters briefly reported in local media, and the undocumented sexual molestation of a female journalist.

The play was created at an ARIADNE residency. It was performed at the ‘2017 Festival for Women Theatre Makers’, Mercury Theatre, in Colchester.



 This play emerged from a 4-day devising process in which the artists began with analysing the material from a Dear Children, Sincerely… interview, in which a senior citizen recounted his personal memories of his neighbour Krishanti Kumaraswamy - a young Sri Lankan schoolgirl who became a household name after a hallmark court case revealed the brutal details of her mysterious disappearance at a checkpoint. This led the artists to look into other incidents of hidden violence at military checkpoints during the Sri Lankan civil war.

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



Girls at Checkpoints was devised, rehearsed and produced within a timespan of four days. Once the three stories of the play were identified, the artists developed the characters of these stories separately and then wove the three stories together using choreography and a central narrative.
Each of the three stories has two female characters which are played in turn by the two female actors. The single male actor represents the threat and danger of the military checkpoint.
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Meet The Cast


Ashling Edward O’Shea



Piumi Wijesundara



 Ewoot D’Hoore