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Five Actors who have dominated the Sri Lankan Stage

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Performing on stage is arguably more difficult than performing in front of a camera. The performance needs to be thorough and perfect as it is played out live. Listed here are some of the most talented actors who have the innate ability to convince a live audience.

Jayalath Manoratne


A veteran of the local theatre, Jayalath Manoratne is one of the most prolific stage actors to date. Having first hand experienced the tutelage of the great Ediriweera Sarathchandra, Jayalath Manoratne’s technique is remarkable. His performances in classics in such as Maname and Sinhabahu is much revered even today.

Jagath Chamila


Although he has gained much popularity because of his performance in the film Sam’s Story, the stage has been home to Jagath Chamila since childhood. He won the inter school drama competition for his performance in the play Samanala Kanda.  His character portrayal in notable plays such as Guru Gedara (1992) and Minmaurawa Niruwathi have been well received by critics.

Kumara Thirimadura


If there is one actor who can send an audience into fits of laughter with his accurate character portrayal it is Kumara Thirimadura. Gaining popularity in the 90’s, he is well known for his quick repartee and immaculate comic timing.   His performances in Balloth Ekka Baha and Nari Burathi have had the audiences literally rolling on the floor and laughing.

A. Perera


For kids born in the 90’s, H. A. Perera was known as ‘Dias Mahaththaya’ thanks to the character he played on the hit TV series Du Daruwo. A legend of the local theatre, he was well known for his enigmatic portrayal of Hitler, a role he resumed on countless occasions.  H.A. Perera was a gifted performer and his uncanny talent was never in doubt to Parakrama Niriella a renowned theatre director who constantly worked with H.A Perera.  

Thumindu Dodanthenna


Thumindu Dodanthenna can trace his affiliation with the stage to his school days. However, after directing a stage play called Arundathi which won nearly all the awards at the Youth Drama Festival in 1999, his outstanding talent was well established.  His recent work in Dolahak and Antigone has been well received by critics. Understanding the essential rudiments of theatre and dynamics of a stage drama, Thumindu Dodanthenna functions as an educator of the subject as well.