International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

The Dramatics of Trojan Women on Sri Lankan Stage
Kamani Jayasekera

The attraction of Classical Greek drama to the Sri Lankans in the twenty first centaury is an interesting phenomenon. Among the dramas the Trojan Women of Euripides had become most popular during the later period of the ethnic conflict in the country, namely the thirty years of war with the LTTE, which brought many a suffering to all Sri Lankans. In this study investigations have been made on how the production was translated, staged and received during the years of turmoil. Trojan Kanthavo, the adaptation of Trojan Women attracted many and diverse criticisms from the Sinhalese and the Tamil audiences. There was a notable difference in the reactions of the both racial communities. There were threats not only to the director but to artists who participated in the play as well. A series of interviews and critical analysis of available material from journal and newspaper articles were made in carrying out the research. Personal interviews had to be carefully scrutinized as they revealed much of audience reaction. Findings proved that Greek Drama could be staged irrespective of the difference of time and place to address contemporary problems. The flexibility of the tradition enabled modern artists to experiment based on firm foundations of the Classics. More than a decade had passed since the first staging, of Trojan Kanthavo, yet the drama instigated by it seems to still go the recent court case against those who led the attacks and the consequent forgiving by the injured parties.

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