1st Edition

The Legacy of Stylistic Theatre in the Creation of a Modern Sinhala Drama in Sri Lanka

By Lakshmi D. Bulathsinghala Copyright 2024
    290 Pages 14 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book explores the development of Sinhala stylistic drama from its earliest manifestations to the post-independence era.

    Bulathsinghala examines the impact of indigenous and imported folk theatrical forms on the work of the most significant postcolonial stylistic dramatists and on key plays that they produced. In the process, the book explores a number of myths and misunderstandings regarding Sri Lanka’s folk heritage and seeks to establish more reliable information on the principal indigenous Sri Lankan folk dramatic forms and their characteristics. At the same time, by drawing connections between folk drama and the post-independence stylistic theatrical movement, the author demonstrates the essential role of the former in Sinhala culture prior to the advent of Western and other influences and shows how both continue to inflect Sri Lankan drama today.

    This book will help to open the field of South Asian drama studies to an audience consisting not only of scholars and students but also of general readers who are interested in the fields of drama and theatre and Asian studies.



    1. Dramas of Indigeneity: The Legacy of Sri Lankan Folk Styles

    2. Performances of Colonialism: Christianity and New Theatrical Modes

    3. The Establishment of Post-Independence Sinhala Theatre: Sarachchandra and Maname

    4. The Reinstitution of Folk Dramatic Features: Gunawardena and Nari Bena

    5. Fusing Oriental and Occidental Drama: Galappaththi and Mudu Puththu

    6. Brechtian Alienation and Shayiligatha Thathwikawadaya: Jayasena and Hunuwataye Kathava






    Lakshmi D. Bulathsinghala is Instructor in the Department of Theatre, and also teaches for the Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program and the Department of Asian and Asian American Studies, at Binghamton University (State University of New York), U.S.A.