Reflection of THDORA
he inception and concept of THDORA dates back as a prevalent project from 1987, with its new phase is being implemented in 2008. The original name of the project was Natya Silpa Shalika initiated by a popular and veteran dramatist late Dhamma Jagoda. After his demise in the same year Rohana Deva [Present Chairman of Thidora] was appointed as the director of Natya Silpa Shalika. During this period an enthusiastic foreigner, Wolfgang Stange founder of AMICI Dance Theatre Company– London, fancied this project, mainly due to the services rendered, and focused the project towards the disabled in Sri Lanka, finances for which were mooted by him through Interlink Trust – London.
It would be of significant interest to note some of the achievements of our disabled youths in various activities like drama. They participate in weekly based theatre workshops in and around Colombo. They won a special award for the production “Palm and Coconut” based on ethnic conflict, from the Ministry of Cultural Affairs, Sri Lanka. This project is the first ever introduced integrated theatre in the island. Keenness and enthusiasm by their parents is boundless. We utilized theatre arts as therapeutic tools to enhance their mental and physical ability.
In 1998 the Natya Silpa Shalika joined the Sunethra Bandaranaike Trust to form the Butterfly Theatre Company. Its first production “Butterflies Will Always Fly” was directed by Rohana Deva and Wolfgang Stange. In 1999 the duo directed “Flowers Will Always Bloom” with performances in London, New Delhi and Brisbane, in addition to several shows in Sri Lanka. With a view to spreading the techniques and methodology towards other parts of Sri Lanka the project was reorganized as Sunera Foundation. Our present chairman Rohana Deva was the live-wire of the foundation and a key player, creative director and consultant. The need for a consistent working concept and outlook was evident at all times.
Thidora-Theatre Institute for Disability Oriented Research and Advocacy was formulated to achieve objectives and aims in keeping to the changing patterns of day-to-day human resources together with safe-guarding human rights, making optimum use of prevailing methods and achieving maximum results whilst focusing on joint decision-making and leading the mission towards the goals of the project successfully.
When workshops are conducted in rural areas it is envisaged to make a viable survey of disabled and disadvantaged talents on various aspects for development through the project, be it Dance, Drama, Music or Art. Hence, hostel facilities would then be an essential input to help them concentrate on their higher studies. Plans are afoot to establish a Mini Theatre under THDORA to focus their talents to conduct experimental activities, with hostel facilities to accommodate the disabled and disadvantaged with modern requirements specific to them so that they will enjoy a friendly environment at the hostel.