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‘The First Teacher’ turned into Sri Lankan play: A lesson on a teacher-student relationship

15 May 2024 12:07 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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  • The play stars Jayani Senanayake, Anuradha Mallawaraachchi, Sudharshana Krishantha and Maali Jayaweerage
  • The story revolves around a teacher called Duishen and a teenage girl in a small Kirghiz village named Altynai

 

Based on world renowned Russian writer Tchinguiz Aitmatov’s novel ‘The First Teacher’ (Guru Geethaya), a stage play derived from the novel and directed by Prof. Mangala Senanayake will have its premiere on May 17 (Friday) at the Lionel Wendt theatre in Colombo.
First published in 1962, the story of the novel narrates around the lives of Kirghiz villagers after the Russian Revolution. Tchinguiz’s father, Torekul Aitmatov- who belonged to the same generation- was promoting these social changes in the new Soviet Kirghistan and that inspired his son. 


The story revolves around a teacher called Duishen and a teenage girl in a small Kirghiz village named Altynai, who wanted to attend school to educate herself and write and eventually become a great personality. Featuring Communist youth Duishen and his great pupil Altynai the play gives a refreshing interpretation of the life back then to the generation of teachers and students around the present day world.


“This novel by Tchinguiz Aitmatov is a piece of literature that changed the vision of generations of teachers. As Sri Lankan we all enjoyed Russian literature and the book ‘The First Teacher’ which was translated as “Guru Geethaya” and it had a tremendous impact on us as young students,” Prof. Mangala Senanayake, a retired lecturer at the Aesthetic University of Colombo said.
He said that it’s tedious task to convert the novel into a play; especially when the novel has been read by many Sri Lankans. “I am grateful to Jude Srimal who believed in me and invited me to direct the play,” said Prof. Senanayake.

 

“This novel by Tchinguiz Aitmatov is a piece of literature that changed the vision of generations of teachers. As Sri Lankan we all enjoyed Russian literature and the book ‘The First Teacher’ which was translated as “Guru Geethaya” and it had a tremendous impact on us as young students,”
- Prof. Mangala Senanayake

 

 

 

 


Tchinguiz Aitmatov, who started writing in 1952, wrote this novel in 1962.  And this became a special novel; especially in the Middle Asian societies which were polygamous and when

Jude Srimal

women were deprived of their right to education,” Prof. Senanayake said. 
“With this novel through which he became world famous, a new interpretation was given to the relationship between teacher and student,” Prof. said. 
Prof. Senanayake’s play ‘Kirata Adana Sathwayo’- staged in 1980s- won 13 Youth Awards. Some of the other plays he went on to produce were ‘Julius Caesar’, ‘Magul Kema’ and ‘Sindukara Kavi Naluwa’. 


The play stars Jayani Senanayake, Anuradha Mallawaraachchi, Sudharshana Krishantha and Maali Jayaweerage. The costume designing is done by veteran actor Kamal Mallawarachchi, music is by Prabuddha Budipriya and the choreography is handled by Jayani Senanayake. The set design and make up are handled by Chathura Dasanayake, Nayanatharade Silva and Yasantha Karunaratne,
Stage management is by Nethmi Ayathma Ranasinghe and the play is produced and organised by Jude Srimal.

 

Tickets for the stage play are available at the gate while reservations can be made online via Myseat.lk.

 

 


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