Biography

Full Name: Hettipathirannehelage Dayananda Gunawardena

Date of Birth: 15.10.1934 in Halgampitiya

Schools attended:
i. Government School, Udugampola (1943-1946, from Grade 1 to 6. It is noteworthy that he was an active member of school’s drama society)
ii. Government Secondary School, Veyangoda (1946-1951, from Grade 7 to Ordinary Level. Vice President of the Drama and Music Society, Junior Cadet Captain and awarded the Trophy for the ‘Best Cadet’) 
iii. Ananda College, Colombo (1951-1953) Vice President of the College Geographic Society. It is noteworthy that he was awarded the D. B. Jayatilleke Literary Award (Open category) and the Amarasena Art Award (Open category) during his tenure at Ananda College.

University Education:
  • General Arts Qualifying Examination offering Sinhala, Geography and Economics at Lanka University, Peradeniya.
  • Bachelor of Arts - BA (Lanka) – Special Degree in Geography (1957)

Positions held in Student bodies:
i. Secretary of the Sinhala Drama Society 
ii. Vice President of the Socialist Movement

Schools served:
i. First Appointment – Kegalu Vidyalaya , Kegalle (1957-1960) 
ii. Thurstan College, Colombo (1960-1961)

Institutions served:
i. Producer – Programmes, Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation (1961-1989) 
ii. Director – Audio Research, Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation (1989-1990) 
iii. Director – English Service, Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation (1990-1992) 
Retires from Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation in 1992. 

Other positions held:
i. Lecturer at the Drama Institute of the National Drama Corporation 
ii. Visiting Lecturer in Theatre at the Government Aesthetic Institute 
iii. Member of the Drama Sub Committee of the Sri Lanka Arts Circle 
iv. Member of the Public Performance(s) Board 

Countries toured and Training received:
i. 1957 - Moscow – International Student and Youth Festival 
ii. 1962 – Rumania – Sri Lankan Representative at the International Drama Federation and Study of Drama in Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia and Russia 
iii. 1966 – Awarded the Commonwealth Scholarship for Study of Radio and Television at BBC by Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation 
iv. 1978 – East Germany – Directing of “NariBena” under the Cultural Exchange Programme 
v. 1979 – Yugoslavia – Sri Lankan Representative at the First Television Festival of the Non Aligned 
vi. 1991 – South Korea – Conducted a Research on “Buddhism and Korean Theatre” following a scholarship awarded by the South Korean International Cultural Foundation 

Publications to his credit:
i. Mulika Sithiyam Vidyawa (Basics in Mapping) – 1961 
ii. NariBena (Sinhala Folk Drama) – 1963 
iii. Maddahan Gindara (Collection of Sinhala Verses) – 1963 
iv. Sakala kala wallabha (Sinhala folklore) – 1965 
v. Bakmaha Akunu (Sinhala Drama) – 1970 Literary Award 
vi. Jasaya saha Lenchina (Drama) 
vii. Jeevana Vanchawa hewath Ibikatta (Sinhala Drama) – 1973 Literary Award 
viii. Gajaman Puwatha (Epic Drama) 
ix. Madhura Javanika (Epic Drama) – 1984 Literary Award 
x. Ananda Javanika – 1989 Winner of Literary Award 
xi. Kamare Pore samaga Keti Natya Pahak – 1992 Literary Award 

Dramas which went on boards:
i. Swarnathilaka (ස්වර්ණතිලකා) – 1958 – Produced by Kegalu Vidyalaya Drama Society
ii. Prassaya (පරාස්සයා) – 1959 – Staged by National Drama Circle
iii. NariBena (නරිබෑනා) -1960 – First Production for Thurstan College Drama Society 1961 – Second Production for Amateur Drama Society
iv. Kamare Pore (කාමරේ පොරේ) – 1960 – Adaptation from English Drama “Box and Cox”
v. Emathi Pattama (ඇමති පට්ටම) – 1960 – Adaptation from the Bulgarian Drama “Golemanov”
vi. Pinguththara (පිංගුත්තර) – 1961 – Produced by the Sinhala Society of the University of Colombo
vii. Bakmaha Akunu (බක්මහ අකුණු) – 1963 – Adaptation of the French Drama “Marriage of Figaro” (Introduced the Revolving Stage to Sri Lanka for the first time)
viii. Denna Depole (දෙන්නා දෙපොලේ) – 1964 – Produced from Hemasiri Prewardhana’s script
ix. Jasaya saha Lenchina (ජසයා සහ ලෙන්චිනා) – 1965 –
x. Jeevana Vanchawa hewath Ibikatta (ජීවන වංචාව හෙවත් ඉබිකට්ට) – 1965
xi. Vikaraye Akaraya (විකාරයේ ආකාරය) – 1967 – Produced for the Drama Festival of ‘Lassana’ Newspapers
xii. Kabaye Habe (කබායේ හබේ) – 1971
xiii. Padmawathi (පද්මාවතී) – 1974 – Produced along with Lakshman Jayakody after editing the original publication of Charles Dias
xiv. Gajaman Puwatha (ගජමන් පුවත) – 1975
xv. Banku Natakaya (බැංකු නාටකය) - 1977 - Produced for the 10th Anniversary of the People’s Bank
xvi. Madhura Javanika (මධුර ජවනිකා) – 1983 – Produced in association with Jones Overseas 1984 – Winner of Peace Award (Drama)
xvii. Ananda Jawanika (ආනන්ද ජවනිකා) – 1986 - Awarded Best Direction and Special Award for Script at the 1987 State Drama Festival. In addition, certificates awarded for Best Music, Stage Management and Acting.
xviii. Mathaka Bhaktha (මතක භක්ත) – 1990 – Produced on the invitation of the Police Sub Services Headquarters
xix. Films: Bakmaha Deege (බක්මහ දීගේ) – 1969 (Following the Bakmaha Akunu Drama)


Passed away at the Colombo General Hospital on June 24, 1993.


Father: Don Simon Gunawardena (1869-1964) English Teacher
Mother: Nalapana Don Somawathi Danansuriya
Marriage: Married Irangani Ranatunga of Gampaha on September 28, 1967
Children: Chakrayuda Kirthi Gunawardena,  Abhimangala Gunawardena & Wasanthapriya Gunawardena

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