Biography | ජීව දත්ත

Full Name

Hettipathirannehelage Dayananda Gunawardena

Date of Birth:

15.10.1934 in Halgampitiya, Udugampola, Sri Lanka.

Schools attended:

  1. Government School, Udugampola (1943-1946, from Grade 1 to 6. It is noteworthy that he was an active member of school’s drama society)
  2. 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’)
  3. 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.

Positions held in Student bodies:

  • Secretary of the Sinhala Drama Society
  • Vice President of the Socialist Movement

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)

Schools served:

  • Kegalu Vidyalaya , Kegalle (1957-1960)
  • Thurstan College, Colombo (1960-1961)

Institutions served:

  1. Producer – Programmes, Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation (1961-1989)
  2. Director – Audio Research, Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation (1989-1990)
  3. Director – English Service, Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation (1990-1992)

Retires from Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation in 1992.

Other positions held:

  1. Lecturer at the Drama Institute of the National Drama Corporation
  2. Visiting Lecturer in Theatre at the Government Aesthetic Institute
  3. Member of the Drama Sub Committee of the Sri Lanka Arts Circle
  4. Member of the Public Performance(s) Board

Countries toured and training received:

  1. 1957 - Moscow – International Student and Youth Festival
  2. 1962 – Romania – Sri Lankan Representative at the International Drama Federation and Study of Drama in Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia and Russia
  3. 1966 – Awarded the Commonwealth Scholarship for Study of Radio and Television at BBC by Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation
  4. 1978 – East Germany – Directing of “Nari Bena” under the Cultural Exchange Programme
  5. 1979 – Yugoslavia – Sri Lankan Representative at the First Television Festival of the Non Aligned
  6. 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:

  1. Mulika Sithiyam Vidyawa (Basics in Mapping) – 1961
  2. Nari Bena (Sinhala Folk Drama) – 1963
  3. Maddahan Gindara (Collection of Sinhala Verses) – 1963
  4. Sakala kala wallabha (Sinhala folklore) – 1965
  5. Bakmaha Akunu (Sinhala Drama) – 1970 Literary Award
  6. Jasaya saha Lenchina (Drama)
  7. Jeevana Vanchawa hewath Ibikatta (Sinhala Drama) – 1973 Literary Award
  8. Gajaman Puwatha (Epic Drama)
  9. Madhura Javanika (Epic Drama) – 1984 Literary Award
  10. Ananda Javanika – 1989 Winner of Literary Award
  11. Kamare Pore samaga Keti Natya Pahak – 1992 Literary Award

Dramas which went on boards:

  1. Swarnathilaka (ස්වර්ණතිලකා) – 1958 – Produced by Kegalu Vidyalaya Drama Society
  2. Prassaya (පරාස්සයා) – 1959 – Staged by National Drama Circle
  3. Nari Bena (නරිබෑනා) -1960 – First Production for Thurstan College Drama Society 1961 – Second Production for Amateur Drama Society
  4. Kamare Pore (කාමරේ පොරේ) – 1960 – Adaptation from English Drama “Box and Cox”
  5. Emathi Pattama (ඇමති පට්ටම) – 1960 – Adaptation from the Bulgarian Drama “Golemanov”
  6. Pinguththara (පිංගුත්තර) – 1961 – Produced by the Sinhala Society of the University of Colombo
  7. Bak mahaa Akunu (බක් මහා අකුණු) – 1963 – Adaptation of the French Drama “Marriage of Figaro” (Introduced the Revolving Stage to Sri Lanka for the first time)
  8. Denna Depole (දෙන්නා දෙපොලේ) – 1964 – Produced from Hemasiri Prewardhana’s script
  9. Jasaya saha Lenchina (ජසයා සහ ලෙන්චිනා) – 1965 –
  10. Jeevana Vanchawa hewath Ibikatta (ජීවන වංචාව හෙවත් ඉබිකට්ට) – 1965
  11. Vikaraye Akaraya (විකාරයේ ආකාරය) – 1967 – Produced for the Drama Festival of ‘Lassana’ Newspapers
  12. Kabaye Habe (කබායේ හබේ) – 1971
  13. Padmawathi (පද්මාවතී) – 1974 – Produced along with Lakshman Jayakody after editing the original publication of Charles Dias
  14. Gajaman Puwatha (ගජමන් පුවත) – 1975
  15. Banku Natakaya (බැංකු නාටකය) - 1977 - Produced for the 10th Anniversary of the People’s Bank
  16. Madhura Javanika (මධුර ජවනිකා) – 1983 – Produced in association with Jones Overseas 1984 – Winner of Peace Award (Drama)
  17. 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.
  18. Mathaka Bhaktha (මතක භක්ත) – 1990 – Produced on the invitation of the Police Sub Services Headquarters

Films:

  • Bakmaha Deege (බක්මහ දීගේ) – 1969 (Following the Bakmaha Akunu Drama)

Other creations:

  • Pirinivan Mangalya (පිරිනිවන් මංගල්‍ය) - 1991 - Produced by National Institute of Education (NIE)

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