Viluthu collaborated with “Shadows of Play” to conduct a series of theatre workshops and performances in the districts of Puttalam, Jaffna, Batticaloa and Galle during the months of February and March 2014. The objective of this project was to build capacities of rural youth in the art of theatre and communications. Ms Sulochana Dissanayake, the director of “Shadows of Play” led this process of training which included a five day workshop in production followed by two days of performances amongst schools and the communities. Participants from each district, selected a critical issue of their own around which a 10-15 minute play was woven. While Puttalam selected the problem of child abuse, Jaffna produced on the issue of violence against women, and Batticaloa on school drop outs and poverty, and Galle on nuisance calls received by young women on their mobiles. All the plays were without any spoken dialogue. After each performance, the viewers were invited to interact with the performers in discussing the issue at hand. The enthusiasm shown in every performance by the viewers and participants indicated the success of the project.
The Puttalam team of trained theatre artists were subsequently invited by the Hindu Girls College in Colombo for a repeat performance of their play. The young people who participated in this training have vowed to keep alive their art through applying its skills in their voluntary work with the community. This project was supported by the USAID.