Winners of the stage

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By Sanuj Hathurusinghe

The State Drama Awards 2021 was held recently at the Nelum Pokuna Theatre with Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa attending as the Chief Guest. The awards ceremony which was organised for the 49th year by the Department of Cultural Affairs under the guidance of the Ministry of Buddhasasana, Religious and Cultural Affairs, presented 96 awards, special jury awards, and certificates of merit to individuals who have excelled in the field of stage drama.

The ‘Natya Keerthi’ award – the lifetime achievement award given only to the veterans who have rendered an invaluable service to the stage – was given to three veterans, namely, Neil Alles, F. Joules Colin, and Lalitha Sarachchandra. The Best Actor – Short Drama (Male) was won by Deshan Senarathne while Ashinsa Peiris bagged Best Actor – Short Drama (Female) award. In length drama the best male actor award was won by Samitha Sudeeshwara while the best female actor award was won by Nipuni Sharadha.

The State Minister of National Heritage, Performing Arts and Rural Arts Promotion, Vidura Wickramanayaka; Secretary of the Ministry of Buddhasasana, Religious and Cultural Affairs Prof. Kapila Gunawardana; Director of the Department of Cultural Affairs, Tharani Anoja Gamage; actors, and other invitees took part in the event.

(Pix by Laksiri Rukman)