Gamini Haththotuwegama

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Dr. Gamini Haththotuwegama
ගාමිණී හත්තොටුවේගම
At Malamulla Sri Sudarshanarama temple, Kiriberiya, Panadura, Sri Lanka in 2009
Gamini Kalyanadarsha Haththotuwegama

(1939-11-29)29 November 1939
Died30 October 2009(2009-10-30) (aged 69)
Nationality Sri Lankan
Other namesGK, Hatha, Haththa
Education Richmond College, Galle
Occupation Playwright, educator, actor, director, critic
Years active1965–2008
Awards Kala Keerthi (1995)

Kala Keerthi Dr. Gamini Kalyanadarsha Haththotuwegama (born 29 November 1939 – died 30 October 2009 as ගාමිණී හත්තොටුවේගම) was a Sri Lankan playwright, director, actor, critic and educator. He was widely known as the father of Sri Lanka's modern street theatre. [1] He was among the most influential directors of post-independent Sri Lanka. [2] [3]


Personal life

He was born on 29 November 1939 in Galle. He completed education from Richmond College, Galle. He entered University of Peradeniya in 1956 and obtained a Honors Degree in English. After obtaining degree, he moved back to Galle and worked as an English teacher and the teacher-in-charge of drama at Richmond College. Then, in 1965, Haththotuwegama joined with University of Kelaniya (known as "Vidyalankara University of Ceylon, Kelaniya" in his days) as a lecturer of English. He retired from the four decades of university service in 2005. [4]

He died on 30 October 2009 at the age of 73 due to long prevailed cancer. [5] [6]


While studying at the University of Peradeniya, he played the lead role in the English language drama 'Agachemnan. He also produced Anton Chekhov's play "The Proposal" with the title Magul Prasthawa, in Sinhala and played the role of Loveris. In 1967, Haththotuwegama was also the President of the Film Critics and Writers Association. [7]

At the University of Kelaniya, Haththotuwegama had some experimental performances such as Ranga Kebali Samaga Sochchamak. He made his first appearance in Raja Darshana at the Vidyalankara University. On 4 June 1974, he presented three short plays - Raja Darshana, Bosath Dekma and Minihekuta Ella Marenna Barida - shown at the Anuradhapura Railway Stadium. On the way back to Colombo the next day, at the Anuradhapura railway station, the drama Minihekuta Ella Marenna Barida was presented as a street drama, becoming the first historical street drama in Sri Lanka. [7] [4] [8]

He has produced several popular stage dramas such as Merawara Mehewara, Akeekaru Puthraya, Oba Dutuwa, Paraviyek Dakka Kal, Loka Ahara Sammelanaya, Otunnaka Bara and Nurussana Handa. The drama Paraviyek Dakka Kal was based on the racist riot and Oba Dutuwa based on 88-89 terror era. [7]

He later acted in stage drama such as Saakki and produced plays such as Lark and Hamlet on the stage. [7]

A special street drama presentation was held on Sunday, November 29th at 6.00 pm at the Mangala Methodist Church, Moratuwa to commemorate the 71st birth anniversary of Dr. Haththotuwegama. [9]

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  8. "Nurturing open street theater Gamini Hattotuwagama Foundation poses on Street". Divaina. Retrieved 11 June 2017.
  9. "Gamini Hattotuwagama Commemorative Street Drama Show on Sunday, November 29 at 6 pm". alochana. Retrieved 11 June 2017.