Jehan Aloysius’ STORMY WEATHER

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Playwright & Director: Jehan Aloysius

Group: CentreStage Productions, Sri Lanka

Language:  English

Duration: 1hr 10 mins

The Play

Stormy Weather is a murder mystery that keeps the audience guessing till the end. One morning, Noel, a man with many enemies, is discovered murdered in his bed with fifteen stab wounds. The prime suspects are summoned to the house by an unconventional inspector who interrogates each of them. Noel’s wife, sister and lover seem to have strong motives. The arrival of a storm complicates the investigation further, till the murderer is finally revealed.

Director’s Note

Stormy Weather is presented as a black & white murder thriller, in the film noir or ‘Dark

Cinema’ style of movie-making of the 1940’s and 50’s. The show also consciously uses melodramatic elements from ‘whodunit’ and horror genres. The show aims to take elements of the film noir genre and transplant those elements into the three dimensional space of live theatre. The characters may seem to reveal a desire to escape the characters they are forced to play while trapped within the silver screen. There are several layers to the performance that attempt to allow the characters to transcend their cinematic stereotypes. I wrote Stormy Weather in 1995, inspired by a nightmare. My script was first produced in 1999 by the University of Colombo and also included in my collection of plays which was shortlisted for the Gratiaen Prize for literature for the year 2000. I approached the script as a director rather than playwright, when I decided to include the movie element and add clichés from horror and thriller genres in the new production.

The Director /Playwright

Jehan Aloysius is a full-time theatre practitioner as well as a visiting lecturer at the University of

Visual and Performing Arts. Over the last two decades, he has been associated with The Royal Court Theatre of London, ART of Bangalore, Theatrum Botanicum of Edinburgh, Brave Theatre Festival of Poland, Rikskonsertene of Norway, The British Council, as well as the National School of Drama (by participating in the Bharat Rang Mahotsav Drama Festivals and also the 8th Theatre Olympics 2018). Jehan played lead roles at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in the multi-award winning productions of Children of the Sea and Finding Marina. He has produced theatre and workshops in Norway, Poland, Scotland, Qatar and India. In 2001, Jehan founded CentreStage Productions, an amateur theatre troupe which produces original theatre in Sri Lanka. As a playwright, Jehan has been shortlisted for The Gratiaen Prize for literature, for The Screaming Mind (2000) and The Ritual (2008), and was on the panel of judges of the 2014 Gratiaen Prize. Jehan’s humanitarian efforts, though his Stage Hands Project, include work with children affected by poverty, natural disaster and war, as well as physical theatre productions with those living with mental and physical challenges.

The Group

CentreStage Productions is an amateur theatre troupe founded in 2001 by Jehan Aloysius, in order to produce and promote original theatre in Sri Lanka. Its productions are regularly studied in local universities, and several scripts have been nominated for Sri Lanka’s highest literary award, The Gratiaen Prize. Its ground-breaking ‘mix-able’ productions of An Inspired Swan Lake and Nutcracker (which have been featured on CNN and the BBC), combined soldiers who had lost limbs in the recently concluded ethnic war, with hearing impaired and mentally challenged performers who were all trained and choreographed by Jehan Aloysius.

Cast & Credits

The Inspector: Jehan Aloysius

Noel Richards: Joshua Joseph

Therese: Michelle Herft

Avanti: Tanisha Wijesinghe

Charmaine: Trudy Herft

Rachel: Melmari Cruse

Lighting:  Thushan Dias

Sound: Stephan Wijesinghe

AV Screen: Dion Nanayakkara

Backstage:  Aadil Osman

Music Composed & Performed: Jehan Aloysius

Video Designed & Directed: Jehan Aloysius

Playwright & Director: Jehan Aloysius

Manohar Khushalani

Manohar Khushalani

Prof. Manohar Khushalani is Currently a Visiting Faculty at Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology, Delhi. The courses he teaches are: Animation & Graphics, Non-Linear Editing for Film and Radio and Theatre Appreciation.  He has won Excellence in Teaching awards for all the courses he has taught at IIITD Based on a Belief that Culture and Environment are the two keys to global sustainability , Manohar Khushalani has launched two portals: A Portal on Environment and Water called One Vorld at url: www.onevorld.org and two Ezines on Culture called Stage Buzz at url: www.stagebuzz.in & www.stagebuzz.info He has taught extensively in varied subjects such as Dam Safety, Instrumentation, CAD, IT, Animation, Theatre, Newspaper Editing. He has conducted Courses on Environment Management, Water Shed Development, Team Building and Personality Development. He is an Expert Member of Prasar Bharti’s Committee for Grading & Short listing Films for Telecast on all channels of Doordarshan.  He is a Radio Anchor for All India Radio and has moderated several programs for the Rajdhani Channel He is a well-known Theatre Actor/Director and Critic, has been involved in theatre since 1977. He has worked as an actor in over 50 plays with almost every leading director/Actor in the Country including Badal Sircar, Feisal Alkazi, Amal Allana, M.K. Raina, Anuradha Kapoor, Maya Rao, Manohar Singh, Prasanna, Rati Bartholomew and Sushmita Mukherji. He has been active in the social sector as a street theatre activist. As a member of Workshop Theatre, Theatre Union and Prayog, Khushalani has participated in street plays taking up major social issues such as dowry, bride burning, Sati, banned medicinal drugs and communalism. Dario Fo’s Accidental Death of an Anarchist and Can’t Pay Won’t Pay, both directed by him, received rave notices from critics and audiences alike. Other plays directed by him include Badal Sircar’s, Sagina Mahato and Boris Vian’s Empire Builders for Ruchika Theatre Group. Khushalani has also acted in a few films such as Sudhir Mishra's Hazaron Khwaishen Aisi , Shoojit Sircar’s Madras Café and Pradeep Krishan's Annie Gives Those Ones. He is an Animator & Graphics Designer and has directed a number of documentaries. He also held a number of Honorary positions and was President of North India Films Association, He was the Chairman of  Jury for UGC CEC Educational Films Competition and has been on their Preview Committee since last many years. He was on the preview committee of Door Darshan Channel 3, was a visiting Professor at National School of Drama, New Delhi, and Film & Television Institute of India, Pune, AJKMCRR, Jamia Milia Islamia and Professor in Media at FICT, Delhi  He has judged a large number of Drama Competitions and conducted a number of Theatre / Management Games Workshops with Institutions such as AIIMS, NTPC, CWPRS, NWA, Karve Nari Prakshishan Sansthan, FICT, IIT, MAMC, Gargi College, KNC, Tagore International School and Vivekananda School. He is a Theatre Critic for IIC Diary, has also been a Columnist with Midday and Pioneer Daily and wrote Column's Called Culture Cocktail and Footlights Respectively. He was also the Guest Editor for an issue on Folk Theatre of ICCR Journal Horizons. He has written for Times of Indian, Hindustan Times, Blitz, Hard News, Hindu Business Line, Theatre India & Art Times. He has designed dams and hydraulic structures for the Government. He is a programmer and has developed Engineering design software in Fortran. He is a co-author of Irrigation Practice & Design (Vol 1 to5 - 1500 pages) published by Oxford & IBH and sponsored by National Book Trust. He has been a Director, Environment and Sociology, at the National Water Academy, Khadakwasla and Director, Environment Management Directorate, Central Water Commission and Member Secretary, National Environmental Monitoring Committee for River Valley Projects. He was also Director of Instrumentation Directorate in the Dam Safety Organisation. He was Chief General Manager and Head of Water Resources at Scott Wilson and is an accredited consultant with numerous other organizations He is a Delhi Public School, BITS Pilani, IIT Delhi and FTI Pune Alumini. He was also the President of BITS Pilani Alumni Association, Pune.

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