The path taken by Tower Hall Theatre Foundation towards the commencing of The Drama and Theatre School and awarding a recognized degree to the students with the final goal of establishing The National School of Drama and Theatre of Sri Lanka.
In 1980 for the first tin a workshop on ‘Drama ‘was organized by the Tower Hall Theatre Foundation. Subsequently, as a result of this work shop a Drama named ‘Oedipus Rex’ was produced. Thereafter in 1985 a six month weekend course of study on Drama and Theatre was inaugurated. However due to unforeseen circumstances this course of study did not progress regularly. And the expected result could not be achieved.
A formal and steady one year full time diploma course in drama with the patronage of the state, under a fixed and regularized syllabus was inaugurated in the latter half of the 1997, during the period of Director General Mr. Ranjith Dharmakirthi. This mission which had the vision for scientific and practical development of drama and theatre was further augmented in 2001 during the period of Director General Mrs. Indika P.Chandrathialke attorney at law. This course of study, which was limited to one year, was upgraded to a Full time two year course of Higher Diploma in Drama and Theatre. After completion of this two year advanced course attention was focused on transforming same in to a state of more added value and recognition. Therefore The Tower Hall Theatre Foundation after several Discussions with the Institutions of Higher Education was finally successful in obtaining the approval from the authorities of Open University of Sri Lanka to consider the recognition of the full time higher diploma course conducted by The Tower Drama and Theatre School as a entry qualification to the Faculty of Education for the Bachelor of Education (Drama And Theatre) Degree Programme.
Higher Diploma in Drama and Theatre and Degree course in Bachelor of Education – Drama and Theatre
In the year 2006 Mr. Douglas Siriwardana attorney at law assumed duties as The Director General of the Tower Hall Theatre Foundation. He also had further discussions with University Grants Commission and The Open University of Sri Lanka and finally after carefully scrutinizing the syllabus of the full time two year advanced course of the higher diploma of Drama and Theatre conducted by the Tower Drama and Theatre School, The Open university of Sri Lanka agreed to absorb the students who successfully complete the above course with honors to the Faculty of Education to confer the Bachelor of Education (Drama and Theatre) degree. Memorandum of understanding was singed between The Tower Hall Theatre Foundation and The Open University of Sri Lanka to this effect in the year 2011. Thus it reflects as the only specialized course in Sri Lanka in the field of aesthetic education.
Formality and Regularity
All lectures and practical demonstration and training for the students of the two year full time Higher Diploma course in drama and theatre are conducted by an external board of lecturers and Academics, consisting of a number of renowned University lecturers and authoritative and erudite scholars. In addition to this the syllabus also contained conducting of lectures holding of workshops, seminars, group discussion and taking part in practical activities. The nature of the contents and formats for this higher diploma has been formulated to suit the academic methodologies adopted by the universities. However since the study of drama and theatre is a practical and application oriented subject, it should be made more productive through practical application and therefore more attention is being given to this aspect regarding university educational activities.
Administration and Management
All the activities of The Tower Drama and Theatre School are managed by a Board of Management under the Chairmanship of the Director General of the Tower Hall Theatre Foundation.
National School of Drama
Preliminary action is being taken now, to transform the Tower Drama and Theatre School, which is under the auspices of the Tower Hall Theatre Foundation as The National School of Drama and Theatre. Once this is established the long felt need in the field of Theatrical Arts, in Sri Lanka would be fulfilled to bring such activities of all nationalities under one banner.