Posted by: colombocalling | June 14, 2008

Sri Lanka. The Map :)

Where is Sri Lanka actually? Well, we’re trying to straight things up for everybody… As for myself, I’m a disaster in geography and my orientation skills go as far as finding my shoes in my own apartment. So here is the map, just in case our visitors would like to ever visit Colombo or Batticaloa on their vacations or something… 🙂

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Posted by: colombocalling | June 14, 2008

Working as a volunteer for International Medical Corps

Cristina is a very young girl, but has had so many interesting experiences, like that one that I was telling you about in the last post, working International Medical Corps. She was kind enough to share some picture with, just to see how things went down there… So check them. It is like a real journey top another dimension. I’m in the mood for some volunteering, aren’t you? 😀

Posted by: colombocalling | June 11, 2008

The story behind “Colombo Calling”

In our everyday life we are hardly interested in what is hapenning further than our immediate reality. In this respect, few of us remember the most powerful earthquake in 40 years that erupted under the Indian Ocean near Sumatra on December 26, 2004. It caused giant, deadly waves to crash ashore in nearly a dozen countries, killing tens of thousands. A long stretch of Sri Lanka’s coast was devastated by these killer waves, with more than 40,000 dead and staggering 2.5 million people displaced. Although 1,600 km from the epicentre, the waves struck with huge force and swept inland as far as 5 kilometers. Waves as high as six meters had crashed into coastal villages, sweeping away people, cars and even a train with 1700 passengers. It was the worst human disaster in Sri Lanka history.
In the words of U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, this is an ”unprecedented global catastrophe” that requires an ”unprecedented global response”. And this is a colossal challenge to the international community to respond in the name of humanity like never before. A splendid tropical landscape was almost destroyed and the lives of hundred thousands people were transformed in struggles for surviving.

Cristina was actually there after the disaster, working for an NGO called International Medical Corps and concentrated her experience into a play, a very lucid story about post-tsunami life in Sri Lanka. The life of Balakrishnans, a normal family living in contemporary Sri Lanka is trying to regain its serenity in the middle of a distressful social and political life. When Karthi returns to his long lost relatives in Colombo, he finds nothing that resembled life in traditional and quite Sri Lanka from his childhood memories.

Being a Fullbright grant awarded student in Bucharest for the time being, the author managed to gather an enthusiastic team of Romanian actors and friends to help her tell this story to the Romanian public.
What is today known as the “Colombo team” (lol) managed to set up a play in less than two weeks, as beautiful and talented people transformed it in more than just a reading… A burst of emotions and authenticity that we hope we can share with as many people as we can at the next reading of the play, in Museo Cafe.

In less than a month Colombo Calling turned into a viable project. What started as an idea of “let’s see if it’s possible” transformed into a project that many viable people believe in. Starting with Ms Maia Morgenstern who accepted to play out of passion the role of Varthini Balakrishnan and all the young and talented actors who made all this possible, and continuing with the staff of the US – Romania Fullbright Commission, Mr Amarjit Sidhu from Museo Cafe and of course Ms Leslie Hawke, an inspirational figure for the entire team. I hope i didn’t forget anybody.

Let’s just enjoy some photos from Sri Lanka now. 🙂

via Cristina (thanks!)

Posted by: colombocalling | June 9, 2008

Colombo Calling. A play from Sri Lanka

Welcome to the blog inspired by the play Colombo Calling. A Play from Sri Lanka by Cristina Bejan.

The author, Cristina Bejan is an American playwright, a Fullbright student and a respectable Romanian citizen staying in Bucharest for the time being. She thought to make her staying here worthwhile, so she gathered a crew of ten actors, a director and a very talented guy playing the guitar, to set up a play inspired by her own experience in Sri Lanka. She managed to do it quite well actually, as the first reading of the play in original raised some interesting issues from the multicultural audience.

First, let’s just introduce the crew of this project:

The Cast:
Karthi – Pavel Barsan
Shahan – Gabriel Calinescu
Thushanti – Anca Constantin
Molly – Isabela Neamtu
Varthini – Maia Morgenstern
Lasantha – Gabriel Pricop
Claudia – Ana Popescu
Dr. Igor – Alexandru Mike Gheorghiu
Prateek and others – Catalin Iliescu
Director – Alex Mihail
Producer / Playwrighter– Cristina Bejan
Production Assistant / Narrator– Crista Andriescu
Music/Media Designer – Daniel Beers
Marketing Director – Smaranda Schiopu
PR – Roxana Nicolaescu

The first reading of the play was on Saturday, May 24th at Teatrul Foarte Mic. We all hope that this was the beginning of a beautiful friendship… the story will go on on Thursday, June 19th at the Museo Cafe, inside the Geology Museum. 8:30 pm.

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