The Paalam Project


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Updates: Cultural Conversations and Trip

Posted by Ruth on March 2, 2011 at 5:30 PM Comments comments (1)

Our project is reaching exciting  heights this semester. Just last week on Sunday, February 27th, Cultural Conversations delivered the debut performances of some select English plays and monologues of the Paalam Project. Needless to say, the pieces were well received by both the Penn State and State College communities. It spurred discussion about the similarities between the American and Sri Lankan cultures, as well as the differences. Cultural Conversations served as one of the last and most important portions of this bridge: allowing its actors to translate these powerful words on paper to powerful emotions and actions on stage, a conduit between the Sri Lankan playwrights and the State College community.

The official Paalam Project showcase, which will have the translated plays and the works by displaced students, will be in mid-April. Stay tuned!

Below is a YouTube video of the Paalam Project's direct interactions in Sri Lanka through drama workshops and meeting with the various school's administrations. The video is courtesy of the Liberal Arts College and specifically, Jillian Balay.

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Greetings to Sri Lanka from Partners in Cultural Conversations

Posted by Ruth on October 25, 2010 at 11:44 AM Comments comments (0)

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An Exciting Time

Posted by Ruth on October 23, 2010 at 7:23 PM Comments comments (0)

These past few months have been an exciting time for the Paalam project. In mid- to late-September, playwriting workshops were held at Ramanathan College and St. John's College for students who were interested in the project. Participants came from 10 different schools in the Jaffna district of Sri Lanka. There was a general positive response from most participants, but a general consensus that more encouragement was needed for more students to join the initiative. Therefore, in early October, a letter was sent to teachers in the Jaffna district explaining the importance of their role in motivating students to partake in the Paalam initiative.

Also in early October, a Penn State theatre professor and mentor to Paalam, Dr. Susan Russell, donated 100 copies of her book , Body Language, which is a course guide and how-we-did-it story of allowing youth to utilize the techniques of playwriting and performance. Body Language will be distributed to Sri Lankan professional and local theatre teachers in mid-December and will be a key component of allowing theatre to take root in the youth community instead of becoming a transient force when the Paalam project is completed. A book signing event for Russell's how-to account will take place in October 24, 2010 at the State Theatre.

Lastly, the project has been gaining community recognition through newsletters in the Global Lion, the Centre Daily Times, and PSU-affiliated blogs.