Adrian Schvarzstein


I have a great pleasure to explain shortly about my experience in this 2015 artistic residence in Sri Lanka.

I wanted to realise a 3 week street theatre workshop with local artists and / or people interested in applying my personal way  and techniques of performance on the street; using and involving everything and everybody, creating a non verbal show for the particular population mixture of a place like Hikkaduwa and Colombo.

After my arrival, we understood that was almost impossible to achieve that, because it was very complicated and expensive to bring people for this…so I start to create and develop some of those ideas, but alone.

The main idea was to create a character that is a white man that arrive by mistake to Sri Lanka and is curious about everything that surrounds him (people, objects, etc.). The title of the training and performance was: to interfere in the everyday of a place, for example at the Hikkaduwa Market.

It is important to understand that in Sri Lanka, you must be able to improvise, change everything and be very patient with the local timing…I had no problem with it! Later, among the artists in residence, we started to think about sharing our experiences, giving to each other some workshop days and warm ups and collaborating artistically in developing some new projects.

We also created a short film with everybody involved that was called Fitzcarraldo in Hikkaduwa, using all the spaces that were related with our everyday life.

It was very good for me personally when Jurate Syrvite, an artist and friend from Lithuania joined me as a volunteer in oder to participate in all our performances. Creating with me a street theatre duo based on my KAMCHATKA experience and to create some performances also with Alex Rigg

alex rigg project

A great variation of experiences and tastes was the result of sharing our creativity and imagination and adapting ourselves to any possible situations…probably in a Sura Medura residence this is one of the best philosophies to follow.

I also had the opportunity to give a lecture at the University of Colombo at the Department of Drama and Art. I was surprised to discover that most of the people that came had  no experience in performing arts, but anyways was a very energetic and interesting meeting.

We also had time for some tourism and the image of a local inhabitant of this island that became a very good souvenir.

The residency in Sura Medura house was perfect, the room and all the space available was exactly what we needed, the possibility to have breakfast, a snack during the day and a very good dinner in Sun Beach Hotel helped us to keep our culinary curiosities alive all the time.

After one short but very intensive workshop with local artists organised in Colombo on the last day of our residence there, I finally met the people and the energy needed to create a good and durable artistic project in Sri Lanka with natives. Therefore I want to propose to continue this work and finally to create a real show for the next Colombo Art Biennale in the beginning of 2016…

That means that our work must continue and this wonderful experience go forward.

All the best and thank you for this great opportunity to all of you.