Apr 26 2023. views 127
Stages Theatre Group proudly presents their latest production PING! Virtually Everything is Fine running from the 27th to the 29th of April, 2023 at the Lionel Wendt Theatre. Set in a middle-income apartment complex in contemporary Colombo, PING! explores the lives of four families centring on the lives of their teenage children, particularly Dirk Anthonisz, a mysterious, broody 17-year-old who carries an intriguing reputation and a devastating secret. When Dirk’s secret is leaked, chaos ensues in person and online.
Directed by Ruwanthie de Chickera and Lihan Mendis, PING! is an original play created out of the observations, experiences and concerns of its largely teenage cast, as it explores how social media and digital dependence have contributed to deteriorating and dysfunctional family relationships. Who do teenagers turn to when families are falling apart, the education system is in disarray and disruption is constant and continuous?
Researched and created by the debuting Youth Ensemble of Stages Theatre Group, the production deals with contemporary youth issues such as digital addiction, spiralling mental health issues and the growing disconnect between generations. The play is part of a wider youth-led campaign to challenge and change the culture of digital dependence Sri Lanka’s present teenage generation has been pushed into. The current situation for young people in Sri Lanka is fraught with uncertainty and economic, political, and educational instability, leaving many youths struggling to secure safe, stable and hopeful futures. Digital dependence exacerbates this difficulty by creating a teenage subculture of sadness, apathy, disengagement and isolation.
The play ties in with the launch of the #WATSS campaign (“Why Are Teenagers So Sad”), to reveal the emotional and social impact on Sri Lankan children and youth, whose needs have in no way been prioritised within the continuing national crisis and addresses the challenges young people face in achieving fulfilled, integrated lies within a highly digitised world.
PING! Virtually Everything is Fine stars Theruni Indrapala, Nethra Peiris, Akmal Hamid and Hajarah Faleel, Vishwa Wijesooriya, Nikki Abeywickrama, Sasindu Randeepa, Shenaya Fernando, Samuel Sundaralingam, Visura Padeniya, Ganan Kugan, Kithmi Ranatunga, Akhil Skanthakumar and Anouk Abeywickrama as the ensemble cast and writers Banuja Nethusara and Nivedith Jeyashankar. A must-see for all teenagers and parents, PING! is set to be a hard-hitting play packed with humour and wit while promising to be thought provokingly emotionally impactful, relevant and reflective.
With a running time of approximately 2 hours, including a 10-minute interval, the play will be performed in English (with some dialogue in Sinhala). Shows are on the 27th - 29th at 7:30 pm, with matinées at 3:30 pm on the 28th and 29th. As it contains strong language and mature themes, PING! is best for ages 16+. Tickets are priced at Rs 2000, 1300, and 800 (balcony), with student discounts available for the matinées. Please note that all seating is unreserved. Call/WhatsApp 074-189-1363 for tickets and more information.