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Toronto, January 26, 2003

Manaveli Performing Arts Group, Canada ‘s premier Tamil theatre group, is to hold its Tenth

Annual Festival of Theatre and Dance at the Markham Theatre on March 09, 2003.

The Festival will consist of two shows, at 12:30 pm and 6:00 pm. To meet the huge demand for

Manaveli ‘s Festivals among the Canadian Tamil community outside the GTA region, the Tenth

Festival will also be held on March 29, 2003 at the Humanities Theatre at the University of

Waterloo. The Tenth Annual Festival is sponsored by Peter Joseph (Legal Counsel) and Ahilan

Thanabalasingam (Royal LePage).

As in previous Festivals, the exiled Tamil world ‘s leading artists will come together to hold five

plays. (Please refer to the sub-titles of the five plays in Page Two of this document for a

description of the plays.)

Since its inception in 1996, Manaveli has staged thirty one plays, which have been hailed by the

Tamil literary world as path breaking. Manaveli has also introduced well-known English and

other language playwrights, such as Eugene Ionesco, Anton Checkov, Samuel Beckett, Jean

Janet and Vaclav Havel, to the Tamil audience.

Tickets cost $ 12.50

For further details, or for interview requests, please contact: Nalina at 416. 439.5059

E-mail: Website:

The Five Plays at 2003 Festival

The first performance is Thani Maram (Lone Tree), in which the classical Tamil dance

Bharathanatyam takes a new meaning and mode. A solitary three hundred year old Cedar tree

symbolizes the spirit of nature. The grand tree bears silent witness to a cruel humanity ‘s

gregarious consumption of earthy resources. The dance is directed and performed by Malini

Pararajasingham, a well known classical dancer.

Thallu Vandikkaararkal is a Tamil adaptation, by K.S. Balachandran, of the English play ‘The

Pushcart Peddlers ‘ by New York playwright Murray Schisgal. First produced in 1979, ‘The Pushcart

Peddlers ‘ is a comical look at learning to survive in a new land. In his Tamil adaptation, K.S.

Balachandran has taken the liberty to adapt the language, names, and references in the play,

so that it centres on Tamil immigrants from Sri Lanka to Canada. This play is directed by Dushy

Gnanapragasam. Dushy has acted in many dramas, both in Canada and Sri Lanka, but this is his

debut as a director.

The third play En Thaththaavukku Oru Kuthirai Irunthathu (My Grandpa ‘s Horse) is directorial

debut for Suganthan, who has acted in many plays produced by Manaveli. This play is a satirical

treatment of colonial mentalities that still rule many minds of our society. While carefully

dissecting the internalization of colonialism and its manifestations, the play also exposes our

(Tamil) own racist attitudes towards fellow communities. The play has been scripted by

Cheliyan, a poet, writer and playwright, whose scripts have been staged in both Canada and


‘Oor Poukku ‘ (Going Home) is scripted by Cheran, a well-known face in Tamil literary circles, and

directed by K Navam, who has directed a number of plays. This play is a parody on the lives and

nostalgic fantasies of the Canadian Tamil diaspora. It questions the choices of dispersed people

when peace returns in their homeland. Would they leave everything in the adopted land, say

‘Adieu! ‘ and leave for their original homeland ? Or, would they become ‘homeland tourists ‘ by

spicing up their nostalgia with recent tours and visits ?

N. Muththusamy, a distinguished writer from India, has scripted Paakha Pirivinai (Arbitration),

which is a satirical play about the influence exerted by certain powerful nations over developing

countries. The play is directed by R. Sivaratnam, who coordinated the theatre group, Kaalam.

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