By profession an orthopaedic surgeon and anatomist. Mark Amerasinghe’s active engagement with drama commenced in 1978 when he acted in the “University Peradeniya Dramsoc” production of Chekov’s ‘The Bear’ directed by Thiru Kandiah, and also for the first time played as narrator in Valentine Basnayake’s musico-dramatic sketch, “Strange Old Man”.
Subsequently, he assumed this role in many productions including a dramatized narration of Goethe’s ballad ‘The Earl King, (in English translation by Valentine Basnayake and myself), followed by a rendering of the Schubert song in German with Valentine Basnayake at the piano. He also was the narrator in Thiru Kandiah’s musico-dramatic production of Don Qixote.
His first venture into the experimental field of recasting a novel into the mode of a one-man drama, a monodrama, was in 1997, when he produced, directed and acted in Tolstoy’s ‘Kreutzer Sonata’ followed by Albert Camus’ ‘The Fall’. In both instances using the then available English translations.
Always interested in the French novel., initially read in English translation, his reading of Albert Camus spurred him on to study the French language, with the aim of delving deep into the original work to obtain a more authentic viewpoint, which would help to enhance the dramatic effect of his presentation.
He is a keen vocalist and has given recitals at the British Council Colombo(1983, ‘87) and the British Council Kandy (1995, ’96).
Mark Amerasinghe was awarded the distinction of Chevlier des Arts et Lettres by the French Government in 2006.