It’s showtime with the Revelations Academy

By Natasha Fernandopulle, Pic by Sanka Vidanagama

It was in 2007 that the Revelations Academy of Performing Arts and Creativity opened their doors to anyone interested in developing their skills in singing, art and drama. What started off as a small academy in terms of numbers, has now recorded their 100th student.

Therefore it is only fitting that the academy go public and ‘Showtime’ hits the boards on March 21 at the Lionel Wendt Theatre.

Many enthusiastic and talented juniors are performing on the 21st and listening to them rehearse it is clear that they are gifted indeed. Little soloists Shyalina Muthumudalige (8), Sashyani Rodrigo (8), Duvin Nambuwasam (7) and Cheran Jayaratnam (7) are all in agreement when they say, “We like being in the academy because we like to sing and it is a lot of fun!” Their repertoire includes well loved songs such as, “Have you ever seen the rain”, “Smile”, “What a wonderful world”, “Ben” and “I’ll walk in the rain”.

The intermediates will be performing a Beatles medley as well as Queen’s popular track, “We are the champions”. Keshini Nanayakkara (16), Roshana Tissaaratchy (13) and Lahari Jayatileke (10) have been with the academy for around two years and feel that they have improved a great deal in terms of their pitching and breathing. They are also part of the academy’s art and drama classes.

“What’s best about learning here is that they make it fun and interesting and we get to mix with other children,” the girls said.

The ‘seniors’ of the academy range from teenagers to grandparents. “We have students, stressed out mothers, not so stressed out mothers, those who are working and grandparents but for this one hour we totally enjoy ourselves and it gives us a great opportunity to be us,” smiled one.

In the midst of rehearsing a dance routine for one of their songs and in spite of juggling a number of things to get to rehearsals on time, it is clear this group was certainly having fun. “Shake your groove thing”, “I’m yours”, “Open arms”, “42nd street”, “As time goes by” and “Reeling in the years,” are some of the songs they will be performing that evening.

“I feel the academy has reached a reasonable standard,” says Sanjeev Jayaratnam, adding “When they joined some of them couldn’t even sing a note in pitch but are now singing solos” - which is a comforting and satisfying thought for him indeed.

Adds Ishan De Lanerolle, “This is our first full length song and dance show. Last time the intermediates and juniors did a musical, where- as this time, everyone will be singing and dancing and it will be a lot of fun.”

“Firstly the audience can expect a superb evening’s entertainment,” says Srimanthaka Senanayake. “It’s an academy of performing arts and creativity so our aim is to create not just performers but entertainers. We pay particular attention to the entertainment value, which we see as vital because you can have a fabulous voice but no stage presence,” Srimanthaka points out.

Sanjeev Jayaratnam, Srimanthaka Senanayake and Ishan De Lanerolle are behind the Revelations Academy of Performing Arts and Creativity. The choreography for the show will be handled by Sanwada Dharmasena while Indu Dharmasena will handle the lighting. Tickets will be available at the theatre.

The electronic media sponsors for Showtime are EFM and ETV. The Daily Mirror and the Sunday Times are the print media sponsors.

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