An imposing structure standing proud since 1974, the School Hall has played an important role in the life of every Bridgetine.
Most of them will remember the long hours spent there – for drama and choir practices, meetings, debates, competitions, celebration of various special days connected with the school curriculum and celebration of Holy Mass. Others will remember the tangible excitement in the air as they decorated the place for the carol service, climbed the steep stairs above the stage in order to figure out how to operate the lighting system, cleaned out the hall before an important event or crawled into the pit out of curiosity.
The recent makeover to incorporate state of the art facilities, the newly refurbished auditorium will no doubt have the same appeal for the present Bridgetines as well as those in the years to come.
A wide lawn with a winding stone path leads to the still imposing entrance which now consists of a stone and glass facade complemented with tall white pillars. The doors open to the darkened auditorium, softly illuminated, complete with plush dark green seats and luxurious carpeting, incorporating impeccable taste and inviting an audience to the next performance on the stage.
In almost every angle and aspect, the auditorium now looks different to the one we remember. It has been equipped with air conditioning, state of the art new lighting and sound system and an improvised stage.
The dressing rooms behind the auditorium have been redone, offering more space.
Walking down the aisles, standing on the stage and taking in the new sights, any Bridgetine would feel that familiar thrill of excitement, remembering all the fun times spent, and the fun times to come.
Despite all the changes made and the sophisticated new look and facilities of the auditorium, it could be said that the structure and the stage still remember the drama and performances that took place here since 1974 and echo the culture and tradition of drama in the school, dating back to 1906 when the first school hall was the long verandah of The Firs at Turret Road.
The large foyer outside the auditorium continues in this remembrance, with restored pictures of the school’s principals – beginning from the Irish nuns who taught their charges how to dance the Irish jig and directed the school’s first dramas- Merchant of Venice, Twelfth Night, As You Like It, Mikado and The Pirates of Penzance.
Travelling back in history, we read in records and hear from past pupils, of the school’s long tradition of drama. Way back in 1955, the school’s first version of a drama society was established and was known as the Convent Operatic Society. Since then, a long string of performances took place- Gondoliers, Shades of the Night, H.M.S Pinafore, Iolanthe, Blossom Time, The Purple Orchid Club, Camelot, The Best Gift of All, Shakespeare Uncontested, The Flower Drum Song, King and I, South Pacific, My Fair Lady and Beauty and the Beast to name a few. The school choir excelled in choir competitions. Shakespeare Drama Competitions were won. All in all, drama and the arts have played an important part of the Bridgetine experience, and the new auditorium is an affirmation of this.
This Auditorium is the result of funds generated mainly from the Bridgetine Walk 2007, subsequent Raffle Draw 2009 and with support from the Collegiate, Primary and Montessori Schools. The staff and students of St. Bridget’s Convent wholeheartedly thank the Committee for the Bridgetine Walk 2007, the School Development Society 2007/2008/2009, and the Past Pupils Associations of Sri Lanka and UK for beginning this initiative. A special thank you is due to the Auditorium Committee which brought the project off the ground with Mrs. SavithriEdirisinghe as its Chairperson.
Heartfelt gratitude and appreciation is extended to the students, parents and well wishers, for their generous contribution and commitment in making this project a reality.
Auditorium opening ceremony
As showers of blessings poured down on the 5th of September 2009, Rev. Sr. RohiniMendis ; provincial superior of the Good Shepherd congregation, cut the red ribbon and declared open the newly refurbished auditorium of St. Bridget’s Convent. The welcome address was given by Rev. Sr. ShermilaJayawardena ; principal of the collegiate school.
Rev. Fr. RanjithMadurawela ; General Manager of Catholic schools, conducted the mass. The special invitees included the chairperson and committee members of the auditorium building committee, executive committee of the past pupils association, the committee members of the school development society and other invitees. Mass was followed by the blessing of the auditorium by Rev.Fr RanjithMadurawela. This was followed by entertainment items, displaying the talent of Bridgetines, in the new auditorium for the first time.