Isuri Wijesundara: Actress And Advocate Impacts Adelphi In More Ways Than One
Start writing a post
Health and Wellness

Isuri Wijesundara: Actress And Advocate Impacts Adelphi In More Ways Than One

85
Isuri Wijesundara: Actress And Advocate Impacts Adelphi In More Ways Than One
Isuri Wijesundara

The room fell silent as Isuri Wijesundara, the assistant director of "Now You See Me Now You Hear Me", stepped on the stage of the Performing Arts Center at Adelphi University. Clad in dark pants and a poncho, Wijesundara painted the scene of a dark night at Stanford University.

“On January 18, 2015, around 1:00 A.M. two male Stanford University graduate students spotted a male on top of an unconscious, partially naked female behind a dumpster near a fraternity house.”

Wijesundara's voice encapsulated every square inch of the silent room. She did not stutter, and spoke with the utmost eloquence, as she continued to tell the story and introduce Now You See Me, Now You Hear Me(NYSM/NYHM).

“There are survivors all around us dealing with the same of their assault, this is for you.”

In October, along with Maggie Lally, an associate professor of Theater at Adelphi University, Wijesundara directed a campus-wide initiative to end gendered violence.

In response to the release of Brock Turner, who was found guilty of rape at Stanford, the event featured 99 Adelphi students and faculty who read aloud the letter from the victim to Turner, and Vice President Joe Biden’s response.

NYSM/NYSM, part of a campus-wide initiative to end gendered violence, has only been one of Wijesundara's successes as a theater major and activist at Adelphi University.

“There is so much happening around us that we are not the slightest bit aware of”


Wijesundara is breaking stereotypes and redefining societal norms while simultaneously advocating for social justice and pursuing a career in acting and performing arts.

A junior in college, Wijesundara has already held various leadership and career positions in like a Young Professional for TEDXBroadway, a social media assistant coordinator for Adelphi University, a United Nations Association representative for the 60th session of the Commission on the status of women, Social media marketing intern at New York Innovative Theatre Foundation and a Box Office Intern at The Brick Theater.

Wijesundara was also an intern at Music and Memory, a non-profit organization that uses personalized music to improve the lives and cognitive function of the elderly.

“Isuri always struck me as incredibly determined and genuinely interested in the world” says Peter DeBartolo, theAdministrative Director of the Levermore Global Scholars (LGS) program who worked with Wijesundara to represent Adelphi and LGS at the United Nations in January. “She has an impressive tenacity to overcome challenges and a sincere passion to make the world a better place.”

Growing up in Sri Lanka, Wijesundara always knew she had a passion for the arts but pursued biology and science because they would bring her to a career in engineering or medicine which was valued at a greater level than a career in the arts there. Once her parents realized how strong her passion, and talent, for the arts was she began taking classes like violin, ballet, piano and acting.

After receiving her Associate's diploma from Trinity College London in Speech and Drama, and Musical Theatre, Wijesundara moved to Garden City to pursue a bachelors of performing arts degree in what she is most passionate about:acting.


Auditioning in front of Nick Petron, the chairman of the Department of Theater and the creator of the Bachelors of Fine Arts program at Adelphi University was the first step in her journey. “She was so well prepared for her audition, I was floored” says Petron, “now she keeps stepping it up.”

Currently, Wijesundara performs at the Beverly Bonner Show at the Broadway Comedy Club and has dreams of getting a masters degree in Drama Therapy and to represent more actors of Asian descent on Broadway and in film.

Not only is Wijesundara a talented performer, but she is also an activist.

A few months ago for a film which was shown to the entire class of 2020 during their matriculation on diversity and the Black Lives Matter movement, Wijesundara discussed her journey with her own race and identity.



“Sri Lankan. That’s what I am... I never had to think twice of who i'm associated with in terms of race and skin color until i moved to america”(16:55) says Isuri in her monologue, “Back home, I was a Sri Lankan girl both a Buddhist and a Catholic but when I moved to America I became a Brown, South Asian girl who's most likely to be from india and is probably a muslim or a hindu…. The significant difference is that I’m now attached to labels and stereotypes I ever had to think of before and I resent it.”


“I think the world of her, I think she's quite brilliant and she's going places” says Lally, “as she's developing her craft she’s going to have more tools to use with that voice of hers that is eloquent and heartfelt.”


Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Lifestyle

How Much Of A Coffee Snob You Are, Based On Where You Live

Your state may determine how picky you are about your coffee.

178685

When it comes to coffee, everyone has different criteria for what goes into their "perfect cup." Some caffeine lovers, though, are extra particular when it comes to their beloved beverage. One survey found that the state you're from (or the one you live in now) may play a part in determining how much of a coffee snob you actually are.

LiveShopper Sassie, the company behind this Coffee Project survey, received input from 1,000 coffee drinkers via their mobile app, PrestoShopper, to ask various questions about their coffee drinking habits and preferences. In return, these survey respondents got money back for their coffee — something any user who downloads the app can do as well (yes, even you).

Keep Reading... Show less
Wikimedia

To celebrate the five year anniversary of his debut album "TRAPSOUL" Tiller has released two new albums and these are my favorites from the release. The deluxe album includes songs that didn't make the cut from the debut album and the "Anniversary" album has brand new songs.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

Where To Find The Best Coffee Drinks In America, According To A Survey

Here's the coffee shop where you should get your morning brew.

403889

Coffee, for billions of people, is one of the only things that can get us out of bed (after hitting snooze a time or two), especially in 2020. Because, if we're being honest, is there anything that beats a quality cup of coffee on those mornings when all we wanted to do is roll over and go back to sleep? The answer is no. And if you're headed to a coffee shop to pick up your caffeinated beverage, you don't want to sleep on the best coffee drinks in America.

According to LiveShopper Sassie's Coffee Project survey, when it comes to chain coffee shops, there are definitely preferred spots you'll want to hit up for your go-to order — whether you order the classic, frozen, or flavored coffee, an espresso, tea, or other. To figure out the hot spots, 1,000 coffee drinkers across the United States took to LiveShopper's mobile app, PrestoShopper, to answer various questions about their coffee drinking habits and preferences. In return, these survey respondents got money back for their coffee — something any user who downloads the app can do as well (yes, even you).

Keep Reading... Show less

Halloween is every costume-lover's favorite holiday. Growing up in Canada, I remember wearing turtlenecks and sweats under my princess costumes. The opportunity for it to be socially acceptable to dress up as anybody but yourself for just one night a year is one most of us love taking advantage of.

I was doing "couples" costumes with my girlfriends before I ever had a boyfriend. There was a year in high school in which my best friend and I dressed up as two of the Golden Girls and one year in which we went to Halloween parties dressed up as Iago and Jafar.

Keep Reading... Show less
Content Inspiration

Survey: Which Issues Are The Most Important To You In The 2020 Election

If you're a first-time voter or voting by mail for the first time, we want to hear your story.

139971

The general election on Tuesday, November 3, 2020, will decide not only the next president of the United States but also which political party controls the House of Representatives and the Senate. Young and first-time voters will play a crucial part in determining the result.

Keep Reading... Show less

Gary Chapman wrote a book called, "The Five Love Languages: The Secrets to Love That Lasts" and in it, he discusses what he coined as the five languages of love, which are the most common ways that people express and experience love. These five love languages include words of affirmation, receiving gifts, physical touch, quality time, and acts of service. If you aren't sure what your or your partner's love language is, you can take this quiz to find out.

Now, finding out what your partner's love language is step one to better understanding how to love them, but step two is figuring out how to best implement their love language into your relationship. That can be hard, so to help couples out, I put together a list of 10 different things you can do for your partner that is specific to their love language.

Keep Reading... Show less
Tips

Articles To Write If You're All About Saving More Money, And Waking Up A Little Bit Earlier

Get your day started right — and keep that budget tight.

245569

For all the young professionals, parents, and students out there who've been working, learning, or even teaching remote — 2020 has likely been the longest year of your life. If you didn't know (sorry), we've been locked down for over 200 days now, and chances are, you are ready for it to be OVER.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

I Asked Over 50 Students What The Best Part Of Their Morning Routine Is, And The Answers Are In

I asked over 50 high school and college students what their favorite part of their morning routine is, here's the verdict.

2466

Although there was a wide variety of answers, I was able to place everyone into eight different categories. All but about six answers were said more than once!

Keep Reading... Show less

Our world is so full of such sadness, and sometimes we just need something to bond us to one another. What better way than science puns? They're not just for the intellectuals among us (though they might get a bit more of a laugh out of some of these than us more ignorant folks) they're also for those of us who want a good laugh or maybe to impress a particularly science-y crush. Some of these puns might even teach us.

Keep Reading... Show less
Netflix/Fox

Halloween is just days away and though spooky season feels like it's lasted a lot longer than a few weeks of 2020, it's time to add some scares you've actually signed up for to the mix. Personally, I love a good fright as long as I'm prepared.

Keep Reading... Show less
Disney Channel

One of the favorite things we love about fall is Halloween. Since we can't do our usual traditions and activities this year, we can still do a Halloween marathon of our favorite movies safely at home.

And where else can you get some nostalgia during Halloween than Disney Channel Original Movies? Here are nine Disney Channel Original Movies to watch during this spooky season.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

I Asked Young Adults Their Favorite Parts of Their Morning Rituals, And At-Home Workouts Are Having A Moment

Our lives have changed a lot in the past year, and along with everything else, so have our morning routines.

1517

While we were socialized to be a part of the group that stumbles out of bed into the shower, getting ready for work (or class), grabbing a granola bar for class, and stopping for Dunkin on the way in, being locked at home has changed our perspective on how mornings could be.

Keep Reading... Show less
Netflix

Surprise surprise, bebes! If you're on a dating app and looking for something to draw the attention of prospective lovers, it's time to add in some of your favorite TV show references and let the matches roll in, especially if you're obsessed with "Schitt's Creek" and/or "The Office."

Because after the dating app Ship rolled out its Top Shows profile feature, they discovered that people with certain television shows mentioned in their bios actually had increased chances of getting matches. Data from the app showed that these are the top 10 shows to increase your chances of finding love:

Keep Reading... Show less

- Like a lot of fellow skincare junkies, clean beauty has been a passion of mine for years — more and more of us are embracing natural ways of taking care of our bodies.

- A few months ago, I was introduced to Symbiome: a newly launched brand with supercharged ingredients from the Amazon that showed faster results in healing acne and pigmentation on my skin than anything I've tried.

- Each minimalist product from the brand has ten or fewer ingredients, all naturally and sustainable sourced. Most have less than four.

Being Indian, clean beauty has always been a core part of my beauty rituals passed down from my mother and grandmother. From massaging warm coconut oil into our scalps to sweeping DIY turmeric saffron masks on our faces, most South Asian households were doing the clean beauty thing before the Western world labeled it as such.

For that reason, when I first heard about Symbiome: a clean skincare brand featuring supercharged ingredients sourced from the Amazon, I was immediately intrigued. The brand features four postbiomic oils, a restorative cream, and two cleansers.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments