Tanuja Amarasuriya

Hiya. I’m a director, dramaturg and sound designer.
This is what I look like in 2020



I co-founded Sleepdogs with Tim X Atack
and I’m a resident at Pervasive Media Studio, Watershed, Bristol.

For directing and sound design, I’m represented by Emily Wraith at Berlin Associates
For dramaturgy, mentoring or anything else, please get in touch via Sleepdogs.


Productions as director include:

OUT OF SORTS (2019) written by Danusia Samal. Produced and presented by Theatre503.
Winner of the Theatre503 International Playwriting Prize 2018

THE PAPER MAN (2019) created by Improbable. Presented by Tobacco Factory Theatres, Soho Theatre.

A LITTLE DEATH (co-director with Emma Williams, 2018) written by Vic Llewellyn. Commissioned by Bristol Old Vic Ferment. UK tour.

CHECK THE LABEL (2016) written by Eno Mfon. Commissioned and presented by Bristol Old Vic.

Sleepdogs productions including: DARK LAND LIGHT HOUSE (2016), THE BULLET AND THE BASS TROMBONE (2012), THE MORPETH CAROL (2011)

As director, work in development currently includes:
CHANG & ENG & ME (& ME) written by Tobi Poster-Su. Commissioned by Chinese Arts Now & Yellow Earth Theatre
WE SING IN FIRE AND BLOOD written and conceived by Hazel Grian
HEARTWORM written by Timothy X Atack (in development with Manchester Royal Exchange) Winner of the 2017 Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting


Projects as dramaturg include:

FOREST 404 (2019), dramaturg, radio drama podcast. Written by Timothy X Atack, for BBC Sounds
ICE ROAD (2017) and THE STICK HOUSE (2015), dramaturg, site-specific/immersive theatre for Raucous
SAM HALMARACK & THE MISERABLITES (2011), dramaturg, created by Sam Halmarack. Produced by Bristol Old Vic Ferment. Toured UK & internationally.


Productions as sound designer include:

THE HALF GOD OF RAINFALL (2019) Written by Inua Ellams, directed by Nancy Medina, produced by Fuel, Birmingham Rep, Kiln Theatre.
STATUS (2018) Written by Chris Thorpe, directed by Rachel Chavkin, produced by China Plate. Toured UK & internationally.
RESIDUE (2017) short film. Directed by Sookie Greene. Commissioned by Channel 4 Random Acts.
SALT. (2017) Written by Selina Thompson, directed by Dawn Walton. Toured UK & internationally.

Co-composer on selected Sleepdogs projects including: CIRCADIAL, LNK_A, OCEAN CONFESSIONS


Research Awards include:

– Industry Fellowship: Expanded Performance (2020-21) researching how XR technologies can deepen people’s experience of live performance. Awarded by Bristol & Bath Creative R&D
– Leverhulme Arts Scholarship (2017) attached to Bristol Old Vic


I have given talks, guest lectures, workshops and masterclasses for events and organisations including: Hello Culture/BBC Digital Cities, JMK Regional Directors Programme, Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, Seoul Performing Arts Market (with the British Council).

And back in the mists of time, I was co-Director of Theatre Bristol; Associate Producer at In Between Time; Live Art and Dance co-ordinator at Arnolfini; and served on the boards of Uninvited Guests, the Mike Atack Trust, and New Work Network. Also sold books at Waterstones (back when they still mostly sold books) and vinyl (plus also duvets, for some reason) at Replay Records (gone, but always in my heart).


Some words by other people about things I did:

“Tanuja Amarasuriyaʼs production brings out the playʼs warmth and humour,
[…] a sense of tenderness permeates the whole piece.”

– The Stage on Out of Sorts

“What an incredible piece. So vulnerable and exposing and confronting and hilarious and brave.
It’s not what you think it will be all. Thank you SO MUCH for this important work.”

– @LouLouMason on The Paper Man

“It’s highly unlikely you’ll experience a more unforgettably visceral, immersive, darkly intense
and mesmerisingly beautiful theatrical 105 minutes this year.”

– 365Bristol.com on Dark Land Light House

“a phenomenal, ever-present score from Sleepdogs, that buzzes and jangles constantly,
refusing to allow us to become too settled or comfortable.”
– Time Out on salt.

“Utterly transported by The Bullet & The Bass Trombone: haunting, spellbinding & exhilarating.”
– @jonathanwakeham on The Bullet and the Bass Trombone

“This isn’t a show you see. This is a show you breathe, you hear, you feel in your arteries.
It’s almost impossible to describe.”

– Emma Geraghty on The Bullet and the Bass Trombone