New Delhi, February 12, 2017:(ONT Bureau) The 12th edition of the Mahindra Excellence in Theatre Awards and Festival announced its nominations today, shortlisting 10 plays that will be staged in the capital from March 4-9th and which will compete for one of the most comprehensive theatre awards in the country. Jointly promoted by the Mahindra Group as part of its cultural outreach, and pioneering entertainment company Teamwork Arts, the META Festival has become a definitive calendar event for theatre enthusiasts and professionals across the country.
Over 300 entries were submitted this year and were viewedby a discerning selection committee comprising eminent theatre practitioners Arundhati Raja, Deepa Punjani, Deepan Sivaraman, Danish Husain and Debesh Chatterjee. The committee took on the monumental task of shortlisting the final 10 nominated productions for the META Festival 2017.
With the sheer diversity of cultural identities and languages represented in Indian theatre, the 10 nominated plays feature Bengali, Malayalam, Rajasthani and Kannada along with Hindi and English language scripts. Theatre enthusiasts can view the nominated productions staged live for an esteemed jury during the META Festival in Delhi at Kamani Auditorium, Little Theatre Group (LTG) and Sri Ram Centre from March 4th to March 9th. The Red Carpet Awards Night for META is scheduled to be held in Delhi on 10th March.
The META Festival aims to increase awareness and appreciation of Indian theatre, making it the only national arena for recognizing and rewarding the industry’s best performing plays and their makers and facilitators.
Jay Shah, Head, Cultural Outreach, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. said, “We herald the 12th META with a sense of gratitute to India’s theatre community for making the Mahindra Excellence in Theatre Awards their own. Over 300 entries received consistently over the past few years shows the interest and faith theatre groups have placed on this effort by the Mahindra Group. We are excited to see and celebrate the final nominations in early March.”
The nominations themselves highlight the vibrant theatre scene in India and come from regions as diverse as Kota, Patna, Delhi, Mumbai, Kochi, Bangalore and Kolkata, indicating the sheer passion for and practice of theatre as a significant art form across all regions of the country. The META stage has been instrumental in throwing light on many issues plaguing society at large. Like every year, META 2017 brings some engaging and pressing issues to the forefront including minority voices, prevalent socio-cultural divides, troubles of fast-paced modern times, contemporary contexts of Indian mythology, and complex stories of human emotions and conscience.
Commenting on the selection results, Sanjoy K Roy, MD, Teamwork Arts & Festival Producer said, “It is great to see the diversity and vibrancy that is reflective of contemporary theatre in India. From comedy to musicals, religious and socio-cultural issues to contemporary reinterpretations of India’s rich mythological texts, these productions bring alive the complexities that are representative of the subcontinent.
The 14 awards will be given for the Best Play, Best Director, Lifetime Achievement award, Best Stage Design, Best Light Design, Best Innovative Sound Design, Best Costume Design, Best Actor in a Lead Role (Male), Best Actor in a Lead Role (Female), Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Male), Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Female), Best Original Script, Best Ensemble, Best Choreographer. Mahabharata and Outcaste have received the maximum nominations from the selection committee and will compete across seven categories each.