Published On: Tue, Mar 10th, 2015

Jury and Festival Schedule announced for 10th Edition of META

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meta1New Delhi: Bringing together the best of Indian theatre from the year gone by, the Mahindra Excellence in Theatre Awards& Festival (META) announced the schedule of performances for nominated plays to be staged in New Delhi between March 21st and 26th. The 2015 META Jury comprises distinguished Theatre Personality Amal Allana; Theatre Writer, Editor and Critic Anjum Katyal; renowned Theatre Artist, Neelam Mansingh; Theatre, TV and FilmDirector& WriterRanjeet Kapoor; and Film, Theatre and Television Actor Saurabh Shukla.

In celebration of the 10th edition of META, the commemorative book ‘Curtain Call: Celebrating Indian Theatre’ was released at The Taj Mahal Hotel, New Delhi by Jury member AmalAllana, META Creative Director Ravi Dubey, Jay Shah- Head Cultural Outreach of Mahindra & Mahindra and Sanjoy Roy – M.D of Teamwork Arts.

Talking about the gratifying 10 years of META and its journey Jay Shah, Head, Cultural Outreach, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. said, “The Mahindra Group is very proud of the 10 years of META. We are especially honoured to announce this year’s Jury who have years of rich experience in theatre craft. It is indeed heartening to see the participation of theatre groups from across the country as also the unstinted support of the veterens of theatre over the last decade”

Commenting on the awards, Jury member AmalAllana said, “META has provided encouragement and hope to theatre workers across the country that it is an art form worth pursuing in a very simple and effective way–by recognizing excellence and applauding it.”

Over the past decade, META – one of India’s premier theatre awards,has brought together the very best of theatre productions from across the country, recognizing and rewarding the multitude of talents that contribute to this unique art form. From humble beginnings in 2006, META has received over 1900 entries till date, from which the very best productions and talents each year are nominated for awards across 13 different categories. Giving over 1800 artists a platform to showcase their work, META has so far staged close to 100 nominated plays from 60 different theatre groups across the country and awarded more than 110 artists. META’s nominated plays span 13 different languages1 representing 20 cities2 from across 13 states3 of the country.

In its journey with Indian theatre, META has sought not only to showcase the best performances, productions and talents, but also the myriad tangents of life and society that inspire theatre. A telling reflection of its journey, several of META’s nominated plays have thrown up contemporary issues as well as highlighted centuries old fault lines, which plague the society at large. Over the years META’s nominated plays have touched upon issues like gender equality, political freedom, environmental concerns, condition of labourers, caste issues, communal tension, challenges in the Indian North-East, dysfunctional families, and displacement of Kashmiri Pandits amongst many more.

1. English, Hindi, Marathi, Malayalam, Urdu, Bengali, Assamese, Manipuri, Kashmiri, French, Tamil, Kannada, Garo
2. Bangalore, Begusarai, Chennai, Delhi, Dhemaji, Dibrugarh, Guwahati, Imphal, Jamshedpur, Kannur, Kozhikode, Kochi, Kolar, Kolkata, Mumbai, Odalguri, Pune, Thiruvananthapuram, Thrissur, Tiruvarur
3. Assam, Bihar, Delhi, Jharkhand, Karanataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Manipur, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal

Ravi Dubey, Creative Director of META on the 10 years of promotion of Indian Theatre by META said, “This is a very humbling moment. What had started for me as a passion and a dream, which many had then not taken seriously, has today become a reality which is an extreme moment of pride for me. From just a total of 10 entries in the first year, we have now grown to over 300 in the 10th year and that, in my mind, clearly shows that getting a META award is today an aspiration for the theatre community across India.”

Shortlisted from close to 300 entries, the 10 best plays nominated for META 2015:
1. A Straight Proposal; Dir: Happy Ranajit; Produced by Unicorn Actors’ Studio (Delhi, Lang: Hindi )
2. Aaydaan; Dir: Sushma Deshpande; Produced by Awishkar Theatre (Mumbai, Lang: Marathi)
3. Chitrapata; Dir: Manjunath L Badiger; Produced by Samasthi (Bengaluru, Lang: Kannada)
4. Dhou… The Wave; Dir: Gunakar Dev Goswami; Produced by Purvarang (Guwahati, Lang: Assamese)
5. Dreams From My Room; Dir: Chingtham Banikanta Singh; Produced by Pan Manipuri Theatre (Manipur, Lang: Manipuri)
6. Fall of a King- Burha Manuhor Babe Desh Nai; Dir: Palash Protim Mech; Produced by Oftas (Assam, Lang: Assamese)
7. Kaumudi; Dir: Abhishek Majumdar; Produced by Riad Mahmood Education and Arts Foundation and Indian Ensemble (Bengaluru, Lang: Hindi)
8. Matthi; Dir: Jino Joseph; Produced by Kathuparamba Malayakalanilayam (Kerala, Lang: Malayalam)
9. Rage and Beyond: Irawati’s Gandhari; Dir: Sanjukta Wagh; Produced by Beej (Mumbai, Lang: English)
10. Still and Still Moving; Dir: Neel Chaudhuri; Produced by Tadpole Repertory (Delhi, Lang: English & Hindi)

Plays from the North-East feature prominently with two productions from Assam (Dhou…The Waveand Fall of a King- Burha Manuhor Babe Desh Nai)and one from Manipur (Dreams From My Room) nominated for this year’s awards. Delhi makes a strong comeback to META with two delightful acts – ‘A Straight Proposal’ ‘Still & Still Moving’. Rounding up the nominations are two plays from Mumbai(Aaydaan and Rage and Beyond: Irawati’s Gandhari), two from Bengaluru (ChitrapataandKaumudi)and one from Kerala (Matthi).

The shortlisted productions will be staged at LTG Auditorium and Kamani Auditorium in Delhi from 21st March to the 26th March. For more information on the nominees and full list of category wise nominations, please visit The 2015 Mahindra Excellence in Theatre Awardswill be given away at a red carpet ceremony on 27th March 2015 at the Taj Mahal Hotel, No. 1 Man Singh Road, New Delhi.

Commenting on the significance of META in Indian Theatre, Sanjoy Roy, Managing Director – Teamwork Arts, said, “Every journalist loves to do a story on dying art forms or predict the death of theatre. But, in India, nothing ever dies… artists, like the societies they inhabit, adapt and move on. In a country like ours, that has philosophical breadth and diversity, all you need to do is create a ground that is fertile and enrich it with the nutrients of imagination, social and economic inclusion, vision and resources. The Mahindra Excellence in Theatre Awards has created an opportunity for a million fireflies to rise to the night sky, illuminating our hearts and our minds!”

META recognizing and celebrates Indian theatre talent with awards for Best Play, Best Director, 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, and Best Choreographer making it the most comprehensive Theatre awards in the country. In 2010, META also instituted a Lifetime Achievement Award, presented along with the 13 category wise awards So far this award has been conferred upon theatre greats like Late Zohra Sehgal, Late Badal Sarkar, Late Khaled Chowdhary, EbrahimAlkazi and Girish Karnard.

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