Entertainment

Witness the magic of theatre

Irfan Ahmad for BeyondHeadlines

Theatre is a strong medium of communication and change. Mahindra Excellence in Theatre Awards (META) will give you opportunity to watch best in theatre performances in the Capital. The 12th edition of META, the annual weeklong theatre festival and awards will be held between 4th to 9th March in Delhi.

META Festival is an initiative of the Mahindra Group in association with Teamwork Arts, in order to evoke appreciation of theatre and deepen people’s affinity towards this art form in the country. META is a platform which recognizes and rewards the best and the most talented amongst theatre performers. META follows an intricate process in which all productions meeting the eligibility criteria are meticulously viewed by an esteemed selection committee comprising eminent theatre personalities. The selection committee picks the ten best productions and nominates them under the 13 award categories. The ten chosen entries are invited to perform live in front of jury and general audience. Over three hundred entries were submitted this year. The opening play of the META is Lassanwala in Hindi and Khadi Boli.

META also announced this year Lifetime Achievement Award 2017. This year Lifetime Achievement Award will be conferred upon veteran Marathi theatre exponent Arun Kakade. Eighty-five-year-old Arun Kakade is a veteran theatre producer and the man behind the success of the Marathi theatre group, Aavishkaar. He started his career in Pune and later shifted to Mumbai where he was associated with Vijaya Mehta, Vijay Tendulkar, Arvind Deshpande, and Madhav Watve. 

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Speaking about Arun Kakade and his contribution to Indian theatre, the panelists said, “His contribution to Indian theatre has been immense and META is privileged to confer him with the Lifetime Achievement Award”.

The Jury members for META 2017 were also announced. It comprises distinguished thespians including actors Dolly Thakore, Seema Biswas and Sachin Khedekar, playwright and actor Mahesh Dattani, along with theatre and film actor Avijit Dutt and performer and drama educator Maya K Rao.

Sanjoy K Roy, MD, Teamwork Arts & Festival Producer, said, “In keeping with increasing focus on the digital medium, we began accepting online entries for the very first time for this edition of META. This has further strengthened our commitment to reflect the artistic diversity of our country and provide opportunity and access to the finest talent out there.”

The announcement was followed by a discussion on ‘The Politics of Theatre’ focusing on how theatre is seminal to social change. A panel moderated by Sanjoy K Roy, including popular theatre artists and playwrights Arvind Gaur, M.K. Raina, Bishnupriya Dutt and V K Sharma discussed how theatre can be a reflection of the times as well as a catalyst for social change. Through the ages, theatre has effectively held a mirror up to society and its inherent dynamics and politics. In India, theatre has always been reflective of the times, be it in the days of the Indian People’s Theatre Association (IPTA) or the progressive theatre movement or indeed in different parts of the country where it has taken social issues on to the streets.

Jay Shah, Head, Cultural Outreach, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd, said, “META remains India’s most definitive platform to recognize theatrical talent. For twelve years now, it has brought together the very best of theatre productions from across the country. There is a multitude of talent in this art form which is the source code of all performing arts and the Mahindra Group is proud to present META each year as an inclusive, empowering, and prestigious canvas.”

For more details and ticket booking for plays visit META website: metawards.com

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