Mahindra Excellence in Theatre Awards 2022 to return on-ground and showcase META 2020 winners

New Delhi: The Mahindra Excellence in Theatre Awards (META), now in its 17th year, continues to applaud the finest in Indian theatre and set benchmarks for excellence. Instituted by the Mahindra Group with the objective of becoming a significant platform for theatre across regions, states and dialects in India, META recognises all aspects of the stage  including playwriting, set, costume and light design, direction and performance and awards the best in the entire spectrum. The last two years, as the world grappled with a pandemic, the show didn’t stop for META and saw the META stage going virtual with magnificent productions showcased online for theatre-lovers and connoisseurs. Finally, now in 2022, the 17th edition of META will be a physical showcase of 4 award-winning plays from META 2020, a landmark 15th edition of META.

The 17th META Festival is scheduled to be held from July 7th – 10th 2022. The four award-winning plays will be staged at Delhi’s Kamani Auditorium.

Jay Shah, Vice President, Head – Cultural Outreach, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. said, “Although the judging process was completed in time for META 2020, we had to award the winners only by means of in a virtual ceremony. We are pleased to finally have an on-ground META this year through the presentation of 4 META 2020 award winning plays. We are hopeful to be able to have a full-fledged META in 2023 and are looking forward to new pieces of theatre being commissioned and performed during the year.”

Sanjoy Roy, Managing Director of Teamwork Arts, said, “META pivoted online in 2020 and 2021 and built a new community even as we streamed a number of award-winning productions followed by talks and conversations around the many disciplines of theatre and the arts. In 2022, we are back on-ground with the award-winning productions from the 2020 META festival. You can see the best of the festival, live in Delhi!

Over the years, META has given voice to diverse themes ranging from contemporary and pressing social issues, mythology, religion, gender, caste, politics, and classics, through the plays it has showcased. The only national arena for recognising and rewarding the country’s best productions and theatre-practitioners – META – aims to increase awareness and appreciation of Indian theatre. The following are the details of the four award-winning plays which will be showcased at META 2022.

 

ABOUT THE PLAYS

FOR THE RECORD

In 1971, a tribunal was tasked with selecting three artefacts that represent India to the world. Flash forward to 2018: transcripts of the tribunal meetings are released to the public. And in 2019, For the Record recreates the deliberations, the disputes and the drama of a chain of events.

THURSDAY, JULY 7, 2022 | 7:00 PM

BHASKARA PATTELARUM THOMMIYUDE JEEVITHAVUM

A play based on the novelette, Bhaskara Pattelarum Entey Jeevithavum by famous Malayalam writer Paul Zacharia. Thommi, a Christian migrant labourer from Kerala is the obedient slave of his aggressive, tyrannical landlord, Bhaskara Pattelar. Pattelar is a man of many vices and Thommi helplessly supports him in all of his ill deeds. Thommi obeys all orders of Pattelar, from making his own wife sexually available to his master to killing Pattelar’s kindly wife, Saroja. When Pattelar is forced to escape to a jungle due to his own misdeeds, Thommi follows him like a pet. Pattelar slowly sheds his tyrannical traits as the play progresses and ends up being killed by his enemies. Though the death of his master should have been a big shock for Thommi, the event releases him from his servility into total freedom as we end the play.

FRIDAY, JULY 8, 2022 | 7:00 PM

THE OLD MAN

The play opens with the audience meeting the protagonist Vodai, who has gone 84 days without catching a fish, and is considered to embody the worst form of misfortune. Even his young apprentice Rongmon is advised to stay away from him. But Rongmon visits Vodai every evening with food and tales of his past. The scene shifts to the next day when Vodai ventures into the river again and puts up a brave fight with a big fish that takes his bait. When Vodai brings the fish home, it is devoured by crabs and shrimps on the way. Vodai falls into a deep sleep and when he wakes up the following morning, he promises Rongmon, in a surge of hope, that they will fish together once again.

SATURDAY, JULY 9, 2022 | 7:00 PM

GHOOM NEI

Ghoom Nei revolves around workers from the lowest segment of society with abysmal standards of living, struggling under dictatorship. That these are the people most impacted by gains and losses in a society is the central focus of the play. The play contains several parallel stories – the story of truck drivers and their existential crisis; the story of a dhaba and its owner; the story of an unemployed individual and his struggle to enter the mainstream; the story of an insane person and his sense of loneliness; the story of a senior individual to whom these other stories have no meaning; the story of two reporters and their constant search for a new story. A manifesto of the lowest working segment of society, the plot travels through a dark broken highway, attempting to reach a bridge of light, illuminated by hope and camaraderie.

SUNDAY, JULY 10, 2022 | 7:00 PM

Audiences can book their tickets for the festival here: http://metawards.com/

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