The 16th edition of the Mahindra Excellence in Theatre Awards (META) and Festival 2021 will be held virtually from March 26 to May 1 in view of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
Every weekend for five weeks, there will be conversations with the minds behind each of the plays as well as screenings of these award-winning plays. The plays and the conversations will be hosted on META’s official Facebook page and YouTube channel. The final weekend of the festival will have workshops and masterclasses curated by Teamwork Arts in partnership with artGYAN.
Promoted by the Mahindra Group as part of its cultural outreach programme and produced by Teamwork Arts, META annually rewards and recognises the best theatrical productions and performances of the year, along with their makers and facilitators, providing a major boost to the country’s theatre industry.
Over the years, it has given voice to diverse themes ranging from contemporary and pressing social issues, mythology, religion, gender, caste and politics through the plays it has showcased.
The award-winning plays that will be staged this year include leading Indian playwright Vijay Tendulkar’s ‘A Friend’s Story’, directed by Akash Khurana, one of the first modern Indian plays dealing with same-sex attraction; ‘Andha Yug’, directed by Joy Maisnam, a verse play set against the backdrop of the last day of the Mahabharata war; ‘Elephant in the Room’, directed by Yuki Ellias, another play inspired by mythology paying homage to Lord Ganapati in a quirky and poignant reinterpretation of his story; ‘Lassanwala’, directed by Hemant Pandey, a thought-provoking tale of a sixty-year old Brahmin garlic-seller in a present-day rural heartland and the tragic-comic events that shake his firm belief in the caste system; and ‘Nona’, directed by Jino Joseph, a socio-political satire set in rural India, which examines subjects like pseudo-nationalism and casteism.
Jay Shah, Vice President, Head-Cultural Outreach, at the Mahindra Group, said, “Over the last 15 years, we have been holding the Mahindra Excellence in Theatre Awards in the national capital. This year, however, we’ve had to think outside the box due to the pandemic. Instead of the usual competitive awards, we are celebrating five outstanding plays that have won accolades at the META platform over the years.”
Sanjoy K. Roy, Managing Director at Teamwork Arts, said, “The META Festival is back with a walk down memory lane bringing to you some of the best award winning plays over the past few years! in this new series we delve into the minds of the directors, playwrights, costume and set designers and the actors who bring the play to life.”