Prized Moments

As the countdown begins for the fourth edition of the prestigious Mahindra Excellence in Theatre Awards (META),it is clear that the economic slowdown has not affected the corporate body’s patronage of the stage.

Written by Dipanita Nath | Published: February 23, 2009 3:34 am

It’s set to be a tough fight at the Mahindra theatre awards

As the countdown begins for the fourth edition of the prestigious Mahindra Excellence in Theatre Awards (META),it is clear that the economic slowdown has not affected the corporate body’s patronage of the stage. The awards are divided into 13 segments such as choreography,ensemble,stage design and lighting,besides the usual ones for the best actor,director and script.

Mumbai leads the race with five productions,which include Aao Saathi Sapna Dekhe by Actors’ Cult,a dreamy Hindi musical with a folk theatre effect,and All About Women by AK Various Productions that narrates five stories of women whose paths intersect as they search for love and meaning. “Our thrust is on being a platform for all forms of theatre from across India,” says Ravi Dubey,creative director of META,admitting that he is flattered that META received 200 entries this year.

The only Delhi production which has made the cut is Shadaakaar’s Layla Majnun,which has received critical acclaim due to its original treatment of the famous tragedy. “The play throws light on a little-known twist in the story — that Majnun had become so crazy about the idea of Layla that he failed to recognise his beloved when she appeared before him in person,after leaving her home,” says Riju Bajaj of the group.

Among those that could steal Layla Majnun’s thunder are the Malayalam plays Ayussinte Pusthakam: The Book Of Life,which looks at orthodox religion through powerful dramatic symbols,and Kalivesham. Hamlet — The Clown Prince,mixes gibberish with English and gives Shakespeare a clownish spin.

The week-long festival begins on February 28 and the awards will be announced on March 6

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