10th Mahindra Excellence in Theatre Awards Winner Announced
New Delhi breathed and lived theatre for a week from 21st march to 26th march and witnessed master pieces hailing from every corner of the country. On the evening of 27th March 2015, The Mahindra Excellence Theatre Awards were announced at The Taj Mansingh Hotel, wherein talent across 14 award categories, including the Lifetime Achievement Award, were rewarded. The evening was hosted by Rajat Kapoor and Ira Dubey followed by amazing performances by Vocal Rasta, Barmer Boys, Aditii Mangaldas and Vidya Shah.
At the event were also present the Jury members of META which includes personalities like Saurabh Shukla, Amal Allana, Anjum Katyal, Neelam Mansingh and few others. In exclusive conversation with us, Anjum Katyal said, “I think theatre is one of the art forms which require a lot of commitment and hard work. There is very little money in theatre but people put in a lot of time, effort and dedication. So, when you have awards like these it gives you a national recognition and brings a lot of attention on theatre and I think it is very important reward for years and years of hard work put in.”
Further Saurabh Shukla in an exclusive conversation with us; spoke about his META experience, “My whole experience was quite wonderful. I witnessed a lot of work from different parts of the country which we hardly get to see at one place, so META becomes a great platform. Some of the plays were excellent and it was quite humbling because you are seeing new talent. At times I miss what is happening in the world of theatre because of being busy with my film-projects, so this was a great opportunity.”
Continuing he said, “I think such initiatives of getting theatre from corners to forefront is of utter importance because theatre somehow has not become a commercial property till now and doesn’t have the economic power to sustain or do many shows. It becomes difficult for group to hold productions together and they are doing it just for passion. META is not just a platform but also a fancy/glamour platform which helps in making an image in the minds of the people which attracts them towards the shows. This platform has somewhere erased the mindset amongst the common man that theatre is boring and poor. META is giving this art what it deserves. Theatre is becoming glamorous because of META.”
Telling his perspective and relationship with theatre, Saurabh said, “Apart from the education that I fetched from the institutions, I went to another university called theatre which gave me a mindset, a view and made me a person that I am today. Though I am busy with films, I am still involved in theatre and had been doing a play from last two years which is now completing its 50th show in Mumbai. So, my association has been great.”
Neelam Mansingh who is herself an eminent personality in the field of theatre spoke about her experience with META and what difference she finds between last few years and now, “This is the third time I have been the member of the jury and I have loved being here since you get to see plays coming from length and breadth of the country. You experience diversity of style, genre, and ways of working and so on, so I find it exciting. In a certain way I think, people are becoming much mature, technically much expertise, topics are becoming strong, but I think it is part of journey so there is no dramatic shift in theatre. It is incredible that business house like Mahindra is supporting the art form.”
Dreams From My Room
Speaking about what theatre means for her, Neelam Mansingh continued saying, “Theatre for me means connecting with the world, to question and somewhere tell stories about the time. There are directors who are doing wonderful job and are constantly taking risk and challenges. I think a lot of development in terms of theatre is happening in these small cities. In metropolis, it has become more difficult for artists and groups to perform or practice so I hope the future of theatre lies in the regions.”
Lifetime Achievement Award – Heisnam Kanhilal
Best Actor in Lead (Male) -Renji Kankol for Matthi
Best Actor in Lead (Female): Sanjukta Wagh for Rage and Beyond: Irawati’s Gandhari And Swetha Srinivas for Chitrapata
Best Actor in supporting role (male) – Gopal Dutt for Kaumudi And Shubrijyoti Barat for Kaumudi
Best Actor in supporting role (Female) – Sowmya Jain for Chitrapata
Best Original Script: Jino Joseph for Matthi
Best Director: Jino Joseph for Matthi.
Best Production: Matthi
Best Ensemble: Fall of a King for Burha Manuhor Babe Desh Na.
Best Innovative Sound Design: Hitesh Dhutia for Rage and Beyond: Irawati’s Gandhari And
N. Tikesh Singh for Dreams from my room.
Best Costume Design: Swetha Srinivas for Chitrapata
Best Stage Design: Vaibhavi Kowshik, Oroon Das for Still and Still moving.
Best Innovative Light Design: Anuj Chopra for Still and Still moving.
Best Choreography: Seujpriya and Gunakar Dev Goswami for Dhou… The Wave.
From contemporary interpretation of mythology to peek into trauma and psychois, META’s 10th edition managed to fill-up the creative appetite of people in the capital. And surely after this, theatre has become as the design of the society. It was indeed an evening of art, creative, intellectual and joy.