META (Mahindra Excellence in Theatre Awards), an initiative by Mahindra, aims to celebrate and promote the finest works of theatre in the country. Though most people reward acting and direction, very few acknowledge the sometimes overlooked aspects of theatre – writing, set design, costumes and light design, to name a few. However, META has it all covered. In 2015, the festival is all set to shine the spotlight on the finest theatrical productions of the past year. It will also showcase some of the best plays of the year. Still not sure what to expect from the Mahindra Excellence in Theatre Awards? Look no further. Here is a glimpse at the plays being staged this year:
Everyone knows what happens in the Mahabharata, but very few know Gandhari’s perspective. Rage and Beyond retells the classic from the point of view of the iconic blindfolded queen, and the product is par excellence. This power-packed play is a must-watch for everyone who wants to dig deeper into the mythology behind the Mahabharata.
Each of us has dreamed of making a difference and solving the problems around us. However, this is easier said than done, which is what plagues the protagonist of Dreams From My Room. Through his eyes, viewers can explore the familiar conflict of trying to bridge the gap between our dreams and reality. A hard-hitting yet relatable play indeed.
It’s not easy questioning your very medium through a play, but this is exactly what Kaumudi does through the story of an estranged father-son duo. Inspired by Anand’s Malayalam novel Vyasam Vigneswaram and Jorge Luis Borges’ essay Blindness, Kaumudi is an honest, no-holds-barred look at the world around us. It takes on three existential questions with an ease and brilliance that is nearly unparalleled!
Dhou… The Wave tells the story of a man and a shark. Though this may seem simple on the surface, the play explores a myriad of themes through this story. And it uses poetic and rhythmic dialogues to get the tale across. The resulting production is a fascinating study of freedom, family and human nature.
Two men. One city. Love and heartbreak.
But these aren’t just any ordinary men, or any ordinary city! Set in the fast-paced cities of Gurgaon and Northern Delhi, Still & Still Moving talks about the fractured love affair of two men – a forty-something writer and a young college student. Their story, peppered with uniquely Delhi instances, is one to watch out for.
Taking on topics like culture barriers and immigration can prove to be incredibly tricky. However, Matthi does this well. What’s better? The play gets this across through the perspective of a small fish! Matthi is about the importance of cultural unity in an ever-changing world. Never before has a production explored such a complex theme in such a simple and effective way!
Aaydaan is another one of Mahindra Excellence in Theatre Awards’s plays that gets to the root of a social evil. The production, which traces the protagonist Urmila’s journey, explores the ups-and-downs in the lives of Dalit women. It shows us how these wonderfully brave women make the most of the hand they’ve been dealt. Truly a thought-provoking story, Aaydaan just can’t be missed!
Though quite a few plays have depicted the life of King Lear, Fall of a King puts an all new spin on it! The play expertly chronicles loss, gloom and the pursuit of happiness that we’re all familiar with. This, combined with the use of folk art, is bound to make for an interesting play!
A Straight Proposal is a brave attempt at highlighting the ups-and-downs in the lives of the LGBT community. It takes us through the life and times of the recently deceased Mitesh. Through his diary entries, the drama opens up our minds to those whose existence society frequently erases.
Chitrapata is an unconventional look at Indian mythology and folklore. It takes the tale of Ramayana, and puts a unique spin on it. This play explores topics like motherhood, affection, jealousy and maliciousness, among many others. And it does so with a beauty and intricacy that is rarely seen!