Twenty years ago, Mumbai’s theatre enthusiasts received a prestigious platform. The Sultan Padamsee Award for Playwriting was instituted in 1966, which continued being organised till the latter half of the ’80s.
Several prominent theatre personalities, including Gurcharan Das for Larins Saheb, Geive Patel for Princes, Dina Mehta for The Myth Makers and Cyrus Mistry for Doongaji House, have emerged from this forum. Now, the Theatre Group, formed by Sultan Bobby Padamsee in 1941, is bringing the event back.
As the theatre group grew, it attracted many more young thespians including Raell Padamsee, Farid Currim and Ayesha Sayani. In 1999, the group opened its doors to another new generation and that’s how the city’s cultural hub Thespo was born.
Promoting Indian English Raell Padamsee, of Ace Productions, part of organising the event, says, “My parents were part of the Theatre Group and it was always their endeavour to promote Indian English playwrights and playwriting. My mother Pearl Padamsee was instrumental in running the awards. We’ve thinking of bringing it back for the last four years. Now is as good a time as any.”
The event aims to encourage Indian playwriting in English. The winners will be announced in April 2011 and the winning play will receive a cash prize of Rs 1 lakh. The two runners-up will get a cash prize of Rs 10,000 each. The top three plays may even stand a chance to get published.
Raell adds that there are no age restrictions. “We’re going to have a reading of the winning plays at the Little Theatre, where we’d invite established playwrights, directors, producers and actors. It’s a brilliant platform for talented writers where they could be picked by top directors and producers,” she says.
Points to remember
The play must be in English
The writer must be of Indian origin from anywhere in the world
The play must be original, unpublished and unproduced at the time of entering
It must be of a duration of 75-100 minutes.
Entries can be sent from November 21 till February 28, 2011. For enquiries, email: email@example.com . Or mail at Kulsum Terrace, ground floor, 7 Walton Road, Colaba Causeway.