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Playing up the action

Starting today is a theatre festival that celebrates excellence on stage.
Hindustan Times | By Aakriti Sawhney, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAR 02, 2011 01:53 AM IST

In its sixth year, the annual Mahindra Excellence in Theatre Awards (META), bring you six days of the best in theatre. As part of the endeavour to award achievement on stage across India, this time, META received 240 entries.

“The number of entries, 240, is the highest collection till now. The jury has nominated ten plays that will now be judged for various awards. A majorly talked about award is the Life Time Achievement award, which was introduced last year and was given to actor Zohra Sehgal,” says Ankur Bhardwaj, Secretariat, META. The nominated plays will be staged in Delhi from today till March 7.

For the first time, META has a nomination from Imphal. With a cast of 38 actors, the play Mythical Surrender, talks about the military operations conducted in the north east. Directed by Ningthouja Deepak, the production has been nominated for nine categories. “For us it’s an honour to promote, preserve and present plays that capture the very essence of theatre. This year, we have made certain changes and are happy with the response and the quality of productions,” says Ravi Dubey, creative director of META.

The jury includes National school of Drama director Anuradha Kapoor, theatre director Neelam Man Singh and Arundhati Nag among others.

The festival opens with Manav Kaul’s play Mamtazbhai Patangwaale.

Mamtazbhai Patangwaale, by Manav Kaul, on March 2 at Kamani Auditorium
Red Sparrow, directed by Manav Kaul, on March 3 at Kamani Auditorium
Baya Daar Ughad, directed by Sushama Deshpande, on March 4 at Sri Ram Centre.
Ambedkar aur Gandhi, directed by Arvind Gaur, on March 4 at Kamani Auditorium
Tichee 17 Prakarne, directed by A Rajwade, N Dharmadhikari, S Sathaye and V Narvekar, on March 5 at Sri Ram Centre
Aaj Rang Hai, directed by Gopal Tewari and Purva Naresh, on March 5 at Kamani Auditorium
Mythical Surrender, directed by Ningthoujam on March 6 at Sri Ram Centre
The Interview, directed by Akarsh Khuranam on March 6 at Kamani Auditorium
Punashccha Honeymoon, directed by Sandesh Kulkarni, on March 7 at Sri Ram Centre
Dancing on Glass, directed by Ram Ganesh Kamatham, on March 7 at Kamani Auditorium

What: Mahindra Excellence in Theatre Awards
When: March 2 -7
Where: Kamani Auditorium and Sri Ram Centre
Timings: 5pm and 7.30pm
Ticket: Rs. 100, available at Teksons Bookshop, South Ex-1
Tel: 011-26011430
NEAREST METRO STATION: Mandi House, on the Blue Line

The faces from Delhi...
An engineering student from NSIT Delhi, Chauhan, 24, chose to be an actor. He made his debut in acting with a street play in 2009. Later, after a gap of six months he did his first stage play, Court Martial, with Asmita Theatre Group. “Theatre is my passion. At Asmita, we work 24x7,” says Chauhan, who wants to brush up his acting skills before going to Mumbai to try his luck in films. Catch him perform on March 4, in the play Ambedkar Aur Gandhi.

This 22-year-old made her debut on stage in 2008 with the play Ramkali. At that time, she was an active member of Kamala Nehru College’s dramatics society. “In my college days, I did a lot of stage and street plays and won a lot of awards,” says Marwaha, who is part of Arvind Gaur’s play Ambedkar Aur Gandhi. “My character, Rama Bai, is a housewife, who acts as a bridge between Ambedkar and Gandhi,” says Marwaha, adding that her big dream is to make it in Bollywood one day.

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