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META 2017: Plays focus on regional diversity and contemporary issues

Hello theatre lovers! META 2017 is set to begin in March, and here is why you should not miss it 

A still from the play Outcast

A still from play Outcast

What is happening?
Twelfth edition of Mahindra Excellence in Theatre Awards and Festival (META) is going to happen in Delhi from 4th-9th March, 2017. Out of the 300 entries received, a selection committee of eminent theatre practitioners ~ Arundhati Raja, Deepa Punjani, Deepan Sivaraman, Danish Husain and Debesh Chatterjee ~ have shortlisted 10 productions that would compete for the most comprehensive theatre awards. It is a must visit for all literary or theatre enthusiasts and students.

META 2017

A still from Dhumrapaan

Plays in various scripts- Bengali, Malayalam, Rajasthani, Kannada, Hindi and English bring out the regional flavour of India’s diversity. Enhancing the overall essence of the festival, META 2017 brings together some pressing contemporary issues including socio-cultural divides, troubles of grappling with fast-paced modern times, varied contexts of mythology and complex stories of human emotions and conscience. We have shortlisted some plays that are not to be missed at this edition:

Play Bhima facilitates the mythological figure of Bhima from Mahabharata, and posits him as a modern man. It deals with questions of acceptance of his masculinity, and desirability of such strong characters in capitalist economies.

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Another play that would be performed in English and Hindi scripts is Dhumrapaan (translated as cigarette-smoking) . In terms of relatability, this play is sure to reach out to most. Set in a smoking space of a corporate office, the employees discuss politics and relationships. The play gives a comic twist to the rat race that all of us are a part of, and is a take on how we burn our lungs in the process of dealing with our fears and insecurities.

I Don’t Like It As You Like It seems to be promising in terms of concept and presentation. People grappling with broken relationships amidst the director’s attempts to put up a Shakespearean play, cross-dressing, and managing to put up a show despite all this. The play would culminate in a personal realisation for each character, when they are disguised as the ‘Other’. The journey this play takes the audience on is surely engaging, as a severe identity crises of the self is dealt with, and discovered after becoming the other.

The list of plays is as follows:

Play Name Language Director
Awdya Shesh Rajani Bengali Bratya Basu
Bhima English & Malayalam           Anitha Santhanam
Dhumrapaan English & Hindi Akarsh Khurana
Elephant In The Room English Yuki Ellias
I Don’t Like It As You Like It English Rajat Kapoor
Kaali Naadakam Malayalam Chandradasan
Katha Sukavi Suryamall Ki Rajasthani & Multi-lingual Rajendra Panchal
Lassanwala Hindi & Khadi Boli Hemant Pandey
Mahabharata English, Hindi & Kannada Anurupa Roy
Outcast Hindi Randhir Kumar
META 2017

A still from I Don’t Like It As You Like It

META Festival this year will be held at Kamani Auditorium, Little Theatre Group (LTG) and Shri Ram Centre, in Delhi. The Red Carpet Awards Night for META is scheduled to be held on 10th March.

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