Vijaya Mehta to be conferred with Lifetime achievement award at META
At a media event in the national capital, the Mahindra Excellence in Theatre Awards (META) Festival 2018 announced that META 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award will be conferred on Vijaya Mehta – veteran Indian film and theatre director, founder member of the theatre group 'Rangayan', and a leading figure in the experimental theatre of the 1960s.
Jury for 13th edition of the awards was also announced which comprises of renowned theatre director and former Chairperson of the National School of Drama Amal Allana, popular film and theatre actor/director Lillete Dubey, theatre director and professor of theatre at the Punjab University, Neelam Man Singh Chowdhry, filmmaker, actor, theatre director and writer Rajat Kapoor, theatre, film and television writer-director, Ranjit Kapoor and Indian cultural impresario, photographer, writer, classical dancer and the director of Shriram Bharatiya Kala Kendra, Shobha Deepak Singh.
The announcements come ahead of the week-long Mahindra Excellence in Theatre Awards (META) and Festival to be held from April 13-18, at New Delhi's Kamani Auditorium and Shri Ram Centre, where the ten-shortlisted plays will be performed for jury members as well as theatre lovers in the Capital. The most comprehensive awards for theatre in India, META will present awards in 13 competitive categories, in addition to the Lifetime Achievement Award. The awards will be presented at the Red-Carpet Awards Night to be held on April 19, to celebrate the best of Indian theatre from the past year.
Over 330 entries were received this year at META, which were viewed by an eminent selection committee, comprising of well-known theatre practitioners. This year's final 10 nominations feature plays in Assamese, Bengali, English, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam and Manipuri as well as a non-verbal movement theatre production.
In previous years, the META Lifetime Achievement Award has been conferred on several stalwarts of Indian theatre, including Late Zohra Sehgal, the Late Badal Sarkar, and others.
META also announced a series of masterclasses during the non-performing hours of the festival. The masterclasses, curated in partnership with the Drama School Mumbai (DSM), will feature META nominated stalwarts in conversation with theatre students, practitioners, and enthusiasts.
The media launch of the META Festival also hosted a topical discussion – 'Do Festivals and cultural platforms benefit the Arts and Theatre?' that generated a dialogue on the proliferation of art and culture festivals in the country and how they were impacting the arts and cultural fraternity and stakeholders.
Jay Shah, Head, Cultural Outreach, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd, said, "META remains India's most definitive platform to recognise theatrical talent. For more than a decade, it has brought together the very best of theatre productions from across the country. There is a multitude of talent in this art form which is the source code of all performing arts and the Mahindra Group is proud to present META each year as an inclusive, empowering, and prestigious canvas."