Theatre Festival to confer Lifetime Achievement Award on Barry John

Here is a treat for theatre lovers! Delhi will be hosting a six-day long Theatre Festival that will see legends from the field enthralling the Delhhiites with a line-up of spectacular performances.

The Mahindra Excellence in Theatre Awards (META) and Festival 2020 announced the 2020 Lifetime Achievement Award on March 5. The award will be conferred on renowned director, actor, set designer, writer, teacher and Theater Action Group's founder- director, Barry John. He was also the founder-director of the NSD's Theatre in Education Company and been responsible for writing the CBSE curriculum for theatre.

Thanking for the honour, Barry John said, "Having hung up my boots some years ago, it comes as a surprise to be remembered and awarded, especially to be counted among the distinguished list of

past awardees. It is indeed an honour."

The Festival will be held from March 13 to 18 at Kamani Auditorium and Shri Ram Centre, where 2020's ten shortlisted plays will be performed. The winners will be announced on March 19.

The launching ceremony of the festival hosted a panel discussion on 'All The World's a Stage', moderated by Sanjoy K Roy,. In context of the ongoing socio-political discourse in the country, the panel also deliberated on the significance of theatre as a form of protest citing references of notable theatre activists like Safdar Hashmi, the feminist theatre movement in India and theatre from marginalised communities.

The jury for the 15th edition of the awards was announced, comprises playwright, stage director and filmmaker Mahesh Dattani; playwright and novelist Makarand Sathe; media personalities Shailja Kejriwal; actress and a teacher of speech and drama Sushma Seth; National award winner, actor, writer and film and theatre director Saurabh Shukla; actor-writer Vinay Pathak who's been actively involved in Indian cinema and theatre for over two decades, and renowned film, television and theatre actor and director Lillete Dubey.

This year, there will be a conference in collaboration with the Indian National Section of the International Association of Theatre Critics (IATC) that focuses on critical discourse in theatre on March 18, which will welcome around 15 theatre critics from India alongside counterparts from Canada, Hong Kong, Iran, Japan, Latvia, Spain, Thailand, the UK and USA.

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