In recognition of his exemplary body of work, noted theatre personality Heisnam Kanhailal has been conferred the Lifetime Achievement Award as part of this year’s Mahindra Excellence in Theatre Awards (META). The award carries a prize money of R5 lakh.
After a week of exciting theatre fare, the 10th META winners were announced at a red carpet event in the national capital on Friday. The annual META, which rewards and recognises theatre from across the country, is among India’s premier award ceremonies, rewarding talent across 14 categories, including a Lifetime Achievement Award. The ceremony this year was hosted by Rajat Kapoor and Ira Dubey, and included memorable performances by Vidya Shah, Vocal Rasta, Aditi Mangaldas and Barmer Boys.
It was a winning moment for Kerala-based director Jino Joseph, as his play Matthi—which won the Best Production at META 2015—bagged the most number of awards, including Best Director and Best Script for him, as well as Best Actor in a Lead Role (Male) for Renji Kankol. The award for Best Actor in Lead Role (Female) was shared by danseuse, vocalist and actor Sanjukta Wagh for her stirring performance in Rage and Beyond: Irawati’s Gandhari and Swetha Shrinivas for her brilliant portrayal of Seetha in Chitrapata.
While the Best Actor in Supporting Role (Male) award went to Gopal Dutt and Shubrojyoti Barat for Kaumudi, the Best Actor in Supporting Role (Female) was won by Sowmya Jain for Chitrapata.
Among the other winners, the Best Innovative Sound Design award went to Hitesh Dhutia (Rage and Beyond: Irawati’s Gandhari) and N Tiken Singh (Dreams from my Room); Best Costume Design to Swetha Shrinivas (Chitrapata); Best Stage Design to Vaibhavi Kowshik and Oroon Das (Still and Still Moving); Best Innovative Light Design to Anuj Chopra (Still and Still Moving); and Best Choreography to Seujpriya and Gunakar Dev Goswami (Dhou… The Wave).
Commenting on the awards, Jay Shah, head, cultural outreach, Mahindra & Mahindra, said, “The Mahindra group takes great pride in announcing the winners of the 10th META. It has been very satisfying to see plays from all corners of India being presented on a common platform in our nation’s capital and even more gratifying to see plays of regional languages attain pride of place at META. We also salute Kanhailal for being a beacon of theatre from the north-east.”
The 2015 META jury comprised distinguished theatre personality Amal Allana; theatre writer, editor and critic Anjum Katyal; renowned theatre artist Neelam Mansingh; theatre, TV and film director and writer Ranjeet Kapoor; and film, theatre and television actor Saurabh Shukla.
Over the past few days, theatre enthusiasts in the capital were treated to the 10 nominated productions from across the country showcased on the META stage this year. From contemporary interpretations of mythological texts, a Shakespearean tragedy on the treatment of the elderly set in tribal Assam, voices of Dalit women, a peek into trauma and psychosis, and the impact of an evolving society on the cultural unity and fabric, to reflections on the LGBT community, the META showcased theatre as the fabric and design of society.
Commenting on META 2015, Sanjoy Roy, managing director, Teamwork Arts, and producer, META, said, “The verdict is out and Indian theatre is the winner. META has always been about new ideas and our endeavour has always been to inspire and galvanise theatre activity across the length and breadth of the country.”
Hall of fame
Jino Joseph (Matthi)
Jino Joseph (Matthi)
Best Actor in a Lead Role (Male):
Renji Kankol (Matthi)
Best Actor in Lead Role (Female):
Sanjukta Wagh (Rage and Beyond: Irawati’s Gandhari) and Swetha Shrinivas (Chitrapata)
Best Actor in Supporting Role (Male):
Gopal Dutt and Shubrojyoti Barat
Best Actor in Supporting Role (Female):
Sowmya Jain (Chitrapata)
Lifetime Achievement Award:
Best Innovative Sound Design:
Hitesh Dhutia (Rage and Beyond:
Irawati’s Gandhari) and N Tiken Singh (Dreams from my Room)
Best Costume Design:
Swetha Shrinivas (Chitrapata)
Best Stage Design:
Vaibhavi Kowshik and Oroon Das
(Still and Still Moving)
Best Innovative Light Design:
Anuj Chopra (Still and Still Moving)
Seujpriya and Gunakar Dev Goswami (Dhou… The Wave)