Mahabharata, Elephant in the Room, and I Don’t Like It As You Like It bagged three awards each at the 12th Mahindra Excellence in Theatre Awards (META) Festival held in the capital on Friday night. Curated by Mahindra Group and Teamwork Arts, the week-long extravaganza came to an end, as the best from the world of theatre were awarded. The annual awards, which recognise excellence in theatre nationally, celebrate the intrinsic diversity and rich cultural traditions of India.
The jury for META 2017 comprised theatre stalwarts Dolly Thakore, Mahesh Dattani, Sachin Khedekar, Seema Biswas, Avijit Dutt and Maya Krishna Rao. While Mahabharata bagged the award for Best Production along with Best Director and Best Choreography, I Don’t Like It As You Like It won Best Ensemble, Best Stage Design and Best Actor in Supporting Role (Female), and Elephant in the Room won Best Actor in a Lead Role (Female), Best Costume Design and Best Light Design, giving them three awards each. The award for Best Actor in a Lead Role (Male) was jointly presented to Anirban Bhattacharya (Awddyo Shesh Rajani) and Rajendra Panchal (Katha Sukavi Suryamall Ki).
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Noted theatre veteran Arun Kakade was conferred the META Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to Indian theatre. He got a standing ovation, as he received the Lifetime Achievement Award. He said, “I am so happy that META has been promoting Indian theatre for the last 12 years. I have staged my plays here thrice before, but at the age of 86, I wasn’t expecting any award really.”