No City Play at META
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In Quasar Thakore Padamsee's play, So Many Socks, the audience stands around a circle made of socks while the action unfolds within. The play, which tells the story of three generations of a Tibetan family living in exile in India, is the only one from Mumbai to be nominated for the Mahindra Excellence in Theatre Awards 2013 (META), considered the only major national award exclusively for theatre in India. "A lot of the play is set in Delhi, so we're looking forward to travelling there," says Padamsee.
Among the other plays to be nominated are After The Silence, an existential drama, Fevicol, about the displacement of indigenous people, Matte Eklavya, which looks differently at the Mahabharata, and Savitri: Dancing in the Forest of Death, which revolves around the legend of Sati Savitri.
"Going through the list of 10 plays that have been nominated from 308 entries, I noticed that there was none from north India, no plays from UP, Jammu and Kashmir or Punjab. Since, META is held in Delhi, the National School of Drama is here and I am from Delhi, this was personally disappointing for me," says Ravi Dubey, creative director of META. This is the second year in a row that no Delhi play has made it to the shortlist.
Delhi-based theatre person Neel Chaudhuri doesn't consider this a cause for concern. "A selection committee has to choose from hundreds of plays in Malayalam, Marathi, English and so on.
The list reflects the preoccupation of the jury and we cannot analyse the state of theatre of a city from this," he says. Padamsee, too, adds that though he is honoured and excited to be a part of the festival, he is "a big fan of theatre in Mumbai and elsewhere in India and won't consider a festival shortlist to be a reflection on the work in a city". The selection does include plays from Pune and Jamshedpur as well as smaller towns such as Kolar and Kovilpatti. The festival will be held at various Mandi House theaters from March 3 to 8. Contact: buzzintown.com.