The Hindu Playwright Award 2016 went to Thomas Manuel for his play Hamlet and Angad . The award, which carries a prize of Rs. 2 lakh for the best unpublished and unperformed play script, was presented during the launch of the 12th edition of The Hindu Theatre Fest at the Taj Coromandel hotel on Thursday.
Mr. Manuel was one of three shortlisted playwrights, the other two being Meera Sitharaman for The Cut and Anuradha Marwah for Ismat’sLove Stories . The winning entry, a mythical and historical retelling of the histories and crises of Hamlet and Angad , was chosen by a panel of three judges.
The panel consisted of Mumbai-based playwrights Ramu Ramanathan and Irawati Karnik and Associate Professor at Venkateswara College, New Delhi, Rina Ramdev.
Ms. Ramdev, who was present at the event, described the 25-year-old Mr. Manuel’s play as “complicated with a rich narrative that takes on the unusual theme.”
The award was presented by Vinita Bali, independent director, Kasturi & Sons Limited.
The citation described the play as a “prolonged meditation about power and the precarious hold we have over destiny.” It went on to commend Mr. Manuel for adroitly weaving in “a dark suspense and drama, which in a less accomplished or edgy hand could have resulted in a work that was wearyingly flaccid or flat.”
Launching The Hindu Theatre Fest 2016, Mukund Padmanabhan, Editor, The Hindu , said: “This is the first time we have three full-fledged Tamil plays — something we should have done years ago.”
The theatre festival will run in three cities — Chennai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad.
“I hope the play does get produced and I hope you come and watch it,” said Mr. Manuel as he accepted the award at an event attended by city theatre fraternity.
R. Ravichander, YES Bank (title sponsor) group president and director South, spoke about the brand’s initiative to promote cultural endeavours.
The associate sponsors for the event are Kauvery Hospital, Hindustan International School, and Telangana Tourism.