Naya/Nova Award

In June this year, we announced the Open Call for NAYA/NOVÉ - the first Indian Playwrights’ Festival to be held as part of Specific 2018, organised by Feste Theatre, Czech Republic. The festival is dedicated to introducing Czech public to new dramatic texts from India. The call met with an overwhelming response; we received nearly three dozen new writings from playwrights spread across the country in several Indian languages including Hindi, Urdu, Malayalam, Bengali, Awadhi, English, as well as in dialects such as Bhojpuri and Dehati Hindi. The writing came in diverse forms - documentary, autobiographical, solo performance scripts, historical drama. Where some plays dealt with revisiting and re-narrativising ideological and mythical narratives, with ideas of displacement, fractured memory and loss, others engaged in critical understanding of nationhood and citizenship, probing deeper into discourses of women’s rights and sexuality, surveillance and institutionalised oppression. After three long months of intensive reading, review and discussion, the panel arrived at a shortlist of 3 play-texts (with an additional script deserving a special mention). We congratulate Abhishek Majumdar, Gerish Khemani, Akshat Nigam, Chanakya Vyas, and Deepika Arwind. We now look forward to translating and organising performance readings of the selected scripts in Czech Republic early next year, for the First Indian Playwrights’ Festival in Prague 2019!! With Sarah Mariam & Jiri Honzirek.