Three playwrights — Annie Zaidi, Swetanshu Bora and Sneh Sapru — have been shortlisted for their works submitted for
The Hindu
Playwright Award 2018. The award, instituted in 2008, carries a prize of Rs. 2 lakh for the best original, unpublished and unperformed play script in English.

The three plays,
Untitled 1
(Annie Zaidi),
Guilt
(Swetanshu Bora) and
Hello Farmaish
(Sneh Sapru), were chosen by a panel of three independent judges from a list of 68 plays submitted.

The judges had initially created a longlist of eight plays and from these three were selected. The other five are
The Lottery
by Nayantara Nayar and Tanvi Patel,
The Joker and The Thief
by Alistair Bennis,
Shaayari 2.0
by Manjima Chatterjee,
Four Magical Words
by Parag Motwani and
When I Grow Up
(I want to be)
by Sumit Ray.

In Untitled 1
, Ms. Zaidi explores a time when freedom of creative expression is under constant surveillance in an India of the future. A journalist whose body of work includes fiction and graphic storytelling, the Mumbai-based Ms. Zaidi says: “The play is really about the idea of being monitored and controlled, constantly.” Her work includes
Gulab
, a novella, an illustrated collection of poems titled
Crush
and a 42-minute documentary film,
In Her Words: The Journey of Indian Women
, that traces the lives and struggles of women as reflected through their literature.

Hello Farmaish
is a satire, which Ms. Sapru describes as a “drama with bold streaks of magic realism.” The Mumbai-based copywriter, screenwriter and playwright’s work is on people in a hamlet who, on hearing of Indian-American astronaut Kalpana Chawla’s journey into space, set off on adventures of their own. Ms. Sapru’s first play script,
Elephant in the Room
, was nominated for the Best Original Script at the META Awards 2017.

Bengaluru-based Swetanshu Bora’s
Guilt
is about re-discovering relationships, post tragedy. An actor and playwright, Mr. Bora performs and writes in Hindi and English. He was shortlisted for
The Hindu
MetroPlus Playwright Award in 2011 and won the Toto Funds the Arts Award for Writing in 2013.

The winner of
The Hindu
Playwright Award will be announced on August 9, 2018 on the eve of the opening of the 14th edition of
The Hindu
Theatre Fest in Chennai on August 10.

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