Chai holds a special place in the heart of every Indian. Nothing can match the experience of sitting together while sipping a cup of tea at a tapri. There are various varieties of teas like ginger tea, green tea, lemon tea, masala chai, etc. Tea also plays a major part in theatre for the artists. CitySpidey talked to some theatre artists on the relation between chai and rangakarmi.
MP Singh, the theatre director and president of the theatre group Ranga Shree, shared, “Theatre has backstage artists and the performers. As you know everyone loves tea and we have a rule in our group that the tea break will be after the rehearsal. The backstage artists have lots of time to enjoy their tea time and they love doing that.”
“They also love to watch rehearsal with a cup of tea but performers have to complete their rehearsals first and as they are in character, it becomes difficult for them to stop the rehearsal,” he said.
Singh added, “Most of the time, performers drink their tea in his/her character. You can easily spot artists sipping on a cup of tea along with something light to eat. However, too much of it might affect the performance. We have to take care of our health as well, we avoid oily food and something cold because it will harm our vocals and the voice needs to be clear.”
Singh concludes, “We have one stove and there are many artists who want tea according to their taste, some want green tea or some black tea. Tea is also important because it gives relaxation. It releases stress, which helps to boost energy.”
Shyama Manna, a Delhi-based theatre artist said, “For the nukkad natak artists, tea is the most important as we don’t have any other things to munch on. Anything cold can harm our vocals which a street play artist cannot afford. We have to take care of our vocals for high-pitched voices which is the most important thing for the nukkad natak artists.”
“Ginger tea is like an ‘amrit’ for all of us, especially when it's cold. It helps to clear the throat. While we are performing, we avoid heavy food and at that time tea helps us a lot and tea plays an important role in the practice session and helps to release the stress of an artist and connect each other for the conversation,” she added
Siddarth Chaturvedi, a member of Oorja Performing ARTS Centre said, “I think tea holds a special place in theatre as we theatre artists just need a reason for a having a cup or two. If we are feeling stressed, we have tea. If we feel happy, we have tea to enjoy the moment. If we are having a conversation, then we have tea. If we want to discuss our character or on the script, then again we have tea. However, it doesn’t matter what the time is or what the situation is, having tea is always a bliss. Even in the summer, we want tea at work to just relax and have a good time.
This story is a replug on account of World Theatre Day which was on March 27, 2022.