“Theatre has been an integral part of my life. It is as important as films are to me. However, what theatre does to you is, it allows you to connect with the audience directly. On camera, you do have a chance to redeem yourself if you make a mistake. But, in theatre, everything is live and that’s what is challenging for an artiste. You learn a lot about improvisation, practice and rehearsals. Theatre also keeps you from getting complacent. Acknowledging one’s own greatness is the biggest stumbling block for an artiste’s growth. It is all these things that make theatre a very powerful medium,” explains Shabana. Her fascination for theatre had her performing in several award-winning plays including MS Sathyu’s Safed Kundali (1980) and Feroz Abbas Khan’s Tumhari Amrita with actor Farooq Sheikh, which ran for five years. She also toured Singapore on an assignment with the Singapore Repertory Theatre Company. Her play, the British production Happy Birthday Sunita, by Rifco Arts, was toured extensively across the UK, Dubai and India, performing to packed houses in 2014.