Theatre Quotes

Words to the Wise
Quotations from a wide range of theatrical perspectives

For use in newsletters, season or fundraising brochures or emails, presentations--you name it.

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Acting, Musical Theatre

A lot of the actresses who have had most impact in musicals have been character actresses. And character is an essential ingredient of the best shows. In Merrily We Roll Along, for instance, I got to play a character with such a marvellous span - from boozy, fat, cynical 45-year-old to an 18-year-old in love with life ... I'd rather see her [Dame Judi Dench] do a musical than anyone with 10 times the voice.

Samantha Spiro London Sunday Times Culture Magazine, 25.3.01
Directing

This ain't Chekhov, you know! [comment to cast during a rehearsal for "H.M.S. Pinafore"]

Alan Stambusky
Acting

There are no small parts, there are only small actors.

Konstantin Stanislavksy The Audience Book of Theatre Quotations, by Louis Phillips
Acting, Directing

All action in theatre must have inner justification, be logical, coherent, and real.

Constantin Stanislavski
Acting

The main difference between the art of the actor and all other arts is that every other [non-performing] artist may create whenever he is in the mood of inspiration. But the artist of the stage must be the master of his own inspiration, and must know how to call it forth at the hour announced on the posters of the theatre. This is the chief secret of our art.

Konstantin Stanislavsky The Audience Book of Theatre Quotations, by Louis Phillips
Lighting

In a circle of light on the stage in the midst of darkness, you have the sensation of being entirely alone. . . . This is called solitude in public. . . . You can always enclose yourself in this circle, like a snail in its shell.

Konstantin Stanislavsky The Audience Book of Theatre Quotations, by Louis Phillips
Acting

Play well, or play badly, but play truly.

Konstantin Stanislavsky Friendly Advice by Jon Winokur
Acting

Young actors, fear your admirers! Learn in time, from your first steps, to hear, understand and love the cruel truth about yourselves. Find out who can tell you that truth and talk of your art only with those who can tell you the truth.

Konstantin Stanislavsky http://www.giga-usa.com/quotes/topics/acting_t004.htm
Acting

The important talent is the talent to develop one's talent.

Howard Stein The Audience Book of Theatre Quotations, by Louis Phillips
General

The cast, staff, and crew of a live theater work together toward a common goal: a good performance. Thus, theater is necessarily a group effort. However, it is never a group effort of vague fellow committee members, but of associated autocrats--a playwright, a producer, a director, a stage manager, designers, and, above all, actors. Each accommodates the others, and may overlap others in function when necessary. But each autocrat assumes distinct responsibilities and accepts them completely.

Lawrence Stern Stage Management

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