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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Category Quote First Lastsort descending Source
Directing

An actor entering through the door, you've got nothing. But if he enters through the window, you've got a situation.

Billy Wilder Friendly Advice (book)
General

The theatre is supremely fitted to say: "Behold! These things are." Yet most dramatists employ it to say: "This moral truth can be learned from beholding this action."

Thornton Wilder

http://www.quotecha.com/quotes/quotation_15961.html

Playwriting

A dramatist is one who believes that the pure event, an action involving human beings, is more arresting than any comment that can be made upon it.

Thornton Wilder
Lighting

Lighting design is ultimately not about numbers and calculations. It is about feelings and spontaneous reactions. Although the designer can calculate how 'big and bright' a fixture will be at any distance, from the manufacturer's data sheet, eventually he must just instinctively 'know', how a specific fixture will perform at any distance. This comes from both practice and experience.

Bill Williams Lighting Mechanics, by Bill Williams
Playwriting

I can't expose a human weakness on the stage unless I know it through having it myself.

Tennessee Williams http://www.notable-quotes.com/p/playwriting_quotes.html
Lighting

The first rule of stage lighting is...there aren't any.

Bill Williams Lighting Mechanics, by Bill Williams
Lighting

Ultimately, the lighting designer must be an artist! He must understand style, composition, balance, esthetics and human emotions. He must also understand the science of light, optics, vision, the psychology of perception and lighting technology. Using these tools the lighting designer must learn to think, feel and create with his heart.

Bill Williams Lighting Mechanics, by Bill Williams
Playwriting

I have found it easier to identify with the characters who verge upon hysteria, who were frightened of life, who were desperate to reach out to another person. But these seemingly fragile people are the strong people, really.

Tennessee Williams
Playwriting

Why did I write? Because I found life unsatisfactory.

Tennessee Williams
Playwriting

I have always been pushed by the negative. The apparent failure of a play sends me back to my typewriter that very night, before the reviews are out. I am more compelled to get back to work than if I had a success.

Tennessee Williams

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