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 Last Source
Costumes, Lighting, Set Design

The sole aim of the arts of scene-designing, costuming, lighting, is to enhance the natural powers of the actor.

Robert Edmond Jones The Audience Book of Theatre Quotations, by Louis Phillips
Set Design

There is no more reason for a room on a stage to be a reproduction of an actual room than for an actor who plays the part of Napoleon to be Napoleon, or for an actor who plays Death in the old morality play to be dead.

Robert Edmond Jones The Audience Book of Theatre Quotations, by Louis Phillips
Acting

When you're doing a play and you're afraid of a scene, that's the scene you should embrace, because that's the scene that will tell you something about the play.

Raul Esparza NY Times, 11/26/06
Acting

7 tips to reduce stage fright: (1) Shift the focus from yourself and your fear to your true purpose: contributing something of value to your audience. (2) Stop scaring yourself with thoughts about what might go wrong. Instead, focus your attention on thoughts and images that are calming and reassuring. (3) Refuse to think thoughts that create self-doubt and low confidence. (4) Practice ways to calm and relax your mind and body, such as deep breathing, relaxation exercises, yoga, and meditation. (5) Try to limit caffeine, sugar, and alcohol as much as possible. (6) Visualize your success: Always focus on your strength and ability to handle challenging situations. (7) Give up trying to be perfect and know that it is OK to make mistakes. Keyword=stagefright

Janet Esposito

http://www.adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/social-anxiety-disorder/treatm...

Set Design

Eugene Lee is a set designer who's famously said that he hates scenery. The reason it's such a joy to work with him is he's never designing the scenery, he's designing the room in which theater is going to take place. It makes for a much more vibrant conversation about what we're going to work on together. [Oskar Eustis , artistic director of the Public Theater, Boston]

Oskar Eustis http://www.boston.com/ae/theater_arts/articles/2007/01/21/the_joy_of_sets
Acting

If you cried a little less, the audience would cry more.

Edith Evans Friendly Advice by Jon Winokur
Acting, Shakespeare

In Shakespeare, keep it simple. Don't over-inflect. The speech needs to be naturalistic and simple and accessible as much as possible.

Ralph Fiennes http://www.ifc.com/fix/2011/12/ralph-fiennes-coriolanus-interview
Acting

To be a character who feels a deep emotion, one must go into the memory's vault and mix in a sad memory from one's own life.

Albert Finney Friendly Advice by Jon Winokur
Lighting

Oftentimes the quality of the light tells the story: the time of day, the weather, whether sun is streaming through the window. It can also help you appreciate what the actor is feeling, what the playwright wants you to feel. Any engineer can put a spot on someone.

Jules Fisher It Happened On Broadway
Lighting

Lighting is not about function. It's much more about the mood and the emotion that the playwright and the director are trying to create. Our job is to support their poetic direction.

Jules Fisher It Happened On Broadway

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