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
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)
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
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

Lighting

Stage lighting is no longer a matter of simple illumination as it was less than 100 years ago. Today, the lighting designer is expected to be a master of art, science, history, psychology, communications, politics, and sometimes even mind reading.

Bill Williams http://www.mts.net/%7Ewilliam5/sld/sld-100.htm
Lighting

The stage designer quickly learns that things are not always what they appear to be. A director who asks for 'more light' on an actor, probably doesn't mean that at all. Instead he really just wants 'to see the actor better'. The designer might chose to reduce the lighting contrast around the actor, or simply ask the actor to tip his head up a bit. Both solutions solve the problem without 'adding more light'. So the lighting designer also has to be a good listener, a careful interpreter and a skilled crafts person.

Bill Williams http://www.mts.net/%7Ewilliam5/sld/sld-100.htm
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
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
Lighting

Stage lighting is no longer a matter of simple illumination as it was less than 100 years ago. Today, the lighting designer is expected to be a master of art, science, history, psychology, communications, politics and sometimes even mind reading.

Bill Williams http://www.mts.net/%7Ewilliam5/sld/sld-100.htm
Lighting

The lighting designer will never stop learning. Every production or project will present new challenges, new obstacles, new human dynamics and new problems to solve. There can and should be many failures along the way. This is part of the artistic process. The lighting designer shouldn't hesitate to make as many mistakes as possible - just don't make the same mistake twice.

Bill Williams http://www.mts.net/%7Ewilliam5/sld/sld-100.htm

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