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.

Displaying 51 - 60 of 404. Show 5 | 10 | 20 | 40 | 60 results per page.
Category Quotesort ascending First Last Source
General, Musical Theatre

There is a traditional trick that theatre people have played as long as I can remember. A veteran member of a company will order a gullible newcomer to find the key to the curtain. Naturally, the joke is there is no such thing. I have been in the theatre over fifty years, and I don't think anyone would consider me naive, but all my life I've been searching for that key. And I'm still looking. . . .

Richard Rodgers Musical Stages
Acting, Backstage, Directing, General

There is a kind of classlessness in the theater. The rehearsal pianist, the head carpenter, the stage manager, the star of the show--all are family.

John Kander It Happened On Broadway

There are two kinds of theatre, good and bad. Much as I should like to see theatre in America, I would rather have no theatre than bad theatre. What we must strive for is perfection and come as close to it as is humanly possible

Margot Jones

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

Konstantin Stanislavksy The Audience Book of Theatre Quotations, by Louis Phillips
Set Design

Theatrical design is different from many other art forms in that it is a collaborative art. No one theatre artist works independently to create a performance.

Kaoime Malloy The Art of Theatrical Design

In is down, down is front,
out is up, up is back,
off is out, on is in,
and of course -
right is left, and left is right.

A drop shouldn't and a
block and fall does neither.
A prop doesn't and
a cove has no water.

Tripping is O.K.
A running crew rarely gets anywhere.
A purchase line will buy you nothing.
A trap will not catch anything.
A gridiron has nothing to do with football.

A Strike is work
(in fact a lot of work).
And a green room, thank God, usually isn't.
Now that you are fully versed in theatrical terms,
Break a leg...
but not really!


Theatre is like a virus: once you get it you can't get rid of it.

Robin Boisseau

Theatre is interesting because it's a very collaborative process. Typically I'm working with a director, a set designer, a costume designer and a sound designer too. That means that there are a number of perspectives that are brought into any particular script. Typically the director has the final say in where we go conceptually with a piece but we all have an opportunity to influence that direction and typically that direction is based on the script. As such, my studies in english and philosophy have enriched my ability to take a look at a text and react to it in my own way so that I can bring to the table what I consider to be an informed perspective. Then we negotiate the project's process and it's always quite enriching. Projects basically come out of a bond of trust that you have created. As I have progressed throughout my career I have gravitated to people who I feel a common bond with; who I seem to be able to communicate with. We establish a trust and then we go about our project. Very often I will work with someone for three or four years and we will have a particularly creative time and then, for whatever reasons, we will go our separate ways and new bonds will be established. It's an extremely communal approach to the arts. [Lighting designer Jock Munro]

Jock Munro

Theatergoing is a communal act, movie going a solitary one.

Robert Brustein

Theater is, of course, a reflection of life. Maybe we have to improve life before we can hope to improve theater.

William Inge Saturday Review 22 Feb 64


Authorize.Net Merchant - Click to Verify Credit Card Merchant Services