Theatre Quotes | Page 4 | AACT

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 121 - 160 of 421. Show 5 | 10 | 20 | 40 | 60 results per page.
Category Quote First Last Source
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
Acting

The performance is not an illusionist copy of reality, its imitation; nor is it a set of conventions, accepted as a kind of deliberate game, playing at a seperate theatrical reality... The actor does not play, does not imitate, or pretend. He is himself.

Ludwik Flaszen Flaszen Grotowski's Laboratory
Playwriting

Most plays have four, five vital moments in the play and the rest of the play is just getting to it. It’s just fill. I don’t know why, whether it’s just to create the sense that it’s real or that you have to spend two hours to experience the power (you have to see not just snapshots). But I find it very boring. I go to sleep when I see plays like that, and I go to sleep writing it. I would just actually fall asleep at the typewriter and would not be able to finish a scene written like that. What’s different now is that my work is much more emotional and connected to story. Because of that and the fact that the air around it is clean, it’s very strange. It reminds me a little bit of Edward Hopper’s paintings—where there’s something very real about the situation, it’s very mundane, but the air is always so clean you feel there’s something wrong.

María Irene Fornés
General

I am so used to seeing the sort of play which deals with one man and two women. They do not leave me with the feeling I have made a full theatrical meal they do not give me the experience of the multiplicity of life.

E.M. Forster

http://en.thinkexist.com/quotes/with/keyword/theatrical/

Playwriting

In my plays I want to look at life -- at the commonplace of existence -- as if we had just turned a corner and run into it for the first time.

Christopher Fry http://www.satheatre.com/quotes.htm
Playwriting

If the nature of human experience changes with the color of a man's skin, then the racists have been right all along.

Athol Fugard The Audience Book of Theatre Quotations, by Louis Phillips
General

January, month of empty pockets! Let us endure this evil month, anxious as a theatrical producer's forehead.

Sidonie Gabrielle

http://en.thinkexist.com/keyword/theatrical

General

A nation that does not support and encourage its theater is -- if not dead -- dying; just as a theater that does not capture with laughter and tears the social and historical pulse, the drama of its people, the genuine color of the spiritual and natural landscape, has no right to call itself theater; but only a place for amusement.

Federico Garcia Lorca http://www.cfa.ilstu.edu/pguithe/THE344/quotes.html
General

The arts are at the very center of community development in this time of change...change for the better. The frontier and all that it once meant in economic development and in the sheer necessity of building a nation is being replaced by the frontier of the arts. In no other way can Americans so well express the core and blood of their democracy; for in the communities lies the final text of the acceptance of the arts as a necessity of everyday life. In terms of American democracy, the arts are for everyone. They are not reserved for the wealthy, or for the well-endowed museum, the gallery, or the ever-subsidized regional professional theater. As America emerges into a different understanding of her strength, it becomes clear that her strength is in the people and the places where the people live. The people, if shown the way, can create art in and of themselves.

Robert Gard
General, Musical Theatre, Playwriting

If Hitler's still alive, I hope he's out of town with a musical. [variously attributed]

Larry Gelbart http://povonline.com/Hitler%20Line.htm
Lighting

If I am so insistent about the bright lights, both the stage and house lights, it is because I should in some way like both actors and audience to be caught up n the same illumination, and for there to be no place for them to hide, or even half-hide.

Jean Genet The Audience Book of Theatre Quotations, by Louis Phillips
Acting

One mustn't allow acting to be like stockbroker -- you must not take it just as a means of earning a living, to go down every day to do a job of work. The big thing is to combine punctuality, efficiency, good nature, obedience, intelligence, and concentration with an unawareness of what is going to happen next, thus keeping yourself available for excitement.

John Gielgud
Acting

Acting is half shame, half glory. Shame at exhibiting yourself, glory when you can forget yourself.

John Gielgud The Audience Book of Theatre Quotations, by Louis Phillips
Acting

Being another character is more interesting than being yourself.

John Gielgud The Audience Book of Theatre Quotations, by Louis Phillips
Directing

It is very hard to cast a number of plays adequately from the same company of actors without several parts being miscast.

John Gielgud The Audience Book of Theatre Quotations, by Louis Phillips
Directing, General, Playwriting

The stage play is a trial, not a deed of violence. The soul is opened, like the combination of a safe, by means of a word. You don't require an acetylene torch.

Jean Giradoux http://www.curtainup.com/quotepro.html
Acting

Never get caught acting.

Lillian Gish Friendly Advice by Jon Winokur
Directing, Musical Theatre

Seen from the point of view of the composer, the most nonsensical practice is that of casting people in musicals who are unable to sing. No one would cast a dancing part with someone who cannot dance sufficiently to come up to professional standards. The same is true of acting. But when it comes to singing, more often than not it is amateur night. . . . Either musicals should be written for specified performers in the first place, or they should be cast with people who are adequate to its dancing, acting and singing demands.

Ernest Gold Playwrights, Lyricists, Composers On Theater
Acting

On the stage he was natural, simple, affecting;/ 'Twas only that when he was off he was acting.

Oliver Goldsmith http://theatre.usc.edu/whatistheatre
Fundraising

In good times and bad, we know that people give because you meet needs, not because you have needs.

Kay Grace http://www.museummarketingtips.com/quotes/giving.html
Shakespeare

The remarkable thing about Shakespeare is that he is really very good - in spite of all the people who say he is very good.

Robert Graves Robert Graves (1895 - 1985)
Management

A statement of vision is the overarching purpose, the big dream, the visionary concept--something presently out of reach--so stated that it excites the imagination and chlalenges people to work for something they do not yet know how to do.

Robert Greenleaf Servant Leadership
Acting, Directing, General

It is not theatre that is indispensable, but something quite different. To cross the frontiers between you and me.

Jerzy Grotowski
Acting, Shakespeare

Much of the day I have busied myself making notes on the small parts in Shakespeare, often nameless, which are rewarding to the actor if only he'll not dismiss them as beneath his dignity. If I can work it up into a talk I might call it, 'Only a cough and a spit ' ---the phrase so often used by actors to explain away a lack of opportunity.

Alec Guinness My Name Escapes Me, 1996
Acting

An actor is at his best a kind of unfrocked priest who, for an hour or two, can call on heaven and hell to mesmerize a group of innocents

Alec Guinness http://www.curtainup.com/quotepro.html
Directing, Shakespeare

The play loses a great deal of its meaning if it is robbed of a magic which springs, not from the glittering tip of a department-store wand, but from the earth, the stones, the very air of the wood; and a magic which is not merely pretty but dark and dangerous. [said of A Midsummer Night's Dream

Tyrone Guthrie
Acting

I'm a bad liar; I don't know what to say backstage.

Uta Hagen
Acting

Once in awhile, there's stuff that makes me say, That's what theatre's about. It has to be a human event on the stage, and that doesn't happen very often.

Uta Hagen
Acting

I love playing Chekhov. That's the hardest; that's why I love it most.

Uta Hagen
Acting

I think, by and large, the level of acting is mediocre. When I go to the theatre, I get so angry. I don't go.

Uta Hagen http://www.brainyquote.com
Acting

Once in awhile, there's stuff that makes me say, That's what theatre's about. It has to be a human event on the stage, and that doesn't happen very often.

Uta Hagen http://www.brainyquote.com
Acting

Talent is an amalgam of high sensitivity; easy vulnerability; high sensory equipment (seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, tasting intensely); a vivid imagination as well as a grip on reality; the desire to communicate one's own experience and sensations, to make one's self heard and seen.

Uta Hagen
Acting, Directing, General, Playwriting

You need three things in the theatre -- the play, the actors and the audience, and each must give something.

Kenneth Haigh http://www.satheatre.com/quotes.htm
Acting

I don't possess a lot of self-confidence. I'm an actor so I simply act confident every time I hit the stage. I am consumed with the fear of failing. Reaching deep down and finding confidence has made all my dreams come true.

Arsenio Hall

http://home.att.net/~quotations/theatre.html

Backstage

Perhaps, therefore, ideal stage managers not only need to be calm and meticulous professionals who know their craft, but masochists who feel pride in rising above impossible odds.

Peter Hall
Playwriting

Playwrights must be allowed to be at less than their best sometimes, without meeting an all-out critical assault.

Peter Hall http://www.curtainup.com/quotepro.html
Acting, Shakespeare

Has anyone understood that the basic thing about Elizabethan theatre is that it was played in daylight? The actor saw the eyes of the audience.

Peter Hall The Audience Book of Theatre Quotations, by Louis Phillips

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