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 21 - 30 of 407. Show 5 | 10 | 20 | 40 | 60 results per page.
Category Quote First Last Source
General

The theater, which is in no thing, but makes use of everything -- gestures, sounds, words, screams, light, darkness -- rediscovers itself at precisely the point where the mind requires a language to express its manifestations. To break through language in order to touch life is to create or recreate the theatre.

Antonin Artaud
General, Playwriting

Good plays drive bad playgoers crazy.

Brooks Atkinson Theatre Arts Aug 56
Acting, Directing, General

Although the theater is not life, it is composed of fragments or imitations of life, and people on both sides of the footlight have to unite to make the fragments whole and the imitations genuine.

Brooks Atksinson
Playwriting

Drama is based on the Mistake. I think someone is my friend when he really is my enemy, that I am free to marry a woman when in fact she is my mother, that this person is a chambermaid when it is a young nobleman in disguise, that this well-dressed young man is rich when he is really a penniless adventurer, or that if I do this such and such a result will follow when in fact it results in something very different. All good drama has two movements, first the making of the mistake, then the discovery that it was a mistake.

W.H. Auden
General, Playwriting

The theatre is a gross art, built in sweeps and over-emphasis. Compromise is its second name.

Enid Bagnold
Acting

Acted drama requires surrender of one's self, sympathetic absorption in the play as it develops.

George P. Baker http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/g/georgepba199310.html

A play is a series of actions. A play is not about action, nor does it describe action. Is a fire about flames? Does it describe flames? No, a fire is flames. A play is action. Why do you think actors are called actors? And action in a play occurs when something happens that makes or permits something else to happen.

David Ball Backwards & Forwards: A Technical Manual for Reading Plays
Acting

It's one of the tragic ironies of the theatre that only one man in it can count on steady work -- the night watchman.

Tallulah Bankhead Tallulah: My Autobiography
Acting

If you want to help the American theatre, don't be an actress, be an audience.

Tallulah Bankhead Friendly Advice by Jon Winokur
Playwriting

A good play is a play which when acted upon the boards make an audience interested and pleased. A play that fails in this is a bad play.

Maurice Baring http://theatre.usc.edu/whatistheatre

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