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 1 - 10 of 404. Show 5 | 10 | 20 | 40 | 60 results per page.
Category Quote First Last Sourcesort ascending
Acting

Never not dare to hang yourself. That's the only way you grow in your profession. You must continually attempt things that you think are beyond you, or you get into a complete rut.

Charles Laughton Wikipedia (under Bette Davis)
Critics

Asking a working writer what he thinks about critics is like asking a lamppost what it feels about dogs.

John Osborne Time, 31 October 1977
Acting

When you're a young man, Macbeth is a character part. When you're older, it's a straight part.

Laurence Olivier Theatre Arts May 58
Playwriting

The mission of the playwright is to look in his heart and write, to write whatever concerns him at the moment; to write with passion and conviction. Of course the measure of the man will be the measure of the play.

Robert Anderson Theatre Arts Mar 58
General, Playwriting

Good plays drive bad playgoers crazy.

Brooks Atkinson Theatre Arts Aug 56
Costumes, Set Design

Be daring, be different, be impractical; be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of the ordinary. Routines have their purposes, but the merely routine is the hidden enemy of high art. [Advice to theatrical designers,]

Cecil Beaton The Secret of How to Startle Theatre Arts May 57
General

There is no greater gift that a person can be given than to be put in touch with his creativity. [Theatre] transformed my life. [Director Declan Donnellan on discovering theatre as a lonely 16 year old.]

Declan Donnellan The Guardian
Lighting

Lights are to drama what music is to the lyrics of a song. The greatest part of my success in the theatre I attribute to my feeling for colors, translated into effects of light.

David Belasco The Audience Book of Theatre Quotations, by Louis Phillips
Lighting

Lighting paperwork is a living thing, continually evolving throughout the production process until opening night.

Anne E. McMills The Assistant Light Designer's Toolkit
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

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