Theatre Quotes

Words to the Wise
Quotations from a wide range of theatrical perspectives

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The world's a theater, the earth a stage,
Which God and Nature do with actors fill.

Thomas Heywood

The worst constructed play is a Bach fugue when compared to life.

Helen Hayes

Theater is life, film is art, television is furniture.

General, Playwriting

Theater is so critical because it has always been able to release people from their isolation... The theater is a communal event, church. The playwright constructs a mass to be performed for a lot of people. She writes a prayer, which is just the longings of one heart.

Marsha Norman

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

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

Robert Brustein

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

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

Robin Boisseau

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!

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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