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.

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Category Quote First Last Source
Acting

Act in your pauses.

Ellen Terry Friendly Advice by Jon Winokur
Acting

Imagination! Imagination! I put it first years ago, when I was asked what qualities I thought necessary for success upon the stage. And I am still of the same opinion. Imagination, industry [hard work], and intelligence--the three I's--are all indispensable to the actor, but of these three the greatest is, without any doubt, imagination.

Ellen Terry The Audience Book of Theatre Quotations, by Louis Phillips
Playwriting, Shakespeare

Shakespeare's plays are bad enough, but yours are even worse. [Tolstoy to Chekov]

Leo Tolstoy Partial Payments: Essays on Writers and Their Lives, by Joseph Epstein
Acting

Know your lines and don't bump into the furniture.

Spencer Tracy Friendly Advice by Jon Winokur
Critics

A critic is a man who knows the way but can't drive the car.

Kenneth Tynan New York Times Magazine, Jan 9. 1966
General

No theater could sanely flourish until there was an umbilical connection between what was happening on the stage and what was happening in the world.

Kenneth Tynan http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/k/kenneth_tynan.html
Critics, Playwriting

The sheer complexity of writing a play always had dazzled me. In an effort to understand it, I became a critic.

Kenneth Tynan http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/k/kenneth_tynan.html
Playwriting

Show me a congenital eavesdropper with the instincts of a Peeping Tom and I will show you the making of a dramatist.

Kenneth Tynan The Audience Book of Theatre Quotations, by Louis Phillips
General

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

Unknown
General

All the world's a stage. Some of us just have better seats.

Unknown

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