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

I'm a skilled professional actor. Whether or not I've any talent is beside the point.

Michael Caine Film Yearbook, 1985
Acting

First of all, I choose the great roles, and if none of these come, I choose the mediocre ones, and if they don't come, I choose the ones that pay the rent.

Michael Caine
Acting

I don't care if people think I'm an overactor. People who think that would call Van Gogh an overpainter.

Jim Carey www.angelfire.com/dc/musicthea/Quotes.html
Directing

Don't let a single comic moment pass you by; then help the audience get the laughs. Give them permission to laugh by holding for laughter and by letting them know early on what they're in for. In the first few moments, the audience is gathering information, looking at the scenery and costumes. Create a comic moment as soon as you can.

James Carver Stage Directions Guide to Directing
Directing

In comedy, beware the split focus. The audience should focus on the face of the actor. The audience must see the setup. If there is action elsewhere on the stage, the comic line can be lost.

James Carver Stage Directions Guide to Directing
General

In is down, down is front. Out is up, up is back. Off is out, on is in. And of course, left is right and right is left. A drop shouldn't and a 'block and fall' does neither. A prop doesn't and a cove has no water. Tripping is okay. A running crew rarely gets anywhere . A purchase line buys you nothing. A trap will not catch anything. A gridiron has nothing to do with football. Strike is work (in fact, a lot of work). And a green room, thank God, usually isn't. Now that you're fully versed in theatrical terms, break a leg.

But not really.

Kerry Chafin https://suite.io/kerry-chafin/2nhw2w1
Acting

Onstage, you just have to tell the absolute truth about the character you are playing. You hope you communicate it, and you hope it comes back like a tennis ball. If you're listening to the sound of your own voice, nobody else is. The audience knows, and they freeze on you.

Carol Channing It Happened On Broadway
Acting

The basic essential of a great actor is that he loves himself in acting.

Charles Chaplin
Playwriting

The critics suppose that it is easy to write a play. They aren't aware that writing a good play is difficult and writing a bad one is twice as hard.

Anton Chekhov The Audience Book of Theatre Quotations, by Louis Phillips
Playwriting

If there is a gun hanging on the wall in the first act, it must fire in the last.

Anton Chekhov http://www.ag.wastholm.net/category/art

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