Theatre Quotes

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

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But when I got to SMU and decided to take a playwriting class, I said this isn't a bad idea. If I write characters, they could be as dumb as me, and I don't have to be very smart.

Beth Henley

By whatever means it is accomplished, the prime business of a play is to arouse the passions of its audience so that by the route of passion may be opened up new relationships between a man and men, and between men and Man. Drama is akin to the other inventions of man in that it ought to help us to know more, and not merely to spend our feelings.

Arthur Miller

Casting is instrumental in helping you understand the play. If you cast it right, as soon as the actor steps on the stage, you get certain impressions that help you understand what the play is about.

Howard Kissel It Happened On Broadway

Charity in the theater begins and ends with those who have a play opening within a week of one's own.

Moss Hart
Critics, General

Coughing in the theater is not a respiratory ailment. It is a criticism.

Alan Jay Lerner

Definition of Stage Manager: The person who rarely gets credit when everything goes right.

Set Design

Designers play with scale and proportion, making the ordinary extraordinary by taking an object out of context and changing its scale in relation to the characters' size and appearance.

Peter Ruthven Hall

Directing takes such a big lump out of your life.

Alan Rickman

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

Don't think you're funny. It'll never work if you think you're funny.

George Abbott Friendly Advice by Jon Winokur


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