Theatre Quotes

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

Displaying 41 - 80 of 404. Show 5 | 10 | 20 | 40 | 60 results per page.
Category Quotesort descending First Last Source
Acting

Acting is standing up naked and turning around very slowly.

Rosalind Russell The Audience Book of Theatre Quotations, by Louis Phillips
Acting

Acting is the expression of a neurotic impulse. It's a bum's life. The principal benefit acting has afforded me is the money to pay for my psychoanalysis.

Marlon Brando
Acting

Acting is the most minor of gifts and not a very high-class way to earn a living. After all, Shirley Temple could do it at the age of four.

Katherine Hepburn http://www.quotationspage.com/subjects/acting
Acting

Acting is the most personal of our crafts. The make-up of a human being - his physical, mental and emotional habits - influence his acting to a much greater extent than commonly recognized.

Lee Strasberg
Acting

Acting isn't really a creative profession. It's an interpretive one.

Paul Newman http://www.satheatre.com/quotes.htm
Acting

Acting isn't something you do. Instead of doing it, it occurs. If you're going to start with logic, you might as well give up. You can have conscious preparation, but you have unconscious results.

Lee Strasberg
Acting

Acting touches nerves you have absolutely no control over.

Alan Rickman http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/a/alanrickma251360.html
Acting

Acting's entertainment. It's not brain surgery.

Anthony Hopkins Hello! Special Edition, 9.6.01.
Acting

Acting, in general, is something most people think they're incapable of, but they do it from morning to night. The subtlest acting I've ever seen is by ordinary people trying to show they feel something they don't, or trying to hide something. It's something everyone learns at an early age.

Marlon Brando Newsweek, 13 March 1972
Acting

Actors are the only honest hypocrites.

William Hazlitt
Acting

Actors cannot choose the manner in which they are born. Consequently, it is the one gesture in their lives completely devoid of self-consciousness.

Helen Hayes
Acting

Actors ought to be larger than life. You come across quite enough ordinary, nondescript people in daily life and I don't see why you should be subjected to them on the stage too.

Donald Sinden
Acting

Actors should be overheard, not listened to, and the audience is fifty percent of the performance.

Shirley Booth Friendly Advice by Jon Winokur
Acting

Actors work and slave and it is the color of your hair that can determine your fate in the end.

Helen Hayes
Acting, Directing

All action in theatre must have inner justification, be logical, coherent, and real.

Constantin Stanislavski
Acting

All the theories that acting is reacting to imaginary circumstances as though they are real, and directing is turning psychology into behavior, those are all stabs at something that can't be taught. All the great actors can't talk about what they do, and they don't want to begin to talk about it. They just do it.

Mike Nichols
General

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

Unknown
General

Although one may fail to find happiness in theatrical life, one never wishes to give it up after having once tasted its fruits.

Anna Pavlova

http://en.thinkexist.com/keyword/theatrical

Acting, Directing, General

Although the theater is not life, it is composed of fragments or imitations of life, and people on both sides of the footlight have to unite to make the fragments whole and the imitations genuine.

Brooks Atksinson
Directing

An actor entering through the door, you've got nothing. But if he enters through the window, you've got a situation.

Billy Wilder Friendly Advice (book)
Acting

An actor is a sculptor who carves in snow.

Lawrence Barrett http://www.satheatre.com/quotes.htm
Acting

An actor is at his best a kind of unfrocked priest who, for an hour or two, can call on heaven and hell to mesmerize a group of innocents

Alec Guinness http://www.curtainup.com/quotepro.html
Acting, Backstage, Directing

An actor without techies is a naked person standing in the dark trying to emote. A techie without actors is a person with marketable skills.

Mark Leslie http://www.denagy.com/techiejokes/tjokes.html
Lighting

An effective lighting design is like a beautiful painting. Your medium is bringing someone to an emotional state he or she would not achieve at that moment without your art. This does not and can not happen by accident.

Glen Cunningham Stage Lighting Revealed
Backstage

An interesting difference between new and experienced stage managers is that the new stage manager thinks of running the show as the most difficult and most demanding part of the job, whereas the experienced stage manager thinks of it as the most relaxing part. Perhaps the reason is that experienced stage managers have built up work habits that make then so thoroughly prepared for the production phase that they [can] sit back during performances to watch that preparation pay off.

Lawrence Stern Stage Management
Fundraising

Appreciation can make a day--even change a life, Your willingness to put it into words is all that is necessary.

Margaret Cousins http://www.museummarketingtips.com/quotes/giving.html
Playwriting

As a writer you're holding a dog. You let the dog run about. But you finally can pull him back. Finally, I'm in control. But the great excitement is to see what happens if you let the whole thing go. And the dog or the character really runs about, bites everyone in sight, jumps up trees, falls into lakes, gets wet, and you let that happen. That's the excitement of writing plays--to allow the thing to be free but still hold the final leash.

Harold Pinter http://www.curtainup.com/quotepro.html
Acting

As an actor, you can't play the tragedy. You can only play the choices, the intentions of your character.

Christine Andreas Notes for CD "The Garland Variations"
Management

As nearly everyone knows, a manager has practically nothing to do except to decide what is to be done; to tell somebody to do it; to listen to reasons why it should not be done, why it should be done by someone else, or why it should be done in a different way; to follow up to see if the thing has been done; to discover that it has not; to inquire why; to listen to excuses from the person who should have done it; to follow up again to see if the thing has been done, only to discover that it has been done incorrectly; to point out how it should have been done; to conclude that as long as it has been done, it may as well be left where it is; to wonder if it is not time to get rid of a person who cannot do a thing right; to reflect that he or she probably has a family, and that certainly any successor would be just as bad, and maybe worse; to consider how much simpler and better the thing would have been done if one had done it oneself in the first place; to reflect sadly that one could have done it right in 20 minutes, and, as things turned out, one had to spend two days to find out why it has taken three weeks for somebody else to do it wrong.

Unknown
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

Audiences are not strangers to me. They're the best friends I've got in my life.

Elaine Stritch
Acting, Directing

Audiences know what to expect. . . and that is all they are prepared to believe in.

Tom Stoppard www.angelfire.com/dc/musicthea/Quotes.html
Acting

Bad acting, like bad writing, has a remarkable uniformity, whether seen on the French, German, or English stages; it all seems modeled after two or three types, and those the least like types of good acting. The fault generally lies less in the bad imitation of a good model, than in the successful imitation of a bad model.

George Lewes The Audience Book of Theatre Quotations, by Louis Phillips
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
Fundraising

Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough.

Oprah Winfrey http://www.museummarketingtips.com/quotes/giving.html
Backstage

Beat to fit, paint to match.

Kate Bolgrien http://www.denagy.com/techiejokes/tjokes.html
Costumes

Before a character even speaks, we 'read' their appearance through their costume.

Peter Ruthven Hall http://www.theatredesign.org.uk/events.htm
Playwriting

Before I write down one word, I have to have the character in my mind through and through. I must penetrate into the last wrinkle of his soul.

Henrik Ibsen http://www.notable-quotes.com/p/playwriting_quotes.html
Acting

Being another character is more interesting than being yourself.

John Gielgud The Audience Book of Theatre Quotations, by Louis Phillips
Shakespeare

Brush up your Shakespeare
Start quoting him now
Brush up your Shakespeare
And the women you will wow

Cole Porter Kiss Me, Kate (musical)

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