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.

Displaying 361 - 404 of 404. Show 5 | 10 | 20 | 40 | 60 results per page.
Category Quote First Last Source
Fundraising

Most giving is 80% emotion and 20 % rational. And the best way to get to someone's emotions is to tell a story.

Unknown
Lighting, Set Design

When it's good design, you alone will know. When it's bad design - everyone will tell you!

Unknown
Acting, Directing

The two happiest days in a theatre person's life: The day you start on a new show and the day the thing closes.

Unknown
General

THEATRE LOGIC
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!

Unknown www.angelfire.com/dc/musicthea/Quotes.html
Acting

Every performer has moments of self doubt. The great ones, however,overcome every obstacle to reach their full artistic potential. It takes talent, to be sure, but it also takes a personality that simply will not settle for second best. That's what makes us respect the effort and admire the results.

Unknown www.angelfire.com/dc/musicthea/Quotes.html
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
Acting, Directing, General

I think that first nights should come near the end of a play's run--as indeed, they often do.

Peter Ustinov The Audience Book of Theatre Quotations, by Louis Phillips
Acting

I learned acting by doing it. And although I had never taken an acting class, it didn't take long to learn how to be on the stage. All you have to do is to be humiliated in front of an audience a few times. If you don't like being humiliated publicly, you learn how to act.

Ron Vawter The Audience Book of Theatre Quotations, by Louis Phillips
Playwriting

A talent for drama is not a talent for writing, but is an ability to articulate human relationships.

Gore Vidal http://theatre.usc.edu/whatistheatre
Playwriting

Playwriting isn't a calling so much as it is a hazing process.

Paula Vogel The Audience Book of Theatre Quotations, by Louis Phillips
Acting, Directing, General, Playwriting

The only way to see the value of a play is to see it acted.

Voltaire
General

It is the characteristic of the most stringent censorships that they give credibility to the opinions they attack.

Voltaire
Acting

Talk low, talk slow, and don't say too much.

John Wayne Friendly Advice by Jon Winokur
General, Management

The artistic director gratifies his special need to relate to people in a highly accentuated paternalistic and maternalistic fashion.

Philip Weissman The Audience Book of Theatre Quotations, by Louis Phillips
Acting, Directing

I want to give the audience a hint of a scene. No more than that. Give them too much and they won't contribute anything themselves. Give them just a suggestion and you get them working with you. That's what gives the theater meaning: when it becomes a social act.

Orson Welles
Acting

It isn't what I do, but how I do it. It isn't what I say but how I say it - and how I look when I do and say it.

Mae West
Acting

I love acting. It is so much more real than life.

Oscar Wilde http://www.quotationspage.com/subjects/acting
General

The stage is not merely the meeting place of all the arts, but is also the return of art to life.

Oscar Wilde http://www.worldofquotes.com
Acting, Directing, General

The play was a great success, but the audience was a disaster.

Oscar Wilde http://theatre.usc.edu/whatistheatre
General, Playwriting

I regard the theatre as the greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being.

Oscar Wilde
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)
General

The theatre is supremely fitted to say: "Behold! These things are." Yet most dramatists employ it to say: "This moral truth can be learned from beholding this action."

Thornton Wilder

http://www.quotecha.com/quotes/quotation_15961.html

Playwriting

A dramatist is one who believes that the pure event, an action involving human beings, is more arresting than any comment that can be made upon it.

Thornton Wilder
Lighting

Lighting design is ultimately not about numbers and calculations. It is about feelings and spontaneous reactions. Although the designer can calculate how 'big and bright' a fixture will be at any distance, from the manufacturer's data sheet, eventually he must just instinctively 'know', how a specific fixture will perform at any distance. This comes from both practice and experience.

Bill Williams Lighting Mechanics, by Bill Williams
Lighting

The first rule of stage lighting is...there aren't any.

Bill Williams Lighting Mechanics, by Bill Williams
Lighting

Ultimately, the lighting designer must be an artist! He must understand style, composition, balance, esthetics and human emotions. He must also understand the science of light, optics, vision, the psychology of perception and lighting technology. Using these tools the lighting designer must learn to think, feel and create with his heart.

Bill Williams Lighting Mechanics, by Bill Williams
Lighting

Stage lighting is no longer a matter of simple illumination as it was less than 100 years ago. Today, the lighting designer is expected to be a master of art, science, history, psychology, communications, politics and sometimes even mind reading.

Bill Williams http://www.mts.net/%7Ewilliam5/sld/sld-100.htm
Lighting

The lighting designer will never stop learning. Every production or project will present new challenges, new obstacles, new human dynamics and new problems to solve. There can and should be many failures along the way. This is part of the artistic process. The lighting designer shouldn't hesitate to make as many mistakes as possible - just don't make the same mistake twice.

Bill Williams http://www.mts.net/%7Ewilliam5/sld/sld-100.htm
Lighting

Stage lighting is no longer a matter of simple illumination as it was less than 100 years ago. Today, the lighting designer is expected to be a master of art, science, history, psychology, communications, politics, and sometimes even mind reading.

Bill Williams http://www.mts.net/%7Ewilliam5/sld/sld-100.htm
Lighting

The stage designer quickly learns that things are not always what they appear to be. A director who asks for 'more light' on an actor, probably doesn't mean that at all. Instead he really just wants 'to see the actor better'. The designer might chose to reduce the lighting contrast around the actor, or simply ask the actor to tip his head up a bit. Both solutions solve the problem without 'adding more light'. So the lighting designer also has to be a good listener, a careful interpreter and a skilled crafts person.

Bill Williams http://www.mts.net/%7Ewilliam5/sld/sld-100.htm
Playwriting

I can't expose a human weakness on the stage unless I know it through having it myself.

Tennessee Williams http://www.notable-quotes.com/p/playwriting_quotes.html
Playwriting

I have found it easier to identify with the characters who verge upon hysteria, who were frightened of life, who were desperate to reach out to another person. But these seemingly fragile people are the strong people, really.

Tennessee Williams
Playwriting

Why did I write? Because I found life unsatisfactory.

Tennessee Williams
Playwriting

I have always been pushed by the negative. The apparent failure of a play sends me back to my typewriter that very night, before the reviews are out. I am more compelled to get back to work than if I had a success.

Tennessee Williams
Playwriting

If the writing is honest it cannot be separated from the man who wrote it.

Tennessee Williams
Playwriting

It's hard enough for me to write what I want to write without me trying to write what you say they want me to write which I don't want to write.

Tennessee Williams The Audience Book of Theatre Quotations, by Louis Phillips
Playwriting

Some mystery should be left in the revelation of character in a play, just as a great deal of mystery is always left in the revelation of character in life, even in one's own character to himself.

Tennessee Williams
Playwriting

Most playwrights go wrong on the fifth word. When you start a play and you type 'Act one, scene one,' your writing is every bit as good as Arthur Miller or Eugene O'Neill or anyone. It's that fifth word where amateurs start to go wrong.

Meredith Willson
Playwriting

When I first started writing plays I couldn't write good dialogue because I didn't respect how black people talked. I thought that in order to make art out of their dialogue I had to change it, make it into something different. Once I learned to value and respect my characters, I could really hear them. I let them start talking.

August Wilson http://www.notable-quotes.com/p/playwriting_quotes.html
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
Acting

Every now and then, when you're on stage, you hear the best sound a player can hear. It's a sound you can't get in movies or in television. It is the sound of a wonderful, deep silence that means you've hit them where they live.

Shelley Winters
Critics

Has anybody ever seen a dramatic critic in the daytime? Of course not. They come out after dark, up to no good.

P.G. Wodehouse New York Mirror, 27th May 1955
Volunteers

Volunteers will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no volunteers.

Ken Wyman
Costumes, Lighting, Set Design

A play is a painting that moves. Instead of it holding still, and you are looking at it, you hold still and it scrolls by.

Patricia Zipprodt The Audience Book of Theatre Quotations, by Louis Phillips

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