Quotes Categories

Theater Quotes

The theatre is the best way of showing the gap between what is said and what is seen to be done, and that is why, ragged and gap-toothed as it is, it has still a far healthier potential than some poorer, abandoned arts.

Author: David Hare (1947)

Profession: British Playwright, Director

Drama assumes an order. If only so that it might have -- by disrupting that order -- a way of surprising.

Author: Vaclav Havel (1936)

Profession: Czech Playwright, President

I think theatre should always be somewhat suspect.

Author: Vaclav Havel (1936)

Profession: Czech Playwright, President

The novel is more of a whisper, whereas the stage is a shout.

Author: Robert Holman


To treat a ''big'' subject in the intensely summarized fashion demanded by an evening's traffic of the stage when the evening, freely clipped at each end, is reduced to two hours and a half, is a feat of which the difficulty looms large.

Author: Henry James (1843-1916)

Profession: American Author

The theater, bringing impersonal masks to life, is only for those who are virile enough to create new life: either as a conflict of passions subtler than those we already know, or as a complete new character.

Author: Alfred Jarry (1873-1907)

Profession: French Playwright, Author

The virtue of dress rehearsals is that they are a free show for a select group of artists and friends of the author, and where for one unique evening the audience is almost expurgated of idiots.

Author: Alfred Jarry (1873-1907)

Profession: French Playwright, Author

The drama's laws, the drama's patrons give, for we that live to please, must please to live.

Author: Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)

Profession: British Author

I write plays for people who wouldn't be seen dead in the theatre.

Author: Barrie Keeffe


A dramatic experience concerned with the mundane may inform but it cannot release; and one concerned essentially with the aesthetic politics of its creators may divert or anger, but it cannot enlighten.

Author: David Mamet (1947)

Profession: American Playwright

Theater people are always pining and agonizing because they're afraid that they'll be forgotten. And in America they're quite right. They will be.

Author: Agnes De Mille (1905-1993)

Profession: American Dancer, Choreographer, Writer

A playwright is the litmus paper of the arts. He's got to be, because if he isn't working on the same wave length as the audience, no one would know what in hell he was talking about. He is a kind of psychic journalist, even when he's great.

Author: Arthur Miller (1915)

Profession: American Dramatist

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.

Author: Arthur Miller (1915)

Profession: American Dramatist

Farce is tragedy played at a thousand revolutions per minute.

Author: John Mortimer (1923)

Profession: British Barrister, Novelist

My playground was the theatre. I'd sit and watch my mother pretend for a living. As a young girl, that's pretty seductive.

Author: Gwyneth Paltrow (1972)

Profession: American Actress