Theater Quotes

Most popular theater quotes

Hell is a half-filled auditorium.
A snare for the truth of human experience.


Ambushing the audience is what theater is all about.
A play has two authors, the playwright and the actor.
You can make a killing in the theater but not a living.
Whoever condemns the theatre is an enemy to his country.
The theater infects the audience with its noble ecstasy.
Opening Night: The night before the play is ready to open.
A play is fiction—and fiction is fact distilled into truth.


Good theater should always send people away feeling changed.
The first rule of the theater-give the best lines to yourself.
The play's the thing wherein I'll catch the conscience of the king.
Judge not the play before the play is done: Her plot hath many changes.
The structure of a play is always the story of how the birds come home to roost.
The essence of a theater is elegance, just as the essence of a church is spirituality.


The business of the dramatist is to keep out of sight and let nothing appear but his characters.
This is why the theater is so endlessly fascinating - because it's so accidental. It's so much like life.
Many plays—certainly mine—are like blank checks.  The actors and directors put their own signatures on them.
It's one of the tragic ironies of the theatre that only one man in it can count on steady work-the night watchman.
Show me a congenital eavesdropper with the instincts of a Peeping Tom and I will show you the making of a dramatist.
An actor entering through the door, you've got nothing. But if he enters through the window, you've got a situation.
It is an extremely difficult thing to put on the stage anything which runs contrary to the opinions of a large body of people.
If there's a spirit world why don't the ghosts of dead artists get together and inhibit bad playwrights from tormenting first-nighters?
All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances, And one man in his time plays many parts.
In the creative process, there is the father, the author of the play; the mother, the actor pregnant with the part; and the child, the role to be born.
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.
The theater 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."
The word theatre comes from the Greeks.  It means the seeing place.  It is the place people come to see the truth about life and the social situation.  The theatre is a spiritual and social X-ray of its time.
Consider the public. Never fear it nor despise it. Coax it, charm it, interest it, stimulate it, shock it now and then if you must, make it laugh, make it cry, but above all never, never, never bore the living hell out of it.
Generosity does not flower easily or often in the rocky soil of the theatre.  Few are uncorrupted by its ceaseless warfare over credit and billing, its jealousies and envies, its constant temptations toward pettiness and mean-spiritedness.