THEATRE QUOTES III

quotations about theatre

Theatre quote

It is Mystery -- the mystery any one man or woman can feel but not understand as the meaning of any event -- or accident -- in any life on earth ... [that] I want to realize in the theatre. The solution, if there ever be any, will probably have to be produced in a test tube and turn out to be discouragingly undramatic.

EUGENE O'NEILL, Eugene O'Neill: Comments on the Drama and the Theater

0 likes

Tags: Eugene O'Neill


From the start it has been the theatre's business to entertain people ... it needs no other passport than fun.

BERTOLT BRECHT, A Short Organum for the Theatre

0 likes

Tags: Bertolt Brecht


There are lots of young vital playwrights who are experimenting, and these are the plays that people who are interested in the theatre should see. They should go off Broadway. They should go to the cafe theatres and see the experiments that are being made.

EDWARD ALBEE, WNBC TV interview, January 9, 1966

0 likes


The drama is not dead but liveth, and contains the germs of better things.

WILLIAM ARCHER, About the Theatre

0 likes

Tags: William Archer


Theatre is not and should not be a literary form of expression. A theatrical celebration can take place anywhere: out of doors, in a garage, in a stable. The problem with avant-garde theatre today is that it is absolutely intellectual. You have to be cerebrally inclined to understand what is going on.

JEROME SAVARY, attributed, Experimental Theatre

0 likes

Tags: Jerome Savary


I think theater ought to be theatrical ... you know, shuffling the pack in different ways so that it's -- there's always some kind of ambush involved in the experience. You're being ambushed by an unexpected word, or by an elephant falling out of the cupboard, whatever it is.

TOM STOPPARD, interview, March 10, 1999

0 likes

Tags: Tom Stoppard


The color, the grace and levitation, the structural pattern in motion, the quick interplay of live beings, suspended like fitful lightning in a cloud, these things are the play, not words on paper, nor thoughts and ideas of an author, those shabby things snatched off basement counters at Gimbel's.

TENNESSEE WILLIAMS, afterword, Camino Real

0 likes

Tags: Tennessee Williams


The art of theatrical story-telling is necessarily relative to the audience to whom the story is to be told. One must assume an audience of a certain status and characteristics before one can rationally discuss the best methods of appealing to its intelligence and its sympathies.

WILLIAM ARCHER, Play-making: A Manual of Craftsmanship

0 likes


From the viewpoint of analytic psychology, the theatre, aside from any aesthetic value, may be considered as an institution for the treatment of the mass complex.

CARL JUNG, Psychology of the Unconscious

0 likes

Tags: Carl Jung


The fixation of the theater in one language--written words, music, lights, noises--betokens its imminent ruin.

ANTONIN ARTAUD, preface, The Theater and Its Double

0 likes


The theater's much the most difficult kind of writing for me, the most naked kind, you're so entirely restricted.... I find myself stuck with these characters who are either sitting or standing, and they've either got to walk out of a door, or come in through a door, and that's about all they can do.

HAROLD PINTER, interview, The Paris Review, fall 1966

0 likes

Tags: Harold Pinter


The theater is the only branch of art much cared for by people of wealth; like canasta, it does away with the bother of talk after dinner.

MARY MCCARTHY, Up the Ladder from Charm to Vogue

0 likes

Tags: Mary McCarthy


Theatre supposes lives that are poor and agitated, a people searching in dreams for a refuge from thought. If we were happier and freer we should not feel hungry for theatre.... A people that is happy and free has need of festivities more than of theatres; it will always see in itself the finest spectacle.

ROMAIN ROLLAND, The People's Theatre

0 likes


What I have always found most beautiful in the theatre, in my childhood, and still today, is lustre--a beautiful object, luminous, crystalline, complex, circular, symmetrical. However, I do not absolutely deny the value of dramatic literature. Only, I should like the actors to be mounted on high pattens, to wear masks more expressive than the human face, and to speak through megaphones.

CHARLES BAUDELAIRE, My Heart Laid Bare

0 likes

Tags: Charles Baudelaire


The condition of the theater is always an accurate measure of the cultural health of a nation. A play always exists in the present tense (if it is a valuable one), and its music -- its special noise -- is always contemporary. The most valuable function of the theater as an art form is to tell us who we are, and the health of the theater is determined by how much of that we want to know.

EDWARD ALBEE, "The Decade of Engagement"

0 likes


A stage play ought to be the point of intersection between the visible and invisible worlds, or, in other words, the display, the manifestation of the hidden.

ARTHUR ADAMOV, La Parodie, L'Invasion

0 likes

Tags: Arthur Adamov


Like all magic cultures expressed by appropriate hieroglyphs, the true theater has its shadows too, and, of all languages and all arts, the theater is the only one left whose shadows have shattered their limitations.

ANTONIN ARTAUD, preface, The Theater and Its Double

0 likes


Questions about political theatre always overlook America's most powerful and effective political theatre, which is always thriving: the American musical. The politics is conservative but, to my mind, effective and insidious.

JOHN LAHR, "Questions for John Lahr", The New Yorker, January 23, 2009

0 likes

Tags: John Lahr


With a play, when the curtain goes up and people are in garbage cans, I know I may admire the idea cerebrally, but it won't mean as much to me. I've seen Beckett, along with many lesser avant-gardists, and many contemporary plays, and I can say yes, that's clever and deep but I don't really care. But when I watch Chekhov or O'Neill--where it's men and women in human, classic crises--that I like.

WOODY ALLEN, The Paris Review, fall 1995

0 likes

Tags: Woody Allen


I am entirely convinced that the drama renounces its chief privilege and glory when it waives its claim to be a popular art, and is content to address itself to coteries, however "high-browed."

WILLIAM ARCHER, Play-making: A Manual of Craftsmanship

0 likes