Theatre Quotes

Good theater anywhere is good for theater everywhere.

Frank Schneeberger

The truth, the absolute truth, is that the chief beauty for the theatre consists in fine bodily proportions.

Sarah Bernhardt

The primary function of a theater is not to please itself, or even to please its audience. It is to serve talent.

Robert Brustein

Theater is, of course, a reflection of life. Maybe we have to improve life before we can hope to improve theater.

W.R. Inge

The theatre was created to tell people the truth about life and the social situation.

Stella Adler

All of the arts, poetry, music, ritual, the visible arts, the theater, must singly and together create the most comprehensive art of all, a humanized society, and its masterpiece, free man

Bernard Berenson

The best of our theater is standing on tiptoe, striving to see over the shoulders of father and mother. The worst is exploiting and wallowing in the self-pity of adolescence and obsessive keyhole sexuality. The way out, as the poet says, is always through.

Arthur Miller

The most effective moments in the theatre are those that appeal to basic and commonplace emotions--love of woman, love of home, love of country, love of right, anger, jealousy, revenge, ambition, lust, and treachery.


It is remarkable how virtuous and generously disposed everyone is at a play. We uniformly applaud what is right and condemn what is wrong, when it costs us nothing but the sentiment.


It is in the irony of things that the theatre should be the most dangerous place for the actor. But, then, after all, the world is the worst possible place, the most corrupting place, for the human soul. And just as there is no escape from the world, which follows us into the very heart of the desert, so the actor cannot escape the theatre. And the actor who is a dreamer need not. All of us can only strive to remain uncontaminated. In the world we must be unworldly, in the theatre the actor must be untheatrical.

Minnie Maddern Fiske

The theatre, when all is said and done, is not life in miniature, but life enormously magnified, life hideously exaggerated.

H. L. Mencken

It has not been definitively proved that the language of words is the best possible language. And it seems that on the stage, which is above all a space to fill and a place where something happens, the language of words may have to give way before a language of signs whose objective aspect is the one that has the most immediate impact upon us.


If you wish your audience to cry, you must shed tears yourself, but if you wish to make them laugh you must contrive to look as serious as a judge.

Giacomo Casanova

The theatre is the involuntary reflex of the ideas of the crowd.

Sarah Bernhardt

Theater of cruelty means a theater difficult and cruel for myself first of all. And, on the level of performance, it is not the cruelty we can exercise upon each other by hacking at each other's bodies, carving up our personal anatomies, or, like Assyrian emperors, sending parcels of human ears, noses, or neatly detached nostrils through the mail, but the much more terrible and necessary cruelty which things can exercise against us. We are not free. And the sky can still fall on our heads. And the theater has been created to teach us that first of all.

Antonin Artaud

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Updated On : September 23, 2013
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