62 Inspiring Theatre Quotes

  • “All the world’s a stage and most of us are desperately unrehearsed.” – Seán O’Casey
  • “Exit, pursued by a bear.” – William Shakespeare
  • “That’s how we stay young these days: murder and suicide.” – Eugène Ionesco
  • “Theatre is a sacred space for actors. You are responsible; you are in the driving-seat.” – Greta Scacchi
  • Never fear, Brooklyn is here – Newsies
  • “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
  • “Unfinished work invites tampering, while polished, mature work seals its integrity.” – Robert McKee
  • “I’m really very sorry for you all, but it’s an unjust world, and virtue is triumphant only in theatrical performances.” – W.S. Gilbert
  • “Death does not discriminate between the sinners or the saints” – Hamilton
  • “How hard is it, when everything encourages us to sleep, though we may look about us with conscious, clinging eyes, to wake and yet look about us as in a dream, with eyes that no longer know their function and whose gaze is turned inward.” – Antonin Artaud
  • “Happiness was useless to me. It was heartache that filled my purse. What happy man has need of Shakespeare?” – Jennifer Donnelly
  • “Oh if life were made of moments, even now and then a bad one, but if life were only moments then you wouldn’t know you had one.”- Into the Woods
  • “I believe that in a great city, or even in a small city or a village, a great theatre is the outward and visible sign of an inward and probable culture.” – Laurence Olivier
  • “Winfred, never confused efficency with a liver complaint.” – Mary poppins
  • “Acting is a sport. On stage you must be ready to move like a tennis player on his toes. Your concentration must be keen, your reflexes sharp; your body and mind are in top gear, the chase is on. Acting is energy. In the theatre people pay to see energy.” – Clive Swift
  • “Masquerade, paper faces on parade. Masquerade, hide your face so the world will never find you.” – Phantom of the opera
  • “The theatre is certainly a place for learning about the brevity of human glory: oh all those wonderful glittering absolutely vanished pantomime.” –Iris Murdoch
  • “Theatre is the art form of the present: it exists only in the present, and then it’s gone.” – Simon McBurney
  • “A creative and artistic home is what I’ve been looking for in the theatre.” – Kenneth Branagh
  • “The theatre was created to tell people the truth about life and the social situation.” – Stella Adler
  • “Great theatre is about challenging how we think and encouraging us to fantasize about a world we aspire to.” – Willem Dafoe
  • “With theatre, you have to be ready for anything.” – Willem Dafoe
  • “Musical theatre history is littered with bad reviews for now classic pieces.” – Andrew Lloyd Webber
  • “Take me for what I am, who I was meant to be.” – Rent
  • “My real training as an actor was when I started doing theatre.”- Steve Buscemi
  • “Make them laugh, make them cry, and hack to laughter. What do people go to the theatre for? An emotional exercise. I am a servant of the people. I have never forgotten that.” – Mary Pickford
  • “The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.” – Moulin Rouge
  • “Theatre is a series of insurmountable obstacles on the road to imminent disaster.” – Tom Stoppard
  • “Everything happens every night for this audience, and it’s a very special occasion to come to the theatre.” – Roger Rees
  • Then everyone leaves, and you are left, each night, to your own devices with a crowd of interesting people – most of whom you don’t know – sitting in the dark.” – Anna Deavere Smith
  • Actors are all about entrances, but writers are all about exits.” ― Vincent H. O’Neil
  • “If you want to change something by Tuesday, theater is no good. Journalism is what does that. But, if you want to just alter the chemistry of the moral matrix, then theater has a longer half-life.” ― Tom Stoppard
  • “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.” –William Shakespeare
  • “We have freedom of speech, but you got to watch what you say.”- Viola Spolin
  • “It’s time to trust my instincts, close my eyes and leap!” – Wicked
  • “Theatre exists only because it is overwhelming because its acting is astonishing. Where a theatre and its acting are merely ‘good,’ merely ‘correct,’ merely ‘in the proper style,’ theatre dies a slow death.”  – Robert Cohen
  • “Well, we can’t all come and go by bubble!” – Wicked
  • “The theatre, when all is said and done, is not life in miniature, but life enormously magnified, life hideously exaggerated.” – H. L. Mencken
  • “You need three things in the theatre — the play, the actors and the audience, and each must give something.”   -Kenneth Haigh
  • “Wow, you mean the bible is actually a trilogy and the book of mormon is return of the Jedi? I’m interested.” – The book of mormon
  • “Coughing in the theatre is not a respiratory ailment. It is criticism.” – Alan Jay Lerner
  • “The theatre is so endlessly fascinating because it’s so accidental. It’s so much like life.” – Arthur Miller
  • “In the theatre the audience wants to be surprised but by things that they expect.” – Tristan Bernard
  • “Now life has killed the dream I dreamed” – Les Miserables
  • “The theater is a great equalizer: it is the only place where the poor can look down on the rich.”  – Will Rogers
  • “Don’t think you’re funny. It’ll never work if you think you’re funny.”George Abbott
  • “The thing that makes a creative person is to be creative and that is all there is to it.”- Edward Albee
  • “Acting is a matter of giving away secrets.”- Ellen Barkin
  • “Tell me and I’ll forget, show me and I may remember, involve me and I’ll understand.” – Chinese Proverb
  • “Whatever you do kid, always serve it with a little dressing.” – George M. Cohan
  • “To be a character who feels a deep emotion, one must go into the memory’s vault and mix in a sad memory from one’s own life.” -Albert Finney
  • “It is not theatre that is indispensable, but something quite different. To cross the frontiers between you and me.” – Jerzy Grotowski
  • “Actors are the only honest hypocrites.”- William Hazlitt
  • “If you cast wrong, you are in a lot of trouble.” – Paul Mazursky
  • “Drama – what literature does at night.” – George Jean Nathan
  • “The most precious things in speech are pauses.”- Ralph Richardson
  • “The theatre, like the fresco, is art fitted to its place. And therefore it is above all else the human art, the living art.”- Roman Rolland
  • “I want to make the audience laugh and cry within ten seconds, to show just how close those emotions are.” -Neil Simon
  • “A talent for drama is not a talent for writing but is an ability to articulate human relationships.” -Gore Vidal