100 Theatre Quotes For Thespians and Theatre Enthusiasts

Theatre fans will tell you there is a bit of magic that comes together with a theatre production—as you will see from these theatre quotes.

Of course, there are also a few quotes from people who aren’t fans (I know, it is hard to imagine).

There are many pieces that go into putting together a theatre production.

There is the imagination required for a good story, casting, lighting, costume, and stage direction.

When each of these comes together flawlessly, the audience has a chance to escape reality for a bit and watch something transpire on the stage in front of them.

Adding music to a theatre production makes it even better!

Of course, I suppose there are people who aren’t fans of musicals…

According to Gaurdian.com, the best theatre productions of the 21st century were: JerusalemHamilton, and The Children.

Theatre has been around longer than the 21st century, though, and its history is fascinating!

Don’t forget to also check out these famous movie quotes from your favorite characters.

If you enjoy this article, check out our most popular quote article, a list of short inspirational quotes for daily motivation.

Browse our entire collection of inspirational quotes for more motivating ideas and concepts.

Inspiring theatre quotes

1. “There’s no real theatre without taking risks.” — Haris Pasovic

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2. “It’s communication – that’s what theatre is all about.” — Chita Rivera

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3. “In the end I think theatre has only one subject: justice.” — Edward Bond

Epic theatre quotes

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4. “Great theatre is about challenging how we think and encouraging us to fantasize about a world we aspire to.” — Willem Dafoe

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5. “I never studied theatre; I learned it by doing it. If I had studied theatre, I would not be making the kind of theatre I am making.” — Robert Wilson

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6. “For the theatre one needs long arms; it is better to have them too long than too short. An artiste with short arms can never, never make a fine gesture.” — Roland Barthes

Other theatre quotes

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7. “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.” — Thornton Wilder

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8. “All the best performers bring to their role something more, something different than what the author put on paper. That’s what makes theatre live. That’s why it persists.” — Stephen Sondheim

Wise theatre quotes

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9. “I can take any empty space and call it a bare stage. A man walks across this empty space whilst someone else is watching him, and this is all that is needed for an act of theatre to be engaged.” — Peter Brook

Short theatre quotes

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10. “That’s the magic of art and the magic of theatre: it has the power to transform an audience, an individual, or en masse, to transform them and give them an epiphanal experience that changes their life, opens their hearts and their minds and the way they think.” — Brian Stokes Mitchell

Funny theatre quotes

Thought-provoking theatre quotes

11. “I think there is no world without theatre.” — Edward Bond

Thought-provoking theatre quotes

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12. “Free speech means the right to shout ‘theatre’ in a crowded fire.” — Abbie Hoffman

Positive theatre quotes

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13. “Good teaching is one-fourth preparation and three-fourths pure theatre.” — Gail Godwin

Motivational theatre quotes

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14. “Movies are a complicated collision of literature, theatre, music and all the visual arts.” — Yahoo Serious

Favorite theatre quotes

15. “The way the world is, I think a silly evening in the theatre is a good thing, to take our minds off terror.” — Tim Curry

Wise and inspirational theatre quotes

16. “A theatre, a literature, an artistic expression that does not speak for its own time has no relevance.” — Dario Fo

Appreciation theatre quotes

17. “Unless the theatre can ennoble you, make you a better person, you should flee from it.” — Constantin Stanislavski

Inspirational theatre quotes

18. “The good die young but not always. The wicked prevail but not consistently. I am confused by life, and I feel safe within the confines of the theatre.” — Helen Hayes

Amazing theatre quotes

19. “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.” — Stella Adler

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Cool theatre quotes

20. “To be a performance artist, you have to hate theatre. Theatre is fake… The knife is not real, the blood is not real, and the emotions are not real. Performance is just the opposite: the knife is real, the blood is real, and the emotions are real.” — Marina Abramovic

Random theatre quotes

Theatre quotes from famous people

21. “Acting in the theatre is fun; acting in film is work.” — Alec Baldwin

Theatre quotes from famous people

22. “I did ‘Prodigal Son’ at Manhattan Theatre Club.” — Timothee Chalamet

Special theatre quotes

23. “A good film is when the price of the dinner, the theatre admission and the babysitter were worth it.” — Alfred Hitchcock

Top theatre quotes

24. “I grew up around the theatre. My mother is an actress. I would fall asleep on tons of theatre chairs. It’s in my blood; it’s in my spirit and my fabric of who I am.” — Alicia Keys

Meaningful theatre quotes

25. “Stage actors are usually much more conscious of speaking up and making sure that everyone can hear in the back of the theatre; a film actor probably thinks of that a little less.” — Clint Eastwood

theatre quotes for Instagram

26. “I used to spend a lot of time at football training, but that time was later spent in amateur acting classes and my local youth theatre, in plays at school and after-school clubs. That filled the void.” — Sam Claflin

theatre quotes and sayings

27. “There is a strange pecking order among actors. Theatre actors look down on film actors, who look down on TV actors. Thank God for reality shows, or we wouldn’t have anybody to look down on.” — George Clooney

theatre quotes to inspire you

28. “My first interest was always music, and somehow that channelled itself into films and acting. I don’t know what the natural transition of it was. I mean I acted a little bit when I was young and like any kid would in a community theatre.” — Andy Garcia

theatre quotes to helping others

29. “My only responsibility as a playwright and a storyteller is to give you the time of your life in the theatre. I just happen to think that with Hamilton’s story, sticking close to the facts helps me. All the most interesting things in the show happened.” — Lin-Manuel Miranda

theatre quotes that will encourage you

30. “With musical theatre, although there are rules, they’re so different to the ones I feel like I have accidentally been ingrained with writing pop music. The main point is to tell the story. You just have to make sure the character’s voice is strong and the storytelling is strong.” — Sara Bareilles

theatre quotes to motivate you

Theatre quotes that are negative

31. “All theatre is absurd.” — Eugene Ionesco

32. “Not once in my life have I done theatre. Being on stage is not my thing.” — Barun Sobti

33. “I feel there’s enough seriousness in the world without seeing it in the theatre.” — Pat Nixon

34. “Going to a theatre and watching yourself on the big screen is a nightmare.” — Keerthy Suresh

35. “As a kid, the theatre always felt a bit like running away to join the circus.” — Robert Sean Leonard

36. “Theatre is a series of insurmountable obstacles on the road to imminent disaster.” — Tom Stoppard

37. “American politics is theatre. There is a frightening emotionalism at national conventions.” — Robert Dallek

38. “I think theatre at its best looks into the dark corners; clearly, my dark corners are full of doom.” — Laura Wade

39. “The pit of a theatre is the one place where the tears of virtuous and wicked men alike are mingled.” — Denis Diderot

40. “One of the things I find very difficult about theatre is the repetition – that something can slide away from your original intentions.” — Ben Whishaw

Theatre quotes that are positive

41. “Musical theatre is my first love.” — Laura Benanti

42. “Theatre is immediate gratification.” — Chita Rivera

43. “I love the theatre and theatre people.” — Cyril Cusack

44. “My main ambitions, really, are in the theatre.” — Romola Garai

45. “My desire was never to put out albums; it was to do musical theatre!” — Kelis

46. “My dream really is just to keep working in film and in theatre.” — Alex Lawther

47. “I come from theatre and I always go back every couple of years.” — Ciaran Hinds

48. “Theatre is a playground. It really is, and we should use that playground more.” — John Tiffany

49. “I like the theatre because you paint with broad strokes. To me the theatre is stretching its definition really far.” — Ajay Naidu

50. “I think I’m always running away from somewhere, and to me, theatre’s always felt like a good place to run away to.” — Abi Morgan

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Theatre Quotes To Ignite Your Interest In Plays

51. “You need three things in the theatre – the play, the actors and the audience, and each must give something.” — Kenneth Haigh

52. “To maintain one’s individuality, integrity, and true personality in the theatre is a big task.” — Cyril Cusack

53. “The theatre, when all is said and done, is not life in miniature, but life enormously magnified, life hideously exaggerated.” — H. L. Mencken

54. “To break through language in order to touch life is to create or re-create the theater.” — Antonin Artaud

55. “Theatre takes place all the time – wherever one is – and art simply facilitates persuading one this is the case.” — John Cage

56. “There are two impulses in theatre: to be frivolous or to make rules.” — Tadashi Suzuki

57. “Good theatre draws the energies out of the place where it is and gives it back as joie de vivre.” — Joan Littlewood

58. “The theater is a great equalizer: it is the only place where the poor can look down on the rich.” — Will Rogers

59. “My plan is to have a theatre in some small town or something and I’ll be manager. Ill be the crazy old movie guy.” — Quentin Tarantino

60. “The theatre is my drug. And my illness is so far advanced that my physic must be of the highest quality.” — John Wilmot

Theater Quotes to Celebrate the Magic of Theater

61. “Theater is the only art form that is truly a community experience. When we’re in a theater, we’re all there together, experiencing the same thing at the same time.” ― Neil Patrick Harris

62. “Theater is a magical place, where anything is possible and where we can explore our deepest desires and fears.” ― Betty Buckley

63. “Theater is a safe place to take risks, where we can try on new ideas and new ways of thinking.” ― Audra McDonald

64. “Theater is a place of discovery, where we can be surprised by the things we learn about ourselves and others.” ― Harold Prince

65. “Theater is a place where we can be whoever we want to be, and it allows us to explore new aspects of ourselves.” ― Stephen Sondheim

66. “Theater is a way of giving form to our dreams, and it allows us to escape from the reality of our lives for a little while.” ― Angela Lansbury

67. “Theater is a collaborative art, and it’s at its best when it feels like a big, warm hug.” ― Lin-Manuel Miranda

68. “Theatre is the perfect place to express our humanity and to delve into what it means to be human.” ― Bernadette Peters

69. “Theater is a place where we can go to see what it would be like to be someone else.” ― James Earl Jones

70. “Theatre is a mirror of life, and sometimes an invitation to dance with life.” ― Uta Hagen

Theatre Quotes that Capture the Magic of the Stage

71. Theatre is the art form that reaches across all barriers, connecting us through stories that resonate with the human soul.” — Helen Mirren

72. “In theatre, we find our humanity – our joys, our sorrows, our struggles – all laid bare on the stage.” — Viola Davis

73. “Theatre is the place where we come together to laugh, to cry, and to be reminded of the extraordinary beauty of the human spirit.” — Meryl Streep

74. “Theatre is the heartbeat of the arts, a place where dreams and reality collide, creating moments of pure magic.” — Lin-Manuel Miranda

75. “A great theatre production has the power to transport us to different worlds and make us see our own world with new eyes.” — Judi Dench

76. Theatre is a living, breathing entity that thrives on the passion and dedication of those who bring stories to life.” — Julie Andrews

77. “Theatre is a celebration of the human spirit, a sanctuary where we can confront our deepest truths and connect with the profound truths of others.” — Glenda Jackson

78. “Theatre is a voyage into the unknown, a thrilling adventure where we navigate the depths of the human experience together, discovering new truths along the way.” — Ian McKellen

79. “In the theatre, we are reminded of our shared humanity, our common struggles, and the unbreakable bonds that connect us all.” — Judi Dench

80.  “Theatre is the art form that allows us to step into someone else’s shoes, to see the world through their eyes, and to understand the complexities of the human soul.” — Viola Davis

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Theatre Quotes and the Power of Performance

81. “In the theatre, we find our voices, tell our stories, and discover the power of empathy that unites us all.” — Meryl Streep

82. “Theatre is the heartbeat of humanity, pulsating with the rhythm of our collective dreams, fears, and aspirations.” — Cate Blanchett

83. “Theatre is where we lay bare our souls and invite the world to take a closer look at our shared human experience.” — Helen Mirren

84. “In the theatre, we are bound together by the invisible threads of emotion, weaving a tapestry of shared moments that last a lifetime.” — Julie Andrews

85. “In the world of theatre, we become the architects of empathy, building bridges of understanding that connect us all.” — Lin-Manuel Miranda

86. “Theatre is a symphony of emotions, where every note played resonates with the hearts of the audience, creating a masterpiece of shared experience.” — Natalie Portman

87. In the theatre, we discover the extraordinary in the ordinary, finding beauty in the mundane moments of life and turning them into timeless art.” — Kenneth Branagh

88. “Theatre is a sanctuary for truth, where masks are shed, and authentic selves emerge, inviting the audience to witness the raw, unfiltered essence of humanity.” — Marion Cotillard

89. “Theatre is the language of the soul, a poetic expression that transcends words and speaks directly to the heart, leaving an everlasting impression on those who listen.” — Lupita Nyong’o

90. “In the theatre, we celebrate the art of transformation, where actors become characters, scenes become worlds, and the audience is transported to places they’ve never been before.” – Ian McKellen

91. “Acting is standing up naked and turning around very slowly.” ― Rosalind Russell

92. “The most difficult character in comedy is that of the fool, and he must be no simpleton that plays that part.” ― Miguel de Cervantes

93. “Acting is half shame, half glory. Shame at exhibiting yourself, glory when you can forget yourself.” ― John Gielgud

94. “An actor is at his best a kind of unfrocked priest who, for an hour or two, can call on heaven and hell to mesmerize a group of innocents.” ― Alec Guinness

95. The basic essential of a great actor is that he loves himself in acting.” ― Charlie Chaplin

96. “An actor must interpret life, and in order to do so he must be willing to accept all experiences that life can offer.” ― Marlon Brando

97. “The truth of ourselves is the root of our acting.” ― Sanford Meisner

98. “When you are in a good theatre show, it is a wonderful and very fulfilling experience, entertaining a large audience and their showing their appreciation for your efforts.” ― Joel Grey

99. When you stand and share your story in an empowering way, your story will heal you and your story will heal somebody else.” ― Iyanla Vanzant

100. “In my plays I want to look at life at the commonplace of existence as if we had just turned a corner and run into it for the first time.” ― Christopher Fry

The history of theatre

People have been enjoying theatre since the 6th century when Ancient Greeks began performing dramatic presentations.

In fact, the followers of Dionysus are credited with the birth of theatre—based on their worship rituals.

A priest of Dionysus, named Thespis, engaged in a dialogue with the chorus.

Prior to the addition of dialogue, followers would sing and dance while retelling Greek myths.

He is considered the first actor, which is why Western actors are called Thespians.

Rome soon followed with its own form of theatre.

However, after the fall of Rome and the centuries of upheaval in Europe, theatre essentially disappeared.

However, in the late 10th century, the Christian churches help the theatre make a comeback by introducing dramatic effects in the Easter liturgy.

Japanese theatre also develops more in the 14th century.

Italy and Spain continue to perfect theatre, and soon the London era of theatre is upon us.

During the years 1576-1599, several theatres are built, and the first Shakespearean play is performed.

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What is your favorite theatre production?

Do you have any other theatre quotes and sayings to add?

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