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: Jerusalem, Hamilton, 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.
Inspiring theatre quotes
1. “There’s no real theatre without taking risks.” — Haris Pasovic
2. “It’s communication – that’s what theatre is all about.” — Chita Rivera
3. “In the end I think theatre has only one subject: justice.” — Edward Bond
4. “Great theatre is about challenging how we think and encouraging us to fantasize about a world we aspire to.” — Willem Dafoe
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
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
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
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
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
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
Thought-provoking theatre quotes
11. “I think there is no world without theatre.” — Edward Bond
12. “Free speech means the right to shout ‘theatre’ in a crowded fire.” — Abbie Hoffman
13. “Good teaching is one-fourth preparation and three-fourths pure theatre.” — Gail Godwin
14. “Movies are a complicated collision of literature, theatre, music and all the visual arts.” — Yahoo Serious
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
16. “A theatre, a literature, an artistic expression that does not speak for its own time has no relevance.” — Dario Fo
17. “Unless the theatre can ennoble you, make you a better person, you should flee from it.” — Constantin Stanislavski
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
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
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
Theatre quotes from famous people
21. “Acting in the theatre is fun; acting in film is work.” — Alec Baldwin
22. “I did ‘Prodigal Son’ at Manhattan Theatre Club.” — Timothee Chalamet
23. “A good film is when the price of the dinner, the theatre admission and the babysitter were worth it.” — Alfred Hitchcock
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 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
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.
What is your favorite theatre production? Do you have any other theatre quotes and sayings to add? You can let us know in the comment section below.
April 8, 2022 7:00 AM EST