Top 113 Quotes & Sayings by Famous Theatre Directors

Explore popular quotes by famous theatre directors.
I tell stories through dance, and I think that's why I'm so attracted to the theatre because even the choreography in theatre moves the plot forward at all times.
When you have an empty mind, you are prepared for the next thing that happens. It's like to be part of a spiritual practice for me simply means that you are there now. Not waiting for the next moment, or not living in the moment before, but you're there now. And it's there now which can only be really breathed and lived if the mind is empty enough to receive it.
I've got Tom Hiddleston playing Henry V. I don't want to have a bowl haircut. I want him looking good so, you know, I want him in delicious kind of tight fitting leather jackets. [] I don't want him in tights, so he got nice leather trousers in mine.
Do not wait for enough time or money to accomplish what you think you have in mind. Work with what you have right now. Work with the people around you right now…. Do not wait for what you assume is the appropriate, stress-free environment in which to generate expression…. Do not wait till you are sure that you know what you are doing…. What you do now, what you make of your present circumstances, will determine the quality and scope of your future endeavors.
The important thing is to use the role as a trampoline, a chance to study and play with what is behind our masks. Creativity, especially where acting is concerned, Is boundless sincerity, yet disciplined.
It has been said that the myth is a public dream, dreams are private myths. Unfortunately we give our mythic side scant attention these days. As a result, a great deal escapes us and we no longer understand our own actions. So it remains important and salutary to speak not only of the rational and easily understood, but also of enigmatic things: the irrational and the ambiguous. To speak both privately and publicly.
The stage is life, music, beautiful girls, legs, breasts, not talk or intellectualism or dried-up academics. — © Harold Clurman
The stage is life, music, beautiful girls, legs, breasts, not talk or intellectualism or dried-up academics.
You are not just anyone. One day, you're going to have to make a choice. You have to decide what kind of man you want to grow up to be. Whoever that man is, good character or bad, it's going to change the world.
Good theatre draws the energies out of the place where it is and gives it back as joie de vivre.
My real pleasure is that 4 times a week 1,800 people are standing up and shouting on Broadway for an author who died hundreds of years ago.
The interviewer always learns something new from the interviewee. It opens up your mind to new ideas and the vast multiplicity of human experience.
There are always things that you see that are pretty tough, sure. But what keeps you going is when you see people rise above toughness and rise above really hard conditions, and make something of it.
It's a morbid observation, but if every one on earth just stopped breathing for an hour, the greenhouse effect would no longer be a problem.
I want to burn with the spirit of the times. I want all servants of the stage to recognize their lofty destiny. I am disturbed at my comrades' failure to rise above narrow caste interests which are alien to the interests of society at large. Yes, the theatre can play an enormous part in the transformation of the whole of existence.
Policy is the people you work with.
I'm convinced that theatre is a horrible business. Make this the headline. You have to be on the spot every night as an actor. You are damn lonesome standing out there.
There are two impulses in theatre: to be frivolous or to make rules. — © Tadashi Suzuki
There are two impulses in theatre: to be frivolous or to make rules.
The [Great] Actor is able to approach in himself a cosmic dread as large as life. He is able to go from his dread to a joy so sweet that it is without limit. Only then will the actor have direct access to the life that moves in him, which is as free as his breathing. And like his breathing, he doesn't cause it to happen. He doesn't contain it, and it doesn't contain him.
Potential is an excuse to procrastinate; Ambition is a means to thrive.
Some playwrights are obvious influences on younger writers. Arthur Miller (realistic, politically engaged dramas) and Christopher Durang (satirical dark comedies) are examples. But August stands apart, ... He has his special way of seeing things. I remember he and I were at one of those fancy benefits the Rep has. The gay men's chorus was singing, and I was very proud to have brought them into a Rep event. And August says, 'You know, I don't see any black people up there.' That was his focus the lives of black people.
It is true that I visualize music and, as I visualize music, I have some sort of story running in my head, all the time.
Our contention has always been that Shakespeare is our greatest living author. If he can survive a season on Broadway, he must be.
I spent a month in India and where I learnt an important word for me, for everything that had come before and after, and the was the word 'seva' - the work you do without wanting reward, simply for the work itself, for the spiritual, for the practice and the experience it gives you by doing that work. I began to realise it was something I was searching for all my life, that I was doing theatre not for myself but for something for a search, for a seeking for something that is behind that, to find a truth somewhere about us.
Choose what you want to do – or watch someone else doing it. Learn how to handle tools, paint, babies, machinery, or just listen to your favourite tune. Dance, talk or be lifted up to where you can see how other people make things work. Sit out over space with a drink and tune in to what's happening elsewhere in the city. Try starting a riot or beginning a painting – or just lie back and stare at the sky.
When Shakespeare doesn't feel like Shakespeare, it's the best.
A gym for the soul is a place where personal investment is required and the return is real.
I feel the theatre is the most unique one of all [the arts] for collaboration. I feel very fortunate to be in a field where I really do get to have long conversations with the visual artists, the actors, the musicians. It's all art forms rolled into one and I feel very fortunate to be a part of it.
A: The soul wanders in the dark, until it finds love. And so, wherever our love goes, there we find our soul. Q: It always happens? A: If we're lucky. And if we let ourselves be blind. Q: Instead of watching out? A: Instead of always watching out.
It is easy to coast through life rather than find the will to continually reach out into the world. To reach out is to risk. There is little grace in a life that never extends out beyond the boundaries of self
Even when I rehearse down in the bowels of the Metropolitan Opera, you can't help but think why The Phantom of the Opera was inspired by what happens in the bowels of the opera house.
I always say that you can't be afraid to ask the question. What's the worst that could happen? The answer could be "no" and you go on.
Norman Rockwell, the Brueghel of the 20th century bourgeoisie, the Holbein of Jell-O ads and magazine covers; by common assent, the most American artist of all.
Art is violent. To be decisive is violent. ... To place a chair at a partial angle on the stage destroys every other possible choice, every other option.
I am a storyteller, and I grew up with a father who told big-fish stories, so storytelling is very much a part of me. It was a part of my family.
If beer got any lighter you could raise goldfish in it.
My mother and my father had very, very strong Scots accents. We were Australian, and in those days when I was young, I spoke with a much more of an Australian accent than I have now. However I knew that if I went to England to become an actor, which I was determined to, I knew that I had to get rid of the Australian accent. We were colonials, we were Down Under somewhere, we were those little people Over There. But I was determined to become an Englishman. So I did.
People grow and change and develop through their experiences, so ultimately you have to go with what's in the room - the feeling you get from them and what the camera picks up.
If we don't get lost, we'll never find a new route.
I think theatres will always remain a sacred place where people go for something live and experience things live, which is very different than the experience of film.
We may pretend we are basically moral people who make mistakes, but the whole of history proves otherwise.
Let me die still loving, and so, never die.
Unlike other people, our reviewers are powerful because they believe in nothing. — © Harold Clurman
Unlike other people, our reviewers are powerful because they believe in nothing.
I'm drawn to very large texts that are mammothly popular in different parts of the world but are almost unknown here [the USA]. They're safe bets; if they've been around for 2,000 years, there's a reason. It's often a title or just a phrase within the text that will compel me to adapt it.
I love wandering. It's liberating to throw away the map and explore uncharted galleries. You'll nearly always stumble into something immensely interesting that way.
World is full of followers and leaders, and I think that if one can become both and be both, to follow in order to lead, and to lead in order to follow, then I think you're on the right path.
I never really felt aware of my gender, being a woman, and whether that was in my favor or not. Because there's nothing I can do about that. I'm also really grateful to my parents for having brought me up to feel that equality is just something you take for granted. I hope that our generation will really change that. I think there's a long way to go.
You cannot hide; your growth as an artist is not separate from your growth as a human being: it is all visible.
I think that in fact by taking on the persona of a human being, you begin to realise that it is all ego, and that beneath that ego is something else, and that something else is a tranquil, nonentity, that we are simply drops of the sea, that we belong to each other.
The inter-relationships between people have always fascinated me, as a director. And particularly those who are battlers in life, those who are on the fringes of life, they've always fascinated me, and I've always loved working on those characters.
The word 'ego' is very important. The ego is an important element of being human, and of being creative. We need that ego in order to give us a confidence of doing what we're doing. Ego pushes us into the creative world in order to create for something more. I think that a great company of actors, they all have egos, very strong egos, but they're all prepared to share together in order to achieve something even better than that.
An actor and a [theatre] director are both what I would call interpreters of work. We interpret a work, just as a musician will interpret a composer's work, we interpret the work of a playwright. We are servants of the theatre and I've always believed that. We must serve what has been written, that's what we're there for.
We like t'believe that everything's got an explanation...that our years on this earth make a safe kinda sense. We build ourselves up with explantions and rationalizations t'make us nice and comfortable--an' some people manage t'get through their lives without ever having to question any of it. But I think most of us have learned that...just when we least expect it...something comes droppin' down out o' the heavens...that blows all our comfortable ideas right t'pieces.
The soul wanders in the dark, until it finds love. And so, wherever our love goes, there we find our soul. — © Mary Zimmerman
The soul wanders in the dark, until it finds love. And so, wherever our love goes, there we find our soul.
My father was very funny, so I grew up with humor in the house. And I was always really attracted to comedies on TV. I was always really attracted to comics.
It is not theatre that is indispensable, but something quite different. To cross the frontiers between you and me.
One of the things that you never realise while you are young is that things do come to an end.
There's nothing like a great piece of theater - a great performance in a great piece of theater.
I think, though, the biggest heroes in my life would have been both my mother and father. My father because he was very brave and a kid from the Depression. And my mother, a child from the Depression too, who always remained so lovely her whole life.
Intimate or drastic elements in the work of others are untouchable and should not be commented upon even in their absence. Private conflicts, quarrels, sentiments, animosities are unavoidable in any human group. It is our duty towards creation to keep these in check in so far as they might deform and wreck the work process.
You don't do any show to be celebrated. In fact, you don't do any show thinking what's going to happen in the end. You immerse yourself in a room full of talent and a room full of designers and you hope for the best.
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