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 :: Famous Quotations Topic: Theater (46 Quotations)

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A dramatic experience concerned with the mundane may inform but it cannot release; and one concerned essentially with the aesthetic politics of its creators may divert or anger, but it cannot enlighten.
~ David Mamet

 

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A dramatist is one who believes that the pure event, an action involving human beings, is more arresting than any comment that can be made upon it.
~ Thornton Wilder

 

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A playwright is the litmus paper of the arts. He's got to be, because if he isn't working on the same wave length as the audience, no one would know what in hell he was talking about. He is a kind of psychic journalist, even when he's great.
~ Arthur Miller

 

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A talent for drama is not a talent for writing, but is an ability to articulate human relationships.
~ Gore Vidal

 

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All this class of pleasures inspires me with the same nausea as I feel at the sight of rich plum-cake or sweetmeats; I prefer the driest bread of common life.
~ Sydney Smith

 

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By whatever means it is accomplished, the prime business of a play is to arouse the passions of its audience so that by the route of passion may be opened up new relationships between a man and men, and between men and Man. Drama is akin to the other inventions of man in that it ought to help us to know more, and not merely to spend our feelings.
~ Arthur Miller

 

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Drama assumes an order. If only so that it might have -- by disrupting that order -- a way of surprising.
~ Vaclav Havel

 

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Drama is based on the Mistake. I think someone is my friend when he really is my enemy, that I am free to marry a woman when in fact she is my mother, that this person is a chambermaid when it is a young nobleman in disguise, that this well-dressed young man is rich when he is really a penniless adventurer, or that if I do this such and such a result will follow when in fact it results in something very different. All good drama has two movements, first the making of the mistake, then the discovery that it was a mistake.
~ W. H. Auden

 

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Every now and then, when you're on stage, you hear the best sound a player can hear. It's a sound you can't get in movies or in television. It is the sound of a wonderful, deep silence that means you've hit them where they live.
~ Shelley Winters

 

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Farce is tragedy played at a thousand revolutions per minute.
~ John Mortimer

 

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For my part, I confess I seldom listen to the players: one has so much to do, in looking about and finding out one's acquaintance, that, really, one has no time to mind the stage. One merely comes to meet one's friends, and show that one's alive.
~ Fanny Burney

 

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Good drama must be drastic.
~ Friedrich Schlegel

 

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I had learned to have a perfect nausea for the theatre: the continual repetition of the same words and the same gestures, night after night, and the caprices, the way of looking at life, and the entire rigmarole disgusted me.
~ Isadora Duncan

 

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I just love, I love, I love movies.
~ Laura Dern

 

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I open with a clock striking, to beget an awful attention in the audience -- it also marks the time, which is four o clock in the morning, and saves a description of the rising sun, and a great deal about gilding the eastern hemisphere.
~ Richard Brinsley Sheridan

 

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I submit all my plays to the National Theatre for rejection. To assure myself I am seeing clearly.
~ Howard Barker

 

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I think theatre should always be somewhat suspect.
~ Vaclav Havel

 

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I want to give the audience a hint of a scene. No more than that. Give them too much and they won't contribute anything themselves. Give them just a suggestion and you get them working with you. That's what gives the theater meaning: when it becomes a social act.
~ Orson Welles

 

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I write plays for people who wouldn't be seen dead in the theatre.
~ Barrie Keeffe

 

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If a playwright tried to see eye to eye with everybody, he would get the worst case of strabismus since Hannibal lost an eye trying to count his nineteen elephants during a snowstorm while crossing the Alps.
~ James Thurber

 

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