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Theatrical Quotes

Collected on this page are an interesting collection of theatrical quotes. Some are sage, some are humourous, some are both! Send us your favourites and we will add them to this list (Feedback).

"Theatre director: a person engaged by the management to conceal the fact that the players cannot act." James Agate (British diarist and drama critic)
"My only regret in the theatre is that I could never sit out front and watch me." John Barrymore (Actor)
"Keep it simple. Make a blank face and the music and the story will fill it in." Ingrid Bergman (Actress)
"In the theatre the audience want to be surprised - but by things that they expect." Tristan Bernard (French Playwright)
"For the theatre one needs long arms... an artiste with short arms can never make a fine gesture." Sarah Bernhardt (Legendary French actress)
"An actor's a guy who, if you ain't talking about him, he ain't listening." Marlon Brando (Actor)
"Acting is all about honesty. If you can fake that, you've got it made." George Burns (Comedian and actor)
"Acting is not a state of being ... but a state of appearing to be." Noel Coward (in the Sunday Times).
"Never meddle with play actors, for they're a favored race."
"The most difficult character in comedy is that of the fool, and he must be no simpleton that plays that part."
Miguel De Cervantes Saavedra (author of Don Quixote)
"If a gun is hanging on the wall in the first act, it must fire in the last." Anton Chekhov (Russian author/playwright)
"How hard a thing 'twould be to please you all." William Congreve (English Playwright)
"We can make ourselves actors, but only the audience can make a star." Jose Ferrer (American actor)
"There is that smaller world which is the stage, and that larger stage which is the world." Isaac Goldberg (American journalist and critic)
"You need three things in the theatre - the play, the actors and the audience, and each must give something." Kenneth Haigh (Yorkshire born Actor)
"Actors are the only honest hypocrites." William Hazlitt (English author and critic)
"Acting is the most minor of gifts and not a very high-class way to earn a living. After all, Shirley Temple could do it at the age of four." Katharine Hepburn (Actress)
"All actors are cattle. Actually, all actors are not cattle, but should be treated as such." Alfred Hitchcock (Director)
"When you're a young man, Macbeth is a character part. When you're older, it's a straight part." Sir Laurence Olivier (English actor)
"Acting is merely the art of keeping a large group of people from coughing." Ralph Richardson (Actor)
"As long as more people will pay admission to a theater to see a naked body than to see a naked brain, the drama will languish." George Bernard Shaw
"Every exit is an entry somewhere else." Tom Stoppard (Czech born playwright)
"The only way to see the value of a play is to see it acted." Voltaire (French essayist/philosopher)
"Every actor in his heart believes everything bad that's printed about him." Orson Welles (American actor/writer/director)
"The play was a great success, but the audience was a disaster." Oscar Wilde (English poet and dramatist)
"You can recognise Actors by the glazed look that comes into their eyes when the conversation wanders away from themselves." Michael Wilding (English Actor)

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