Theatre (Greek "theatron"), enjoys the distinction of two spellings: in British English, "theatre" and in American English, "theater". There is no technical distinction between the meanings of the two spellings, however most theatre artists prefer the English spelling because it creates a historical nod to the ancient Greek term theatron. Some also use the American spelling to designate a theatre building and the English term to reference the art itself, as in the "art of theatre." Theatre is that branch of the performing arts concerned with the creation of stories or narratives for (or with) an audience using combinations of acting, speech, gesture, music, dance, object manipulation, sound and spectacle — indeed, any one or more elements of the other performing arts. In addition to standard narrative dialogue style, theatre takes such forms as opera, musicals, ballet, mime, kabuki, classical Indian dance, Chinese opera, mummers' plays, and pantomime.
- A play is fiction - and fiction is fact distilled into truth.
- If you want to help the American theater, don't be an actress, be an audience.
- Any beings who are not devoid of passion to begin with, who are bound by the bond of passion, focus with even more passion on things inspiring passion presented by an actor on stage in the midst of a festival. Any beings who are not devoid of aversion to begin with, who are bound by the bond of aversion, focus with even more aversion on things inspiring aversion presented by an actor on stage in the midst of a festival. Any beings who are not devoid of delusion to begin with, who are bound by the bond of delusion, focus with even more delusion on things inspiring delusion presented by an actor on stage in the midst of a festival. Thus the actor — himself intoxicated & heedless, having made others intoxicated & heedless — with the breakup of the body, after death, is reborn in what is called the hell of laughter.
- Gautama Buddha, Samyutta Nikaya 42.2
- If you have a message, call western union.
- I don't like to be my own audience, I find that being my own audience, being in the audience, makes me self-conscious, basically. So I tune in sometimes, with the sound off, to check it out and I back up to it. In the future I will look at it when some time has passed.
- I love the power of theater. I think it’s an experience you never forget. It’s more powerful than film or television. I know the plays I saw with Al Pacino, American Buffalo, and True West with John Malkovich, I feel like I lived those moments. It becomes a part of your memory and your life in a way that film and TV has a little bit of distance. Also, theater allows you to be much more political; it allows you to be much more who you are. Where did Hamilton happen? It didn’t happen in movies and television, because it couldn’t. “So we’re going to do a historic piece on Hamilton and everyone is going to be black and Latin playing our forefathers.” They would say: “But wait, they didn’t speak hip-hop in the 1700s?” It would’ve never happened! But where did it happen? On Broadway, in the theater.
- John Leguizamo, "John Leguizamo Is Here to Explain Latino History for You", by Patricia Garcia, Vogue, (April 6, 2017)
- Acting is merely the art of keeping a large number of people from coughing.
- The theater is a great equalizer: it is the only place where the poor can look down on the rich.
- All the world's a stage / And all the men and women merely players / They have their exits and their entrances / And one man in his time plays many parts ...
- A playwright is a lay preacher peddling the ideas of his time in popular form.
- We [Christians] renounce all your spectacles, as strongly as we renounce the matters originating them, which we know were conceived of superstition, when we give up the very things which are the basis of their representations. Among us nothing is ever said, or seen, or heard, which has anything in common with the madness of the circus, the immodesty of the theatre, the atrocities of the arena, the useless exercises of the wrestling-ground.
- Tertullian, Apologeticus pro Christianis, Chapter 38
- Know your lines and don't bump into the furniture.
- By increasing the size of the keyhole, today's playwrights are in danger of doing away with the door.
- MARIA: Long live theater...What’s theater?
BERISH: When you do something without doing it, when you say something without saying it, while thinking that you did say, and you did do something—anything—that’s theater.
- Elie Wiesel, The Trial of God (1979), Act I
- The theatre is a place where one has time for the problems of people to whom one would show the door if they came to one's office for a job.
- Quoted in "Tennessee Williams" in Profiles (1990) by Kenneth Tynan (first published as a magazine article in February 1956)