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.
When you come into the theater, you have to be willing to say, "We're all here to undergo a communion, to find out what the hell is going on in this world." If you're not willing to say that, what you get is entertainment instead of art, and poor entertainment at that.
David Mamet, Three Uses of the Knife
The drama is not dead but liveth, and contains the germs of better things.
William Archer, About the Theatre
Our art is the finest, the noblest, the most suggestive, for it is the synthesis of all the arts. Sculpture, painting, literature, elocution, architecture, and music are its natural tools. But while it needs all of those artistic manifestations in order to be its whole self, it asks of its priest or priestess one indispensable virtue: faith.
The stage is not merely the meeting place of all the arts, but is also the return of art to life.
What I want to give in the theatre is beauty, that’s what I want to give.
Dame Edith Evans
What matters poverty? What matters anything to him who is enamoured of our art? Does he not carry in himself every joy and every beauty?
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.
The pit of a theatre is the one place where the tears of virtuous and wicked men alike are mingled.
Since people no longer attend church, theater remains as the only public service, and literature as the only private devotion.
The fact that there is always more in a work of art - which is the highest result of the embodying imagination - than the producer himself perceived while he produced it, seems to us a strong reason for attributing to it a larger origin than the man alone - for saying at the last, that the inspiration of the Almighty shaped its ends.
George MacDonald, The Imagination: Its Functions and Culture
Lilia: I like to act in plays.
Octavia: Isn't that selfish?
Lilia: I think God likes me to act in plays.
Octavia: But why? To what end?
Lilia: I don't know.
Ron Reed, A Bright Particular Star