Playwright Quotes

 All programmers are playwrights and all computers are lousy actors. 
Author: Anonymous
Nationality:    
 People with honorary awards are looked upon with disfavor. Would you let an honorary mechanic fix your brand-new Mercedes? 
Author: Neil Simon
Nationality: American
b. 04 July 1927
  
 The playwright is one of the audience who happens to know how to speak. 
Author: Arthur Miller
Nationality: American
b. 17 October 1915  - d. 10 February 2005
  
 You cannot catch a child's spirit by running after it; you must stand still and for love it will soon itself return. 
Author: Arthur Miller
Nationality: American
b. 17 October 1915  - d. 10 February 2005
  
 I fell into playwriting accidentally, took some classes in it, and also took creative writing classes, but I really didn't expect it to be a career because I didn't believe there was a way to make money as a playwright without being lucky and I didn't feel particularly lucky. 
Author: Orson Scott Card
Nationality: American
b. 24 August 1951
  
 By increasing the size of the keyhole, today's playwrights are in danger of doing away with the door. 
Author: Peter Ustinov
Nationality: English
b. 16 April 1921  - d. 28 March 2004
  
 Playwrights are like men who have been dining for a month in an Indian restaurant. After eating curry night after night, they deny the existence of asparagus 
Author: Peter Ustinov
Nationality: English
b. 16 April 1921  - d. 28 March 2004
  
 The ideas of the great playwrights are almost always larger than the experiences of even the best actors. 
Author: Stella Adler
Nationality: American
b. 10 February 1901  - d. 21 December 1992
  
 I thought I wanted to be a playwright because I was interested in stories and telling stories. 
Author: Francis Ford Coppola
Nationality: American
b. 7 April 1939
  
 All playwrights should be dead for three hundred years. 
Author: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Nationality: American
b. 11 February 1909  - d. 5 February 1993
  
 One does not go to the theater to see life and nature; one goes to see the particular way in which life and nature happen to look to a cultivated, imaginative and entertaining man who happens, in turn, to be a playwright 
Author: George Jean Nathan
Nationality: American
b. 14 February 1882  - d. 8 April 1958
  
 An actor without a playwright is like a hole without a doughnut. 
Author: George Jean Nathan
Nationality: American
b. 14 February 1882  - d. 8 April 1958
  
 I have made more friends for American culture than the State Department. Certainly I have made fewer enemies, but that isn't very difficult. 
Author: Arthur Miller
Nationality: American
b. 17 October 1915  - d. 10 February 2005
  
 I know that my works are a credit to this nation and I dare say they will endure longer than the McCarran Act. 
Author: Arthur Miller
Nationality: American
b. 17 October 1915  - d. 10 February 2005
  
 The structure of a play is always the story of how the birds came home to roost. 
Author: Arthur Miller
Nationality: American
b. 17 October 1915  - d. 10 February 2005
  
 The closer a man approaches tragedy the more intense is his concentration of emotion upon the fixed point of his commitment, which is to say the closer he approaches what in life we call fanaticism. 
Author: Arthur Miller
Nationality: American
b. 17 October 1915  - d. 10 February 2005
  
 My conception of the audience is of a public each member of which is carrying about with him what he thinks is an anxiety, or a hope, or a preoccupation which is his alone and isolates him from mankind; and in this respect at least the function of a play is to reveal him to himself so that he may touch others by virtue of the revelation of his mutuality with them. If only for this reason I regard the theater as a serious business, one that makes or should make man more human, which is to say, less alone. 
Author: Arthur Miller
Nationality: American
b. 17 October 1915  - d. 10 February 2005
  
 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. 
Author: Arthur Miller
Nationality: American
b. 17 October 1915  - d. 10 February 2005
  
 I cannot write anything that I understand too well. If I know what something means to me, if I have already come to the end of it as an experience, I can't write it because it seems a twice-told tale. I have to astonish myself, and that of course is a very costly way of going about things, because you can go up a dead end and discover that it's beyond your capacity to discover some organism underneath your feeling, and you're left simply with a formless feeling which is not itself art. Its inexpressible and one must leave it until it is hardened and becomes something that has form and has some possibility of being communicated. It might take a year or two or three or four to emerge. 
Author: Arthur Miller
Nationality: American
b. 17 October 1915  - d. 10 February 2005
  
 A play is made by sensing how the forces in life simulate ignorance - you set free the concealed irony, the deadly joke. 
Author: Arthur Miller
Nationality: American
b. 17 October 1915  - d. 10 February 2005
  
 A good newspaper, I suppose, is a nation talking to itself. 
Author: Arthur Miller
Nationality: American
b. 17 October 1915  - d. 10 February 2005
  
 The best of our theater is standing on tiptoe, striving to see over the shoulders of father and mother. The worst is exploiting and wallowing in the self-pity of adolescence and obsessive keyhole sexuality. The way out, as the poet says, is always through. 
Author: Arthur Miller
Nationality: American
b. 17 October 1915  - d. 10 February 2005
  
 I think now that the great thing is not so much the formulation of an answer for myself, for the theater, or the play - but rather the most accurate possible statement of the problem. 
Author: Arthur Miller
Nationality: American
b. 17 October 1915  - d. 10 February 2005
  
 The job is to ask questions - it always was - and to ask them as inexorably as I can. And to face the absence of precise answers with a certain humility. 
Author: Arthur Miller
Nationality: American
b. 17 October 1915  - d. 10 February 2005
  
 It is always and forever the same struggle: to perceive somehow our own complicity with evil is a horror not to be borne. ... much more reassuring to see the world in terms of totally innocent victims and totally evil instigators of the monstrous violence we see all about us. At all costs, never disturb our innocence. But what is the most innocent place in any country? Is it not the insane asylum? These people drift through life truly innocent, unable to see into themselves at all. The perfection of innocence, indeed, is madness. 
Author: Arthur Miller
Nationality: American
b. 17 October 1915  - d. 10 February 2005
  
 The apple cannot be stuck back on the Tree of Knowledge; once we begin to see, we are doomed and challenged to seek the strength to see more, not less. 
Author: Arthur Miller
Nationality: American
b. 17 October 1915  - d. 10 February 2005
  
 Certainly the most diverse, if minor, pastime of literary life is the game of Find the Author. 
Author: Arthur Miller
Nationality: American
b. 17 October 1915  - d. 10 February 2005
  
 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. 
Author: Arthur Miller
Nationality: American
b. 17 October 1915  - d. 10 February 2005
  
 If you complain of people being shot down in the streets, of the absence of communication or social responsibility, of the rise of everyday violence which people have become accustomed to, and the dehumanization of feelings, then the ultimate development on an organized social level is the concentration camp... The concentration camp is the final expression of human separateness and its ultimate consequence. It is organized abandonment. 
Author: Arthur Miller
Nationality: American
b. 17 October 1915  - d. 10 February 2005
  
 You specialize in something until one day you find it is specializing in you. 
Author: Arthur Miller
Nationality: American
b. 17 October 1915  - d. 10 February 2005
  
 When irrational terror takes to itself the fiat of moral goodness somebody has to die. No man lives who has not got a panic button, and when it is pressed by the clean white hand of moral duty, a certain murderous train is set in motion. 
Author: Arthur Miller
Nationality: American
b. 17 October 1915  - d. 10 February 2005
  
 The task of the real intellectual consists of analyzing illusions in order to discover their causes. 
Author: Arthur Miller
Nationality: American
b. 17 October 1915  - d. 10 February 2005
  
 I understand his longing for immortality. Willy's writing his name in a cake of ice on a hot day, but he wishes he were writing in stone. 
Author: Arthur Miller
Nationality: American
b. 17 October 1915  - d. 10 February 2005
  
 He wants to live on through something - and in his case, his masterpiece is his son all of us want that, and it gets more poignant as we get more anonymous in this world. 
Author: Arthur Miller
Nationality: American
b. 17 October 1915  - d. 10 February 2005
  
 The theater is so endlessly fascinating because it's so accidental. It's so much like life. 
Author: Arthur Miller
Nationality: American
b. 17 October 1915  - d. 10 February 2005
  
 The number of elements that have to go into a hit would break a computer down the right season for that play, the right historical moment, the right tonality. 
Author: Arthur Miller
Nationality: American
b. 17 October 1915  - d. 10 February 2005
  
 In the theater, while you recognized that you were looking at a house, it was a house in quotation marks on screen, the quotation marks tend to be blotted out by the camera. The problem was to sustain at any cost the feeling you had in the theater that you were watching a real person, yes, but an intense condensation of his experience, not simply a realistic series of episodes. It isn't easy to do in the theater, but it's twice as hard in film. 
Author: Arthur Miller
Nationality: American
b. 17 October 1915  - d. 10 February 2005
  
 If I see an ending, I can work backward. 
Author: Arthur Miller
Nationality: American
b. 17 October 1915  - d. 10 February 2005
  
 A playwright lives in an occupied country. And if you can't live that way you don't stay. 
Author: Arthur Miller
Nationality: American
b. 17 October 1915  - d. 10 February 2005
  
 Well, all the plays that I was trying to write were plays that would grab an audience by the throat and not release them, rather than presenting an emotion which you could observe and walk away from. 
Author: Arthur Miller
Nationality: American
b. 17 October 1915  - d. 10 February 2005
  
 I figure I've done what I could do, more or less, and now I'm going back to being a chemical; all we are is a lot of talking nitrogen, you know. 
Author: Arthur Miller
Nationality: American
b. 17 October 1915  - d. 10 February 2005
  
 The Crucible became by far my most frequently produced play, both abroad and at home. Its meaning is somewhat different in different places and moments. I can almost tell what the political situation in a country is when the play is suddenly a hit there - it is either a warning of tyranny on the way or a reminder of tyranny just past. 
Author: Arthur Miller
Nationality: American
b. 17 October 1915  - d. 10 February 2005
  
 My argument with so much of psychoanalysis, is the preconception that suffering is a mistake, or a sign of weakness, or a sign even of illness, when in fact, possibly the greatest truths we know have come out of people's suffering; that the problem is not to undo suffering or to wipe it off the face of the earth but to make it inform our lives, instead of trying to cure ourselves of it constantly and avoid it, and avoid anything but that lobotomized sense of what they call "happiness." There's too much of an attempt, it seems to me, to think in terms of controlling man, rather than freeing him. Of defining him rather than letting him go. It's part of the whole ideology of this age, which is power-mad. 
Author: Arthur Miller
Nationality: American
b. 17 October 1915  - d. 10 February 2005
  
 I was very moved by that play once again when the Royal Shakespeare Company did a production that toured the cathedrals of England. Then they took it to Poland and performed it in the cathedrals there, too. The actors said it changed their lives. Officials wept; they were speechless after the play, and everyone knew why. It was because they had to enforce the kind of repression the play was attacking. That made me prouder than anything I ever did in my life. The mission of the theater, after all, is to change, to raise the consciousness of people to their human possibilities. 
Author: Arthur Miller
Nationality: American
b. 17 October 1915  - d. 10 February 2005
  
 If I have any justification for having lived it's simply, I'm nothing but faults, failures and so on, but I have tried to make a good pair of shoes. There's some value in that. 
Author: Arthur Miller
Nationality: American
b. 17 October 1915  - d. 10 February 2005
  
 Without alienation, there can be no politics. 
Author: Arthur Miller
Nationality: American
b. 17 October 1915  - d. 10 February 2005
  
 I'm the end of the line; absurd and appalling as it may seem, serious New York theater has died in my lifetime. 
Author: Arthur Miller
Nationality: American
b. 17 October 1915  - d. 10 February 2005
  
 That is a very good question. I don't know the answer. But can you tell me the name of a classical Greek shoemaker? His reply to a shoe manufacturer who had asked why Miller's job should be subsidized when his was not, as recounted at a London press conference. 
Author: Arthur Miller
Nationality: American
b. 17 October 1915  - d. 10 February 2005
  
 Few of us can easily surrender our belief that society must somehow make sense. The thought that the state has lost its mind and is punishing so many innocent people is intolerable. And so the evidence has to be internally denied. 
Author: Arthur Miller
Nationality: American
b. 17 October 1915  - d. 10 February 2005
  
 An era can be said to end when its basic illusions are exhausted. 
Author: Arthur Miller
Nationality: American
b. 17 October 1915  - d. 10 February 2005
  
 I'm a fatalist. I consider I am rejected in principle. My work is, and, through my work, I am. If it's accepted, it's miraculous or the result of a misunderstanding. 
Author: Arthur Miller
Nationality: American
b. 17 October 1915  - d. 10 February 2005
  
 I don't know a critic who penetrates the center of anything. 
Author: Arthur Miller
Nationality: American
b. 17 October 1915  - d. 10 February 2005
  
 Don't be seduced into thinking that that which does not make a profit is without value. 
Author: Arthur Miller
Nationality: American
b. 17 October 1915  - d. 10 February 2005
  
 In this age few tragedies are written. It has often been held that the lack is due to a paucity of heroes among us, or else that modern man has had the blood drawn out of his organs of belief by the skepticism of science, and the heroic attack on life cannot feed on an attitude of reserve and circumspection. For one reason or another, we are often held to be below tragedy — or tragedy above us. 
Author: Arthur Miller
Nationality: American
b. 17 October 1915  - d. 10 February 2005
  
 I think the tragic feeling is evoked in us when we are in the presence of a character who is ready to lay down his life, if need be, to secure one thing — his sense of personal dignity. From Orestes to Hamlet, Medea to Macbeth, the underlying struggle is that of the individual attempting to gain his "rightful" position in his society. Sometimes he is one who has been displaced from it, sometimes one who seeks t attain it for the first time, but the fateful wound from which the inevitable events spiral is the wound of indignity and its dominant force is indignation. Tragedy, then, is the consequence of a man's total compulsion to evaluate himself justly. 
Author: Arthur Miller
Nationality: American
b. 17 October 1915  - d. 10 February 2005
  
 Only the passive, only those who accept their lot without active retaliation, are "flawless." Most of us are in that category. But there are among us today, as there always have been, those who act against the scheme of things that degrades them, and in the process of action everything we have accepted out of fear of insensitivity or ignorance is shaken before us and examined, and from this total onslaught by an individual against the seemingly stable cosmos surrounding us — from this total examination of the "unchangeable" environment — comes the terror and the fear that is classically associated with tragedy. More important, from this total questioning of what has previously been unquestioned, we learn. 
Author: Arthur Miller
Nationality: American
b. 17 October 1915  - d. 10 February 2005
  
 The tragic right is a condition of life, a condition in which the human personality is able to flower and realize itself. The wrong is the condition which suppresses man, perverts the flowing out of his love and creative instinct. Tragedy enlightens - and it must, in that it points the heroic finger at the enemy of man's freedom. The thrust for freedom is the quality in tragedy which exalts. The revolutionary questioning of the stable environment is what terrifies. 
Author: Arthur Miller
Nationality: American
b. 17 October 1915  - d. 10 February 2005
  
 Above all else, tragedy requires the finest appreciation by the writer of cause and effect. No tragedy can therefore come about when its author fears to question absolutely everything, when he regards any institution, habit or custom as being either everlasting, immutable or inevitable. In the tragic view the need of man to wholly realize himself is the only fixed star, and whatever it is that hedges his nature and lowers it is ripe for attack and examination. 
Author: Arthur Miller
Nationality: American
b. 17 October 1915  - d. 10 February 2005
  
 There is a misconception of tragedy with which I have been struck in review after review, and in many conversations with writers and readers alike. It is the idea that tragedy is of necessity allied to pessimism. Even the dictionary says nothing more about the word than that it means a story with a sad or unhappy ending. This impression is so firmly fixed that I almost hesitate to claim that in truth tragedy implies more optimism in its author than does comedy, and that its final result ought to be the reinforcement of the onlooker's brightest opinions of the human animal. For, if it is true to say that in essence the tragic hero is intent upon claiming his whole due as a personality, and if this struggle must be total and without reservation, then it automatically demonstrates the indestructible will of man to achieve his humanity. 
Author: Arthur Miller
Nationality: American
b. 17 October 1915  - d. 10 February 2005
  
 The possibility of victory must be there in tragedy. Where pathos rules, where pathos is finally derived, a character has fought a battle he could not possibly have won. The pathetic is achieved when the protagonist is, by virtue of his witlessness, his insensitivity, or the very air he gives off, incapable of grappling with a much superior force. Pathos truly is the mode for the pessimist. But tragedy requires a nicer balance between what is possible and what is impossible. And it is curious, although edifying, that the plays we revere, century after century, are the tragedies. In them, and in them alone, lies the belief - optimistic, if you will, in the perfectibility of man. It is time, I think, that we who are without kings, took up this bright thread of our history and followed it to the only place it can possibly lead in our time - the heart and spirit of the average man. 
Author: Arthur Miller
Nationality: American
b. 17 October 1915  - d. 10 February 2005
  
 Take care of him. And make him feel important. And if you can do that, you'll have a happy and wonderful marriage…Like two out of every ten couples. 
Author: Neil Simon
Nationality: American
b. 04 July 1927
  
 And so she lived…hopefully…ever after. 
Author: Neil Simon
Nationality: American
b. 04 July 1927
  
 Money brings some happiness. But after a certain point, it just brings more money. 
Author: Neil Simon
Nationality: American
b. 04 July 1927
  
 You're welcome to take a bath. You look like the second week of the garbage strike. 
Author: Neil Simon
Nationality: American
b. 04 July 1927
  
 There are two million interesting people in New York and only seventy-eight in Los Angeles. 
Author: Neil Simon
Nationality: American
b. 04 July 1927
  
 Everyone thinks they can write a play; you just write down what happened to you. But the art of it is drawing from all the moments of your life. 
Author: Neil Simon
Nationality: American
b. 04 July 1927
  
 If you can go through life without ever experiencing pain you probably haven't been born yet. And if you've gone through pain and think you know exactly why, you haven't examined all the options. 
Author: Neil Simon
Nationality: American
b. 04 July 1927
  




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