American Playwright and Theatre Director
American Playwright and Theatre Director
It was possible in this wonderful city for that nameless little boy -for any of its millions- to have a decent chance to scale the walls and achieve what they wished. Wealth, rank or an imposing name counted for nothing. The only credential the city asked was the boldness to dream. For those who did, it unlocked its gates and its treasures, not caring who they were or where they came from.
Without vanity a writer's work is tepid, and he must accept his vanity as part of his stock in trade and live with it as one of the hazards of his profession.
Nobody bores any man as much as an unhappy female.
Writers, actors, and prostitutes all face the same fundamental economic problem: they are competing with amateurs who are pretty good and will work for nothing.
One begins with two people on a stage, and one of them had better say something pretty damn quick.
One of the grave dangers inherent in the various stages of any theatrical career-whether it be budding, quiescent or diminishing-is the advice of friends.
Playwriting, like begging in India, is an honorable but humbling profession.
Poor people know poor people, and rich people know rich people. It is one of the few things La Rochefoucauld did not say, but then La Rochefoucauld never lived in the Bronx.
Quiet, everybody! Quiet! Well, Sir, we've been getting along pretty good for quite a while now, and we're certainly much obliged. Remember, all we ask is to just go along and be happy in our own sort of way. Of course we want to keep our health but as far as anything else is concerned, we'll leave it to You. Thank You.
A sharp sense of the ironic can be the equivalent of the faith that moves mountains. Far more quicky than reason or logic, irony can penetrate rage and puncture self-pity.
Self-deception is sometimes as necessary a tool as a crowbar.
A too constant preoccupation with money may seem to indicate the lack of a proper sense of moral values, but [let] those who have always had money . . . be without it for a while, and they will soon discover how quickly it becomes their chief concern.
So far as I know, anything worth hearing is not usually uttered at seven o'clock in the morning; and if it is, it will generally be repeated at a more reasonable hour for a larger and more wakeful audience.
All the mistakes I ever made were when I wanted to say 'No' and said 'Yes'.
The frivolity with which all theatrical activity is conducted has one consoling feature-there are no rules of behavior that apply regularly to any part of the theatre.
Boredom is the keynote of poverty -- of all its indignities, it is perhaps the hardest of all to live with -- for where there is no money there is no change of any kind.
The only credential the city [New York] asked was the boldness to dream. For those who did, it unlocked its gates and its treasures, not caring who they were or where they came from.
Charity in the theater begins and ends with those who have a play opening within a week of one's own.
The self-hatred that destroys is the waste of unfulfilled promise.
Charity in the theatre usually begins and ends with people who have a play opening the week following one's own. Their unlikely benevolence is not so much a purity of heart as the knowledge that they face a firing line with rifles aimed in exactly the same direction.
The theatre breeds its own kind of cruelty, and its sadism takes on a keener edge since it can be enjoyed under the innocent guise of critical judgment.
How many of us would be willing to settle when we're young for what we eventually get? All those plans we make...what happens to them? It's only a handful of the lucky ones that can look back and say that they even came close.
There is nothing like tasting the grit of fear for rediscovering that the umbilical cord is made of piano wire.
I have a pet theory of my own, probably invalid, that the theatre is an inevitable refuge of the unhappy child. Like most pet theories, this one also contains the fallacy of too broad a generalization. But certainly the first retreat a child makes to alleviate his unhappiness is to contrive a world of his own, and it is but a small step out of his private world into the fantasy world of the theatre?.Here on a brightly lit stage, before a hushed and admiring audience, are people doing the very things he has played out in his fantasies: assuming heroic or villainous guises, bathing in the applause and love of a hitherto hostile world.
There is nothing that one can say about acting, writing, producing or directing that cannot be revoked in the next breath. Nothing is immutable. The logic of one year is a folly of the next.