14 Quotes about the Purpose of Theater

Many late night conversations between artists can find their way to discussing their medium and its purpose. The profound idea of “why” is often the primary motivating factor for why a creative type does what they do. Over the generations, countless great minds have shared their thoughts. Here is a collection of 14 quotes about theater’s purpose to stimulate the mind, heart and soul.

Do you agree or disagree with any of these quotes? What are your favorite quotes about theatre? Share your thoughts with StageLight in the comments!

The word theatre comes from the Greeks. it means the seeing place. It is the place people come to see the truth about life and the social situation. The theatre is a spiritual and social X-ray of its time. The Theatre was created to tell people the truth about life and the social situation.
-Stella Adler
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.
-Tennessee Williams
I have never regarded any theater as much more than the conclusion to a dinner or the prelude to a supper.
-Max Beerbohm
The role of the artist is to ask questions, not to answer them.
-Anton Pavlovich Chekhov
Art is nothing more than creating an emotion in your own form.
-Shannon L. Alder
An artist’s job is to captivate you for however long we’ve asked for your attention.
-Aaron Sorkin
The theatre is an attack on mankind carried on by magic: to victimize an audience every night, to make them laugh and cry and suffer and miss their trains.
-Iris Murdoch
Art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable.
-Cesar A. Cruz
There are those who go to the theatre as they would go to a brothel.
-Antonin Artaud
An artist is a sort of emotional or spiritual historian. His role is to make you realize the doom and glory of knowing who you are and what you are. He has to tell, because nobody else in the world can tell, what it is like to be alive.
-James Baldwin
The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.
-Pablo Picasso
I regard the theater 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.
-Thornton Wilder
From the start is has been the theatre’s business to entertain people. It needs no other passport than fun.
-Bertolt Brecht
Theatre is a weapon. For that reason, it must be fought for.
-Augusto Boal

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