The theater is so endlessly fascinating because it’s so accidental. It’s so much like life.
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.
Maybe all one can do is hope to end up with the right regrets.
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.
Betrayal is the only truth that sticks.
Let you look sometimes for the goodness in me, and judge me not.
Don’t be seduced into thinking that that which does not make a profit is without value.
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.
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.
He’s not the finest character that ever lived. But he’s a human being, and a terrible thing is happening to him. So attention must be paid.
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.
I’m the end of the line; absurd and appalling as it may seem, serious New York theater has died in my lifetime.
Man must shape his tools lest they shape him.
I think it’s a mistake to ever look for hope outside of one’s self.
Where choice begins, Paradise ends, innocence ends, for what is Paradise but the absence of any need to choose this action?
A good newspaper, I suppose, is a nation talking to itself.
You cannot catch a child’s spirit by running after it; you must stand still and for love it will soon itself return.
You specialize in something until one day you find it is specializing in you.
All we are is a lot of talking nitrogen.
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.
I know that my works are a credit to this nation and I dare say they will endure longer than the McCarran Act.
I have made more friends for American culture than the State Department. Certainly I have made fewer enemies, but that isn’t very difficult.
The structure of a play is always the story of how the birds came home to roost.
Certainly the most diverse, if minor, pastime of literary life is the game of Find the Author.
If I see an ending, I can work backward.
A playwright lives in an occupied country. And if you can’t live that way you don’t stay.
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.
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.
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.
Can anyone remember love? It’s like trying to summon up the smell of roses in a cellar. You might see a rose, but never the perfume.
Without alienation, there can be no politics.
I love her too, but our neuroses just don’t match.
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.
Everybody likes a kidder, but nobody lends him money.
A suicide kills two people, Maggie, that’s what it’s for!
Never fight fair with a stranger, boy. You’ll never get out of the jungle that way.
I cannot sleep for dreaming; I cannot dream but I wake and walk about the house as though I’d find you coming through some door.
It is my art. I am better at it than I ever was. And I will do it as long as I can. When you reach a certain age you can slough off what is unnecessary and concentrate on what is. And why not?
A child’s spirit is like a child, you can never catch it by running after it; you must stand still, and, for love, it will soon itself come back.