Best Quotes by Harold Prince

By | February 14, 2016

I really don’t spend time thinking about the past. I think about the future. I’m not stopping.

Harold Prince

Collaboration is just, really, a group of people getting in a room with their eye on a very similar prize and wanting to come out with the same show. The director, ultimately, is the guy in front of whom the buck stops. So, he has to have the courage to prevail. But, he has got to have a huge amount of respect for his collaborators.

Harold Prince

I’ve always loved Victorian melodrama. And I’ve always liked larger-than-life theater, providing it’s truthful and honest. I like what the theater can provide in energy and bombast – I enjoy it when it’s large, and by that I don’t mean in size, I mean in emotions. Shakespeare did that.

Harold Prince

I always liked the visuals to be choice and at the same time minimalist. And, I love black boxes. After all, that’s what theatre is, it’s an empty space, and it’s both limited and unlimited because the space is the space, but what you can do with people’s imaginations is really endless.

Harold Prince

I was nine. I saw Orson Welles in ‘Julius Caesar.’ It was involving, emotional, imaginative. I’ve never forgotten it.

Harold Prince

A star may guarantee business, but the tradeoff is a very short run.

Harold Prince

I saw ‘On The Town’ about nine times. I discovered it. I loved it. I was in college.

Harold Prince

Lyrics can’t do what they do – or should do – when you’re creating a musical with rock lyrics. There’s plenty of room for rock musicals, just not all rock musicals.

Harold Prince

The idea is to work and to experiment. Some things will be creatively successful, some things will succeed at the box office, and some things will only – which is the biggest only – teach you things that see the future. And they’re probably as valuable as any of your successes.

Harold Prince

There’s no lack of talent out there. I suspect there is a lack of creative guidance, and that would not be solely the responsibility of a director but also a producer.

Harold Prince

Producing should be a creative responsibility.

Harold Prince

You think, ‘Musicals, they must always be romantic’ – You’d be surprised how few of them historically have ever been romantic.

Harold Prince

Producers want to put their music behind revivals but I don’t think that’s a good trend for the theater at all.

Harold Prince

Audiences are very willing to be taken somewhere, and to ask an audience beforehand what it wants is probably, I think, a mistake. Much better you should tell them what you want and hope they agree with it.

Harold Prince

I like to do everything you can possibly do before you go into rehearsal, because once we are in rehearsal or on the stage there will be a problem I didn’t anticipate. It’s really good to think we got it all nailed – of course you’ve never got it all nailed.

Harold Prince

There have always been revivals. Some have always been successful. And many of them have failed.

Harold Prince

The musical has always been in jeopardy – until – or was in jeopardy until it was realised that it is probably the safest living theatre art form.

Harold Prince

‘Showboat’ is the quintessential family show.

Harold Prince

I’ve never been able to understand where great artists come from.

Harold Prince

I wouldn’t want to be just pigeonholed as an extravagant director.

Harold Prince

I got successful awfully quick, and I wanted it… But I do think there is responsibility to move the musical theater form forward. I think you always have to be aware of the work that came before and build on that.

Harold Prince

I don’t like abrasion while I’m working. I don’t thrive on chaos. I enjoy what I’m doing, and it seems to work better when I am enjoying it.

Harold Prince

What’s missing in the musical theater is producers willing to nurture new work, raise the money and put it on.

Harold Prince

Most of the big money people don’t know what would interest an audience if you did it. They only know what interested the audience last time.

Harold Prince

I feel so much more comfortable when I’m working on material which makes other people scratch their heads and ask, ‘You’re going to make a musical out of that?’

Harold Prince

I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for ‘Show Boat.’ The kind of theater I chose to be involved in is completely a direct reflection of what ‘Show Boat’ made possible.

Harold Prince

The idea that I have to be on the same side of the fence as Dan Quayle is cruelly depressing to me, but the truth is, I believe in family values.

Harold Prince

You can’t just keep recycling revivals. And you can’t keep betting on the efforts of guys like me who’ve been around. You have to take the next step and bet on the next generation.

Harold Prince

Audiences are quite happy to be astonished, and they don’t care who does that astonishing.

Harold Prince

I’ve seen a lot of ‘Show Boats,’ but I’ve never seen the one that thoroughly satisfies me.

Harold Prince

When I started producing, it was George Abbott directing and he would let me do the scenery. He just wanted to know where the doors were – the entrances, the exits; the tables, the props – and then I would hire the designer. I took charge of the visuals – scenery and costumes and so on. And, the shows looked wonderful.

Harold Prince

Throwing money at something doesn’t really create – forgive me that onerous word – art.

Harold Prince

I don’t compare shows. It’s very simple. I don’t live in the past. If there’s any secret to my longevity, it’s living in the future. And a little bit in the present.

Harold Prince

I’m always glad to see somebody rethink something rather than reproduce something I did.

Harold Prince

I would like to see more new productions of new material by new composers/lyricists/book writers. I would like to see people take more chances. I think because everything costs so much they’re not taking the chances they used to.

Harold Prince

Nobody has yet proven that taking a chance and doing something unique that an audience isn’t used to is a bad idea. What the theater lacks is that kind of courage.

Harold Prince

You do a show to be a hit and hopefully run a couple of years.

Harold Prince

I remember when people actually wore coats and ties to theatre every night. They don’t anymore. It’s very different.

Harold Prince

I always had a good time in theatre, even when shows don’t turn out as well as I’d like.

Harold Prince

I’m just really trying to say what I really mean, which is: ‘Your eye’s on the prize, your eye’s on the future. It’s nice to know that a lot of wonderful things have happened to your life and that so much of it has been successful. That’s great, but the work is really what makes it fun – and that has to be the future.’

Harold Prince

The perfect expression of receiving a lifetime award is to be working when they’re handing it out.

Harold Prince

I’m on a single track here – I work to direct what I want to see onstage. I basically have been feeding my own needs – to be working on a specific project at a specific time, and fortunately more often it works than fails.

Harold Prince

It’s fine when you careen off disasters and terrifyingly bad reviews and rejection and all that stuff when you’re young; your resilience is just terrific.

Harold Prince

You could argue that ‘Sweeney Todd’ was romantic, if you looked closely at it, but it didn’t impart that to its audiences. But it’s large, and it’s melodramatic, and it’s a style I like to work in periodically.

Harold Prince

Criticism is valuable… and self-congratulatory experiences are not.

Harold Prince

Everything can’t be a postage-stamp-sized project. Everything can’t be a chamber piece. Musicals aren’t even meant to be that, or identified with it… It’s none of it simple.

Harold Prince

I love big, bold, truthful theater – the tradition of Victorian theater.

Harold Prince

I was there when the quote-unquote golden age of musical theater was flourishing. I met everybody who worked in theater or was famous in theater from the ’40s on.

Harold Prince

I think when you start analyzing trends and start making shows for a particular audience, you are making a fatal move. I think that’s why people are doing too many revivals, that’s why there’s a plethora of rock musicals. There’s room for everything, but not room for too much of anything.

Harold Prince

I really like reaching out and seeing the audience – they’re potential audiences! And on occasion I can make them excited about going to the theater again, if they’ve ceased or gone less.

Harold Prince

It’s nice to stay up nights worrying about the material, and not about the investors who gave you $10 million to do your musical.

Harold Prince

I’m crazy about Dublin. If you went back 3,000 years in my ancestry you wouldn’t find a drop of Irish blood in the veins, but I love the place.

Harold Prince

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