Top Quotes by Marianne Elliott

By | July 14, 2017

If you are working in a publicly subsidized building, then you have a responsibility to deliver truly interesting, risky, innovative, even provocative work. Work that speaks to your audience in many resonant ways. The priority is less about the financial rewards.

Marianne Elliott

Directors have this mask of being in control and in charge, but underneath, I’m terrified.

Marianne Elliott

You have to lead by example. You have to be the calmest person in the room. You have to be very open. I think the qualities of a director are to enable and to find the best in everybody.

Marianne Elliott

It would be quite interesting to use Kermit the Frog to act like a real frog. But it wouldn’t produce captivating theatre.

Marianne Elliott

We’re always steered towards what is good in the canon by a male perspective. I like to do plays with a female protagonist who finds her way through. My way is unusual.

Marianne Elliott

I’m interested in teasing out the contemporary issues in what I’m working on, however old the piece might be, whenever I’m working on it.

Marianne Elliott

With everything I do, there always seems to be a massive risk involved.

Marianne Elliott

When I was a kid, I never spoke. I would sit under a table and not speak to anybody. No words for years.

Marianne Elliott

My dad had a big influence on me, and although I was never very bright at school, I used to love philosophising with him about big universal things – and I think that’s what directing is.

Marianne Elliott

I never wanted anything to do with the theatre as a child. I was dragged there under duress.

Marianne Elliott

I suppose that I’m excited by exciting theater. It takes a risk to show us the world in a new way.

Marianne Elliott

Whether you’re a man or a woman, life can be very, very difficult and confusing and desperate, and it’s life-enhancing to know that somehow, there is a way through it.

Marianne Elliott

My generation feels it has been lied to a great deal.

Marianne Elliott

The less subsidy we have, the more the ‘producers’ take over, and the ‘bottom line’ becomes the raison d’etre. That’s quite an unappealing landscape for artists.

Marianne Elliott

I’m quite unusual in directing terms: I’m a woman. I’m quite a girly girl. I was never academic.

Marianne Elliott

I hope that subsidised theatres continue to be rewarded for the wonder of talent they provide to this industry, on stage and off.

Marianne Elliott

I always wanted to beat my own path.

Marianne Elliott

I used to love getting older.

Marianne Elliott

I worked in casting for about five years before I became a director, and that taught me a huge amount because you never actually will see the character walk through the door – and if you do, then you have to be slightly suspicious of that.

Marianne Elliott

The better the acting is, the less visible the director and the less visible the actor.

Marianne Elliott

It’s impossible to feel the creative juices flowing if you’re always worried about the end result. I think really, really good work comes out of people being quite open, not stressed, really exploring, trying to be imaginative, without worrying too much about the end result.

Marianne Elliott

If you can’t see it, you can’t be it. It’s just having those brilliant women break out and do something – then other girls can say, ‘I can do it, too!’

Marianne Elliott

As you get older, you realise that your identity becomes more important – the environment in which you have grown is actually part of who you are just as much as your family or your school.

Marianne Elliott

It’s difficult to find an actress prepared to play a fading star.

Marianne Elliott

Horses are wild animals, essentially, and they’re not there to do what humans want them to – they can be browbeaten or cajoled or trained, but they don’t hear English; they’re not obedient most of the time.

Marianne Elliott

‘War Horse’ is just an extraordinary being.

Marianne Elliott

I didn’t want to just be remembered for ‘War Horse.’

Marianne Elliott

There’s a certain type of theatre that I haven’t got any time for at all – established, boring, same-old stuff without any reason or passion. There’s quite a lot of it about, and it motivates me to try to do something different, something risky, raw, ugly, and challenging.

Marianne Elliott

If it is just another run-of-the-mill show, then what is the point?

Marianne Elliott

If you put a blank canvas in front of Matisse and say, ‘This has to be a success,’ who’s going to pick up a paintbrush?

Marianne Elliott

I felt like that growing up – that I didn’t have a voice.

Marianne Elliott

I believe that theater has to be utterly life-changing for the people watching it.

Marianne Elliott

I think theater is so undervalued. I have seen things there that have been far more vivid than things that actually have happened.

Marianne Elliott

Some directors have the gift of the gab, but I don’t.

Marianne Elliott

I am quite an insecure person, and I think that, like any director, if I’m asked about my vision for a piece, I feel very vulnerable.

Marianne Elliott

Staging any play is very exposing because, if you are going to do it well, you have to put so much of yourself into it.

Marianne Elliott

I would like to see more female stories out there, particularly older female stories.

Marianne Elliott

It’s predominantly a male society, predominately a male culture, predominantly a male theatre, and predominantly male critics, but that’s changing, definitely.

Marianne Elliott

I’m always drawn to female stories with female protagonists, and I particularly yearn for more older actresses to take centre stage in 2018.

Marianne Elliott

I hope for continued bravery and risk-taking for all theatremakers in 2018 and beyond.

Marianne Elliott

Often during rehearsals, I catch myself thinking, ‘God, this is hard. Why am I always choosing such difficult plays to put on?’

Marianne Elliott

I’m very much of the opinion that theatre is a collective art form, not just one person’s vision.

Marianne Elliott

A bad audition is usually the director’s fault, not the actor’s. It’s up to the director to get the atmosphere right to get the best out of your auditionees.

Marianne Elliott

I’ve seen many shows ruined by bad reviews and good reviews, so I always tell my actors not to read the reviews until after the run is over.

Marianne Elliott

The actors work out how to create the show with me during the rehearsals. They owe it to themselves and each other to maintain that contract regardless of what the critics say.

Marianne Elliott

Friends’ is easy to dismiss, but it’s really good television – the art with which those actors play with comedy shouldn’t be denigrated. And they also know how to play irony, which I think a lot of English actors might find quite difficult.

Marianne Elliott

In subsidized theater, you are encouraged to take risks. It’s about being imaginative and artistic. That’s the priority. It might not be a success, but let’s try.

Marianne Elliott

I was 28 before I started putting on productions. I got in the back door by doing fringe shows and a lot of assisting, and I learned on the job. There weren’t many female directors when I was starting out. I slowly gained confidence and understanding of the theater, but on my own terms.

Marianne Elliott

I find theater emotionally expensive and all-involving. You have to pour so much blood and passion and heart into it. And so much time. Why do that for something that’s only vaguely interesting and anyone can do it?

Marianne Elliott

I had done drama at university, but I never thought I could be a director. There were so few female directors then. I just assumed you had to be a man to be a director. I also assumed you had to be extremely authoritarian and extremely intellectual, none of which I was.

Marianne Elliott

It’s a tremendous asset if you have a visual eye because you can make huge visual statements in a very theatrical way and play to the strength of theatre. But the high end of directing is working with actors and making the acting the best it can be.

Marianne Elliott

For me, it’s life or death doing plays: there’s this perfectionist thing about me that it has to be brilliant – anything less than that is a failure.

Marianne Elliott

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