Recent quotes:

Do you pretend to enjoy Pinter? Shakespeare? Stoppard? You’re not alone | Lauren Mooney | Opinion | The Guardian

In one of the most wily marketing tactics I’ve ever seen, Stoppard has talked about his audiences growing stupider until he’s convinced people that anyone who doesn’t like him doesn’t Get It. So now people are reduced to trying to like him louder than each other, to prove to Tom Stoppard that they’re clever. Even though I once watched him fail to use an automatic door. I quite like Tom Stoppard plays, but I do think it’s worth remembering that, much like the girl I was at school with who had a bruised chin for six weeks because a boy she fancied told her to twist it round and round in her hand (true), not everyone who wants you to prove yourself to them deserves it.

Mike Nichols on choices

I was sitting in the stalls, and a stagehand walked in with a chair in either hand, and he shouted to Mike, Which chair? And Mike instantly said, That one, indicating the one in his left hand. As the guy walked off, I was thinking, Christ, I’ll never be a director. The chairs weren’t that different, you know, and I said, What was it about that chair? He said, Nothing, you just have to answer instantly—you can change your mind later.

Midsummer Night's Dream

If you’re not familiar with the play going in, you’ll likely find the results initially disorienting, even confusing—but that’s how you’re supposed to feel. All you need do is throw away your preconceptions and surrender to the thrill of the moment, and you’ll be swept away by the phantasmagorical illogic of the parade of dramatic events.

Performance art for hire

It is possible for “immaterial” artists to make money off the performance itself, of course. In the late 1950s and early ’60s, French conceptual artist Yves Klein sold a series of “immaterial zones,” or empty spaces within Paris, in exchange for gold. His patrons would then watch as he threw half of the payment into the Seine; the transaction was completed when the purchaser burned a certificate of authenticity confirming the amount of gold transferred. Contemporary British-German artist Tino Sehgal has sold several performance pieces to museums, including MoMA and the Guggenheim. He provides no written contracts, insists that the directions for reenacting his works be delivered via word-of-mouth, and requires that collectors never photograph or film his “constructed situations.” Online auction house Paddle8 last year sold a one-time performance by Icelandic artist Ragnar Kjartansson for more than $36,000.