Theatre practitioner is a modern term to describe someone who both creates theatrical performances and who produces a theoretical discourse that informs his or her practical work. A theatre practitioner may be a director, a dramatist, an actor, or—characteristically—often a combination of these traditionally-separate roles. "Theatre practice" describes the collective work that various theatre practitioners do.
The term is not ordinarily applied to theatre-makers prior to the rise of modernism in the theatre, instead describing theatre praxis from Stanislavski's development of his 'system', through Meyerhold's biomechanics, Antonin Artaud's Theatre of cruelty, Bertolt Brecht's epic and Jerzy Grotowski's poor theatre, down to the present day, with contemporary theatre practitioners including Augusto Boal with his Theatre of the Oppressed, Dario Fo's popular theatre, Eugenio Barba's theatre anthropology and Anne Bogart's viewpoints.
- Counsell, Colin. 1996. Signs of Performance: An Introduction to Twentieth-Century Theatre. London and New York: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-10643-6.
- McCullough, Christopher, ed. 1998. Theatre Praxis: Teaching Drama Through Practice. New Directions in Theatre Ser. London: Macmillan. ISBN 978-0-333-64996-1. New York: St Martin's P. ISBN 978-0-312-21611-5.
- ---. 1996. Theatre and Europe (1957-1996). Intellect European Studies ser. Exeter: Intellect. ISBN 978-1-871516-82-1.
- Milling, Jane, and Graham Ley. 2001. Modern Theories of Performance: From Stanislavski to Boal. Basingstoke, Hampshire and New York: Palgrave. ISBN 978-0-333-77542-4.
- Pavis, Patrice. 1998. Dictionary of the Theatre: Terms, Concepts, and Analysis. Trans. Christine Shantz. Toronto and Buffalo: U of Toronto P. ISBN 978-0-8020-8163-6.