Theatre practitioner

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A theatre practitioner is someone who creates theatrical performances and/or produces a theoretical discourse that informs of his or her practical work.[1] A theatre practitioner may be a director, dramatist, actor, designer or a combination of these traditionally separate roles. Theatre practice describes the collective work that various theatre practitioners do.[2] Theatre practitioner also refers to one who practices theatre. An individual who goes to see theatre productions may be called a patron, or theatre-goer.[3]

The term was not ordinarily applied to theatre-makers prior to the rise of modernism in the theatre. Instead, theatre praxis from Constantin Stanislavski's development of his system is described through Vsevolod Meyerhold's biomechanics, Antonin Artaud's Theatre of cruelty, Bertolt Brecht's epic, and Jerzy Grotowski's poor theatre. Contemporary theatre practitioners include Augusto Boal with his Theatre of the Oppressed, Dario Fo's popular theatre, Eugenio Barba's theatre anthropology, and Anne Bogart's viewpoints.[4]

Prior to the use of theatre practitioner to dub those who work in the theatre profession, most individuals were called thespians, named after Thespis, the Greek poet.[5] Or even by their job title as theatre jobs didn't likely change once you entered into them in the early development of theatre.



  1. ^ Milling and Ley (2001, vi, 173) and Pavis (1998, 280). German: Theaterpraktiker, French: praticien, Spanish: teatrista.
  2. ^ Pavis (1998, 392).
  3. ^ "the definition of theatre-goer". Retrieved 2019-02-13.
  4. ^ McCullough (1996, 15-36) and Milling and Ley (2001, vii, 175).
  5. ^ "thespian | Origin and meaning of thespian by Online Etymology Dictionary". Retrieved 2019-02-13.


  • 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.