2nd Semester, 2nd Year, MFA Voice & Speech Class: Dialects


Teacher/Coach: Jan Gist

Spring, 2011: January 25 - April 7:  Tuesdays and Thursdays, 1:00 - 2:25


This 4th semester of your two year training program will focus on:

         How to identify and analyze the ingredients of any accent/dialect

         How to apply those techniques into performances expressive of:

                  character, class, region, era, social/ethnic identity, intention

                  and style of play

         How to find the playwright’s clues of language in addition to accent


We will cover:

         Cockney, using  Harold Pinter’s plays

         Estuary/Current/Working Class London, in a variety of scripts

         Various American regions such as:

                 New York/Brooklyn area

                 South and Southwest

         Depending on time, possibly others such as Irish, Australian, German…

         Possibly: Dialect Project:

                  A dialect or accent of your choice, where you:

                  find a person or source to study

                  analyze, notate and record their speaking patterns        

                  present the information to the class

                  perform a speech or scene in this accent/dialect


Classes will include:

         Group study, analysis, drill-practice, feedback for each accent/dialect

         Performance of a speech or scene in each accent/dialect

         Materials for your own research project (tape? CD? Analysis?)


This semester is designed to continue developing your own personal joy, freedom, expressiveness, and power in your Voice/Acting work.  It is also meant to give you practice and confidence in dialect work so that you can go off and have an Acting career of learning and enjoying the accumulation of your own dialect library and personal approach.

To Contact Jan Gist

University of San Diego:

E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Office Phone: (619) 260-7757

The Old Globe Theatre:

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Guidance on How to Develop Your Voice & Speech 

1. Learn how you learn.

2. Translate what you're taught into what can work for you to become your own teacher.

3. Drill your skills with curiosity and imagination.

4. Bridge your skills into the vital, expressive journey as it is sculpted by the script, and envisioned by the director.

5. Embody "Stage Presence" by owning the time, owning the place, and welcoming your audience into you specifically crafted time and place.