How to Learn and Use a Dialect

Teacher: Ben Furey
Saturday & Sunday, 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm
January 21 & 22
Fee: $160
Location: NOLA Rehearsal Studios, 244 West 54th Street, 11th Floor

This two-day workshop is intended to provide the tools to learn an accent and then to put those tools into practice for audition and performance.  We will do this by focusing on the most common non-American accent required of actors in the US, Standard British (aka Received Pronunciation).  We will look at how accents and dialects differ, not only in sound but also in terms of intonation and muscularity.  A key feature of the work is learning to make them organic.  The workshop is designed for actors who are intimidated by accent work, those who have little or no experience, and those who have some experience but feel they lack a process of working with accents.

A short piece of dramatic text written in Standard British will be needed to work on during the workshop.  Choose a monologue of about one minute in length that has been written in Standard British.  The works of playwrights such as Tom Stoppard, David Hare, Polly Stenham (That Face), Alan Ayckbourn, and Michael Frayn would be appropriate.  You should be very familiar with your piece but it should NOT be memorized when you arrive for the workshop.  Please bring a copy either xeroxed large enough, or typed double spaced so that you can write notes within the text.  A recording device such as an iPhone, digital recorder, tape recorder, etc., would also be useful.