Acting in Accent: British RP (Theresa McElwee)

Presented by Theresa McElwee

This intensive focuses on one of the most commonly used dialects in the actor’s toolbox, Received Pronunciation (“Standard British”). In this workshop, you will explore the signature sounds and intonation patterns of Standard British, including the way this accent has evolved over the past century.

Essential for every actor, skills underlying a Standard British accent can be applied to characters and plays from around the world, reaching far beyond the UK. Due to the expanse of the colonial British empire, Standard British exerted large influence on African, Middle Eastern and Southeast Asian accents. Therefore, even today, non-native speakers of English are exposed to and learn English not with an American accent, but with a Standard British accent — meaning, a solid foundation in Standard British will equip you with skills for performing dialects from many cultures and nationalities across the globe.

Topics explored include research and rehearsal techniques, finding freedom and flexibility, and the challenge of accessing emotional life while speaking in an unfamiliar way. All actors will work on a monologue of their choosing, as well as very short scenes.