Transforming Speech: Identity-Conscious Approaches for Actors and Educators

With Joy Coronel

Held online via Zoom: 

Note: Session #1 of this workshop will be held on Friday, April 1, 9-11AM ET. All other sessions will be held on Mondays, 10AM-12PM ET. 

A workshop for actors and educators examining the impact of harmful practices within the voice and speech field, covering topics such as the standardization of speech, stereotyping, and the treatment of international student actors. The class encourages you to confront your own biases while exploring new and liberating ways for educators to support, engage, and respond to actors with varying backgrounds and identities. For actors, this course covers how to identify harmful practices, and empowers you to engage with it and self-advocate. Discussions and self-reflection are an essential part of this class. 


  • Introduction and Expectations
    • Goals
    • Ground rules
    • Making space
    • Facing fears
    • Accessibility needs
  • Context – History of Harm
    • What are harmful and racist practices in the theatre and in the classroom? In voice and speech? 
      • Historically and anecdotally.
    • How do they impact actors and students?
      • Psychology research on BIPOC/historically oppressed groups
  • Pedagogy and Active Anti-Racist Practices
    • How culpable are we for racist actions? Is it our fault?
    • What do anti-racist practices look like in the studio? Discussion and activities covering:
      • Terminology
      • Speech goals for actors/students
      • Speech standardizations- how do we perceive voice and speech in our studio?
      • Redefining how we look at speech
      • Casting
      • Non-native English speakers and regional accents
    • Scenario Improvisation/Discussion 
      • Partner/group activity
  • What happens next?
    • Student-teacher roles (how do we empower students/actors to inform educators?) 
    • Think of anti-racist, equitable practices as a journey and not destination 
    • Why do we do this work?
      • How will your work impact students, actors, classrooms and the industry as a whole? What are changes that could occur?
    • Reflection / Final Project
      •  Written, performed, or discussed