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Catalog Higher Ed Arts and Theater Classically Speaking, Dialects for Actors

Classically Speaking, Dialects for Actors

by Patricia Fletcher

Fourth Edition, includes digital e-Book access

Print Version

Paperback Price: $36.07

ISBN: 978-1-50669-739-0

504 pages


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About the Book

Classically Speaking: Dialects for Actors is meant for anyone interested in learning well-spoken Neutral American Speech (aka General American). It is also an effective tool for learning Classical American, Mid-Atlantic and Standard British dialects.

Each Neutral American vowel, diphthong and consonant sound is described, along with an accompanying audio track, and 'sound checks' of common difficulties.  In addition, the International Phonetic Alphabet is covered and practice exercises are included, along with chapters on rhythm, stress, use of the weak and strong forms of words, linking sounds, inflection, pause, literary devices and scansion (for those interested in Shakespeare). Three monologues spoken by professional actors wrap-up the 325 page Neutral American Section.  This is followed by Classical American (88 pages), Mid-Atlantic (16 pages) and Standard British dialects (62 pages), including accompanying exercises, audio selections for each adjustment covered, and three monologues spoken by professional actors for each of these dialects.

When you purchase the textbook you will receive a unique code for digital e-Book access (code found on the inside front cover). The e-Book provides downloadable audio selections which are accessible by simply clicking the e-Book reader app screen. Note: using digital e-Book requires downloading the (free) publisher's XanEdu app. Both the paperback book and the digital e-Book are offered together as a package and are included with your book purchase.

About the Author

Patricia Fletcher has served as a Voice, Speech, Dialogue, and Dialect Coach for Broadway, Television, and Feature Films and has worked as an actor on and off Broadway. She has taught Dialects, Voice and Speech in numerous professional acting programs including: The New School for Drama, MFA Acting Program/New School University, Actor's Studio Drama School, Mason Gross School of the Arts MFA Acting Program/Rutgers University, Brooklyn College Graduate Acting Program, William Esper Acting Studio, and New Actors Workshop. She is a Designated Linklater Voice Instructor, holds an MA in Voice and Speech from Antioch University, and does extensive private coaching. www.patriciafletcher.com

Table of Contents


Overview & International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA)
— Selections for Recording
— Consonant Overview
— Vowel Overview
— IPA Symbols Chart
— IPA Transcription Practice
— IPA Transcription Answer Key (without length)
— Length Guidelines
— IPA Transcription Answer Key (with length)

Neutral American Dialect
— Rhythm Highlighters
— — Summary
— — Linking — avoiding glottal attack and glottal fry
— — Key Words & Stressed Syllables
— — Noun/Verb Variations
— — Weak Forms
— — Inflection
— — Pause
— — Literary Devices
— — Scansion
— Front Vowels
— Mid Vowels
— Back Vowels
— Diphthongs
— Diphthongs of 'r'
— Triphthongs of 'r'
— Consonants
— Practice Text and Monologues

Classical American Dialect
— Summary Checklist of Sound Changes
— Practice Text and Monologues

Mid-Atlantic Dialect
— Summary Checklist of Sound Changes
— Practice Text and Monologues

Standard British Dialect
— Summary Checklist of Sound Changes
— Very Upper-Class Characters
— Common British-English Words with American-English Meaning
— Common American-English Words with Standard British Pronunciation
— Practice Text and Monologues



Shakespeare Text and Line References