1st Edition

Experiencing Accents: A Knight-Thompson Speechwork® Guide for Acting in Accent

    266 Pages 83 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    266 Pages 83 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Experiencing Accents: A Knight-Thompson Speechwork® Guide for Acting in Accent presents a comprehensive and systematic approach to accent acquisition for actors. It lays out an accessible and effective set of tools, exercises, and theoretical frameworks grounded in current linguistic science, as well as more than two decades of teaching, actor training, and coaching developed by Knight-Thompson Speechwork®.

    This book dismantles the notions that accents exist on a spectrum of good and bad or that "neutral," "general," or "standard" can serve as ideals for speech. By de-centering elitist and authoritarian worldviews, it gives actors a path to mobilize their innate language abilities to acquire any accent, relying on descriptive and experiential knowledge. The innovative approach of the Four Ps – People, Prosody, Posture, and Pronunciation – builds cultural competence that honors accents as they exist in the world, increases the physical and perceptive skills of the actor, and provides a rich variety of applications to encourage fluid and embodied accent performance. Each of the Four Ps are investigated and practiced separately and then synthesized in the art of the performer, allowing actors to address the complexity of acting in accent through a deliberate and sequential layering of skills, rendering the final expression of their technique meticulously accurate and deeply authentic.

    Organized into fifteen modules to correspond with a typical semester, Experiencing Accents is perfect for Theatre students in voice, speech, and accents courses, along with working actors interested in improving their accent work.

    Teacher Introduction

    Student Introduction


    Part I: Foundations

    Module 1: Orienting

    Module 2: Unpacking

    Module 3: The Four P’s

    Part II: Exploring the Four P’s

    Module 4: People - Asking Questions

    Module 5: People - Doing Research

    Module 6: Prosody - Listen and Sing

    Module 7: Prosody - The Meaning of Music

    Module 8: Posture - Listen with Your Mouth

    Module 9: Posture - Speech as Movement

    Module 10: Pronunciation – Categories

    Module 11: Pronunciation - Particulars

    Module 12: The Four P’s Combined

    Part III: Performance and Play

    Module 13: Accent Celebrations

    Module 14: Embodied Practice

    Module 15: Experiencing Play


    Philip Thompson is Professor of Drama at the University of California, Irvine. At UCI he has served as the head of the MFA program in acting, and as head of voice and speech. In 2002, he co-founded Knight-Thompson Speechwork® with his mentor Dudley Knight. KTS has more than fifty certified teachers teaching this method in training programs across the country and, increasingly, around the world.

    Tyler Seiple is an actor and freelance voice and speech coach in Los Angeles, California. He is the founder of Accents in Action™, which brings Knight-Thompson Speechwork® to actors, public speakers, and other performers through individual and group coaching. Tyler is an Associate Teacher of Fitzmaurice Voicework® and Master Teacher of Knight-Thompson Speechwork®, and teaches at CSU Long Beach and CSU Fullerton. Learn more at accentcoachla.com.

    Andrea Caban is Head of Voice and Speech in the Theatre Arts Department at CSU Long Beach, Associate Specialist in the UCI Department of Neurology, Co-Director of Knight-Thompson Speechwork®, and one of the first Master Teachers of KTS. Her text, Experiencing Speech: A Skills-Based, Panlingual Approach to Actor Training, was also published by Routledge and is intended to precede this text. Learn more at andreaccaban.com.