The Dialect Handbook: Learning, Researching, and Performing a Dialect Role by Ginny Kopf
Besides learning a dialect, the actor will also have to create a believable dialect role, from auditions, through rehearsals and performance. This title does an excellent job of answering all of an actor’s questions about performing in dialect.
It features, The Dialect Directory, a listing of hundreds of feature films, TV series, documentaries, and audio tapes for your research of over 35 different dialects. It also lists books about each culture, and foreign dictionaries and an extensive bibliography of resources about dialect acquisition, with descriptions of each of the dialect books and tapes, with tips on how to use them and where to find them.
Included are helpful lists and forms such as:
- A Dialect Acquisition form, which actors can fill out when learning dialects, including a blank phonetic chart for substitutions (in both IPA and dictionary transcriptions).
- Complete character analysis for a dialect role.
- How to locate and interview primary sources.
- How to analyze and study the nonverbal expressions and dance of a culture.
- Actor’s checklist summarizing the entire dialect acquisition process outlined in the book
The Table of Contents includes the following headers:
CHAPTER ONE: An introduction to Learning Dialects, Which ones should I learn, Can anyone learn a dialect? What skills does it take to learn dialects?
Audition preparation for a dialect play
Script analysis for a dialect play
Adapting the dialect for the stage: How should I adapt the generic stage dialect for the specific locale of the play? How do I adapt it for my audience, my character? What if I can’t get it?
The Rehearsal Process-polishing the dialect
Run-throughs, dress rehearsals, opening night and beyond
Working with a dialect coach
From David Alan Stern, Professor of Dramatic Arts, University of Connecticut
“I had planned sometime in the future to write a book dealing with the actor's complete preparation for and execution of a dialect role as well as professional issues confronted by production dialect coaches. Having read Ginny Kopf's handbook, I am crossing that project off of my 'to do' list. Ginny has already done it better than I would have.”
From Bonnie Raphael, American Repertory Theatre
“The book fills an existing gap in the literature on stage dialects. The Dialect Directory is a treasure.”
From Louis Colalanni, University of Missouri-Kansas City
“A must for actors, teachers, and anyone with a serious interest in the craft of the actor. Never before has so much information concerning stage dialects been available in one book.”
From Linda Gates, Northwestern University
“I was so delighted with The Dialect Handbook, that I’ve ordered it as a required text for my dialects class. It’s very clear, well written and researched, with wonderful resources.”