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Speaking with Skill: An Introduction to Knight-Thompson Speech Work

Speaking with Skill: An Introduction to Knight-Thompson Speech Work
Your Price: $49.95 CDN
Biz Bestseller!
Author: Dudley Knight
Publisher: Methuen Publishing
Format: Softcover with DVD included
# of Pages: 326
Pub. Date: 2012
ISBN-10: 140815689X
ISBN-13: 9781408156896

About the Book:

Speaking With Skill is a core text in many speech courses. Actors and other professional voice users need to speak clearly and expressively in order to communicate the ideas and emotions of their characters – and themselves. Whatever the native accent of the speaker, this easy communication to the listener must always happen in every moment, onstage, in film or on television; in real life too.

For more than 20 years at the University of California-Irvine, Dudley Knight devised innovative ways of teaching acting students to speak clearly while lending their characters authentic, unforced accents and dialects. He developed a unique technique of voice and dialect training at a time when the approach to speech training for actors emphasized "proper" diction. He believed actors ought to master the full range of sounds produced in world languages, so that they could deliver any spoken sound the human voice could produce – an arsenal that could be deployed flexibly as roles and artistic approaches demanded. Believing that in a multicultural society actors should keep their own voices, Dudley Knight fought the prevailing practice of using upper-class white speech patterns as the norm. Out of this belief he and Philip Thompson developed the Knight-Thompson Speechwork technique, which they taught to other college-level teachers who train actors.

Speaking with Skill, an introduction to Knight-Thompson Speechwork, gives you the ownership of a vast variety of speech skills and the ability to explore unlimited varieties of speech actions – without imposing a single, unvarying pattern of good speech. The skills gained through this book enable actors to find the unique way in which a dramatic character embodies the language of the play. They also help any speaker to communicate to a listener with total intelligibility without compromising the speaker's own accent; and to vary speech actions to meet different language needs.

Speaking with Skill is regarded as one of the finest books on the subject written in the last 50 years. Included is a companion DVD that provides 116 tracks illustrating the exercises described in the book.

What people say:

"Knight's clear writing and the accompanying audio files make for an engaging independent learning experience ... I fully expect that Dudley Knight's excellent new book will become the dominant text in the speech classes of American acting conservatories in the years to come. Though the book challenges conservative traditions in actor training, the skills readers/students acquire through its processes are invaluable and essential." — Voice and Speech Review

"Knight-Thompson Speechwork is the first, second, third, and last thing I would send people to. Dudley Knight ... has a book called Speaking With Skill, which is essentially first-year speech in conservatory training in book form." — Erik Singer, New York-based dialect coach

About the Author:

Dudley Knight (1939-2013) was an American voice, speech, and dialect expert, as well as an acclaimed stage and television actor. He also flourished as a voice actor in hundreds of radio plays and documentaries. He was widely recognized as a pioneer in the field of voice, speech, and dialect instruction, as well as an inspiring teacher of drama at the University of California-Irvine. He conducted workshops and lectures on voice and speech for actors and voice teachers worldwide.