• Theatre

  • Eric Armstrong

  • Associate Professor

  • Voice

E earmstro@yorku.ca
W Personal Website

EDUCATION

BFA (Concordia), MFA (York)

AREAS OF EXPERTISE

Voice Pedagogy
Speech for the Actor
Classical text
Accents, Dialects & Language

BIOGRAPHY

Eric Armstrong teaches voice, speech, dialects and text to students in the BFA and MFA acting programs at York University. He has also taught at Roosevelt University in Chicago, Brandeis University in Boston, and the University of Windsor.

Professor Armstrong trained with David Smukler in York’s Voice Teacher training program. He also studied at The Drama Studio (London/UK) and was mentored by Andrew Wade, then Head of Voice at the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Professional dialect coaching for theatre highlights include Towards Youth for Project Humanity/Crow’s Theatre, Freud’s Last Session, at the Harold Green Jewish TheatreChimerica at Royal Manitoba Theatre CentreAnother Africa for Volcano Theatre, Yukonstyle, The Cosmonaut’s Last Message… and Habeas Corpus at Canadian Stage, Eternal Hydra at Crow’s Theatre, Arigato Tokyo and Blasted at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, Twelve Angry Men and The Gigli Concert at Soulpepper, and Just Stopped by to See the Man at Steppenwolf. Film and television credits include designing the Belter Accent for the TV show The Expanse, coaching Iain Glen on TitansFelicity Jones as Ruth Bader Ginsberg in On the Basis of Sex, Eric Bana, America Ferrera, Raul Castillo and Kelly McDonald in Ricky Gervais’ Special Correspondents, Michelle Williams and Sarah Silverman for Sarah Polley’s film Take This Waltz, and Tom Wilkinson for his Emmy and Golden Globe-nominated performance in Normal.

Armstrong is a former director and board member of the Voice And Speech Trainers Association (VASTA). He has published articles in the Voice and Speech Review and worked as an actor in theatre and film across Canada. His research/teaching/creative interests lie in accent coaching and training for actors from pluralistic backgrounds, and he has used web-based technologies extensively to support his teaching and research. He collaborated with Shannon Vickers of the University of Winnipeg on a SSHRC Insight Development Grant-funded research project, which culminated in the journal article “Accent and Language Training for the Indigenous Performer: Results of Four Focus Groups.” He wrote a blog on voice training at voiceguy.ca and was cohost of the podcast “Glossonomia, conversations on the sounds of speech”

Personal website

Publications

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Coaching for Professional Theatre and Film (Last 3 years)

2020   

Accent & Language Designer/Coach: The Expanse, Season 5: All Episodes; Coach for “Belter” Language and Accent. Amazon Prime.

2019   

Language Coach: The Boys, Season 2: Episode 208; Onset Coach and Preparation for German for Aya Cash. Amazon Prime Video

Accent Coach: Titans, Season 2: Episodes 207 & 211; Coach for Iain Glen (Bruce Wayne).

Accent Coach: Tiny Pretty Things, Season 1; Preparation Coach for Parisian French Accent. Amazon Prime Video.

Language Coach: The Boys, Season 2: Episodes 202 & 203; Preparation materials for Japanese. Amazon Prime Video.

Accent & Language Designer/Coach: Towards Youth
Coaching Hindi, Taiwan, Coventry, Greek Accents/language. Project Humanity/Crow’s Theatre, Andrew Kushnir & Chris Abraham.

2018

Language Coach: The October Faction, Episodes 101–103;
Coaching Japanese Language. Netflix

Language Coach: Star Trek: Discovery
Preparation materials for 10 languages. CBS All Access/Space Channel.

2017

Dialect Coach: On The Basis of Sex
Coach for Felicity Jones’ first week of shooting, and preparation each week for the remainder of the shoot (via Skype).

Accent & Language Designer/Coach: The Expanse, Season 3: Episodes 301, 304, 307–310;
Coach for “Belter” Language and Accent. SyFy Network

Dialect Coach: Bad Jews, New York Jewish accent.
Koffler Centre for the Arts; Director: Michèle Lonsdale Smith

Dialect Coach: Strictly Ballroom, Australian accent coach for child performers.
Mirvish Productions.

Dialect Coach: Freud’s Last Session, Austrian & RP accents. Harold Green Jewish Theatre Co; Director: David Ferry.

Dialect Coach: The Bodyguard, U.S. accent coach for UK touring company.
Mirvish Productions.

Dialect Coach: The Audience, Understudy coach for Toronto transfer.
Mirvish Productions; Director: Christopher Newton.

Chapters/Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles:

Armstrong, Eric, Shannon Vickers, Katie German, Elan Marchinko, “Accent and Language Training for the Indigenous Performer: Results of Four Focus Groups” Voice and Speech Review, Rockford Sansom, editor, Taylor & Francis, 2020. bit.ly/indig-accents.

Armstrong, Eric          “The Shakespeare Workbook and Video,” Voice and Speech Review, Rockford Sansom, editor, Taylor & Francis, 2017. https://doi.org/10.1080/23268263.2017.1370806

Armstrong, Eric          “Efficacy in Phonetics Training for the Actor,” Voice and Speech Review, Jeff Morrison, editor, Taylor & Francis, 2017. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/23268263.2017.1282676

Stoller, Amy, Eric Armstrong, Kim James Bey, Doug Honorof, Adrienne Moore, “Speech stereotypes: good vs. evil,” Voice and Speech Review, Jeff Morrison, editor, Taylor & Francis, 2017, p. 78-92. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/23268263.2013.826077

Awards

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VASTA Leadership & Service Award 2006 

Theatre

People of AMPD

Professor Emeritus

John Gittins

Administrative Staff

Tom Osborne

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Frances Tee

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Lora Zuech

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Amy Hillis

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Noam Lemish

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Stephen Koven

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Sharon Marshall

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Robert John Cappelletto

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Mark Skazinetsky

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Larry K. Graves

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Anne Lederman

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Vicki Tran

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Triporna Das

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Randolph Peters

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Doug Van Nort

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Mark Chambers

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Michael Coghlan

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Christina Petrowska Quilico

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Professor Emeritus

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Rob Bowman