Eric Armstrong

Eric Armstrong

BFA (Concordia), MFA (York)

Associate Professor
Department of Theatre
Voice

Eric Armstrong teaches voice, speech, dialects and Shakespearen 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, Canada’s National Voice Intensive, 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, 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 Felicity Jones as Ruth Bader Ginsberg in On the Basis of Sex, work with 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 is collaborating with Shannon Vickers of the University of Winnipeg on a SSHRC Insight Development Grant-funded research project, “Best Practices in Accent Training for Indigenous Actors.” 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

Coaching for Professional Theatre and Film (Highlights)

2019

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.

2016

Accent & Language Designer/Coach: The Expanse, Season 2: All 13 Episodes; Coach for “Belter” Language and Accent. SyFy Network.

Dialect Designer: Chimerica, Lucy Kirkwood (National Theatre)
Coaching all accents, plus supervising Mandarin language
Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre & Canadian Stage; Director: Chris Abraham.

Dialect Coach: Twelve Angry Men, (remount) Reginal Rose (National Theatre) remount
SoulPepper Theatre Company, Director: Alan Dilworth

2015

Language Coach: 12 Monkeys, Ep. 210; German
Sy Fy Network. Universal Network TV.

Dialect Coach: 11.22.63, Mini-Series
Coaching Constance Towers’ Texas accent.
Bad Robot, Warner Bros. Television

Dialogue/Dialect Coach: Special Correspondents, Film
Coaching lead Eric Bana and supporting actors Kelly McDonald, America Ferrera & Raul Castillo. Netflix

Dialect Coach: Assassin’s Creed Syndicates, (Voice Over coaching)
Ubisoft, Director: Richard Dumont, Voice Designer: Unai Gomez

Dialect/Language Coach: Damien, Pilot
Ep. 101 Coaching Series lead Bradley James on GenAm Accent
20th Century/Fox, A&E.

Dialect/Language Coach: Hemlock Grove, 3 Episodes
Ep 302 Accent Modification (French), Ep 303 Romanian, Ep 304 German
Netflix, Gaumont International Television.

2014

Dialect Coach: The Heart of Robin Hood, David Farr (National)
Coaching all accent, plus Accent Modification for Norwegian lead actor.
Mirvish Productions & Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, Director: Gísli Örn Garðarsson

Accent & Language Designer/Coach: The Expanse, Season 1: All 10 Episodes; Coach for “Belter” Language and Accent, dialogue coach for Shohreh Agdashloo.
SyFy Network.

Language Coach: 12 Monkeys,
Episodes 103, French; Haitian Creole
Episodes 107, 108, 109; Russian
12 Monkeys, Episode 111; Japanese
12 Monkeys, Episodes 112; German
Sy Fy Network. Universal Network TV.

Voice and Accent Coach: The Art of Building a Bunker, Adam Lazarus & Guillermo Verdecchia
Factory Theatre, Director: Guillermo Verdecchia

Dialect Coach: Assassin’s Creed Rogue DLC, (Game Motion Capture)
Ubisoft, Director: Félix-Etienne Rocque

Dialect Coach: Twelve Angry Men, Reginal Rose (National Theatre)
SoulPepper Theatre Company, Director: Alan Dilworth

Dialect Coach: The Gigli Concert, Tom Murphy (National Theatre)
SoulPepper Theatre Company, Director: Nancy Palk

2013
Dialect Designer: YukonStyle, Sarah Bertiaume (Regional Theatre)
Canadian Stage Company, Director: Ted Witzel

Dialect Coach: Lost Girl, Episode #406 “Of All The Gin Joints…” (Episodic TV)
Russian Accent and Language coaching, Prodigy Pictures Inc.

Dialect Coach: Arigato Tokyo, Daniel MacIvor (Regional Theatre)
Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, Director: Brendan Healy

Dialect Coach: Blue/Orange, Joe Penhall (Regional Theatre)
Theatre Kingston, Director: Alan Dilworth

2012

Dialogue Coach (uncredited): Terminus, Mark O’Rowe (Regional Theatre)
Off-Mirvish Productions/Outside the March, Director: Mitchell Cushman

Dialect Consultant: The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, Jessica Postigo Paquette (Feature Film) Constantin Production Services, Director: Harald Zwart
Dialect Coach: Arigato Tokyo (Workshop), Daniel MacIvor (Regional Theatre)
Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, Director: Brendan Healy

2011

Dialect Coach: Another Africa: Shine Your Eye, Binyavanga Wainaina (Regional Theatre)
Volcano Theatre and Canadian Stage, Director: Ross Manson

Dialect Coach: The Cosmonaut’s Last Message to the Woman he once Loved in the Former Soviet Union, David Greig (Regional Theatre)
Canadian Stage, Director: Jennifer Tarver

Dialect Coach: Eternal Hydra, Anton Piatigorski (Regional Theatre)
Crows Theatre, Director: Chris Abraham

2010

Dialect Coach: Blasted, Sarah Kane (Regional Theatre)
Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, Director: Brendan Healey

Dialect Coach: Master Harold and the Boys, Athol Fugard (Regional Theatre)
Thousand Island Playhouse, Director: Nigel Shawn Williams

Dialect Coach: Take This Waltz (Feature Film)
Actors: Michelle Williams, Sarah Silverman, Luke Kirby; Director: Sarah Polley

2009

Dialect Coach: Resident Evil: Afterlife (Feature Film)
Actor: Sergio Peris-Mencheta, Constantin Film Produktions , Director: Paul W.S. Anderson

Dialect Coach: Eternal Hydra, Anton Piatigorski
Crow’s Theatre, Buddies in Bad Times Theatre (Independent Theatre)
Director: Chris Abraham

2008

Dialect Coach: Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me, Frank McGuinness
Adeona Productions, Berkeley St. Theatre (Regional Theatre)
Director: Tegan Shohet

Dialect Coach: Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen, adapted by Mark Cuddy & Marg Betley
Geva Theatre (Regional Theatre)
Director: Mark Cuddy

Dialect Coach: Eternal Hydra, Anton Piatigorski (WORKSHOP)
Crow’s Theatre, Buddies in Bad Times Theatre (Independent Theatre)
Director: Chris Abraham

Dialect Coach: Alias Godot, Brendan Gall
Tarragon Theatre (Regional Theatre)
Director: Richard Rose

Dialect Coach: Orphan, David Leslie Johnson (Hollywood Film)
DCP Orphan Productions, Warner Bros.
Director: Jaume Collet-Serra

2007

Dialect Coach: Eternal Hydra, Anton Piatigorsky
Crow’s Theatre (Regional Theatre)
Director: Chris Abraham

Dialect Coach: Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure, Steven Dietz
Geva Theatre and the Cleveland Playhouse (Regional Theatres)
Director: Tim Ocel

2005

Dialect Coach: Habeas Corpus, Alan Bennett
CanStage, Canadian Premiere (National Theatre)
Director: Morris Panych

Dialect Coach: That Was Then, Gerard Stembridge
Geva Theatre (Regional Theatre)
Director: Mark Cuddy

2004

Dialect Coach: John Bull’s Other Island, G. B. Shaw
Geva Theatre (Regional Theatre)
Director: Edward Call

Dialect Coach: Translations, Brian Friel
SoulPepper Theatre (National Theatre)
Director: Ben Barnes

2002

Dialect Coach: Just Stopped By to See the Man, Stephen Jeffreys
Steppenwolf Theatre (National Theatre)
Director: Randall Arney

Dialect Coach: Mad Forest, Caryl Churchill
Piven Theatre (Regional Theatre)
Director: Jennifer Green

Dialect Coach: Phedre, Racine
Court Theatre (Regional Theatre)
Director: Joanne Akalaitis

Dialect Coach (FILM): Normal, Jane Anderson
HBO films (International Film)
Director: Jane Anderson

2001

Dialect Coach: Book of Days, Lanford Wilson
Piven Theatre (Regional Theatre)
Director: Jennifer Green

Dialect & Voice Coach: Mary Stuart, Friedrich Schiller, translated by Robert David MacDonald
Court Theatre (Regional Theatre)
Director: Joanne Akalaitis

Books:

Rootberg, Ruth, ed.  TEACHING BREATHING: Results of a Survey Monograph, Marth Munro (assistant editor); co-author with 9 other voice trainers: Christine Adaire, Barbara Adrian, Eric Armstrong, Michael Barnes, Marina Gilman, Jane Heirich, Mary Howland, Ellen Margolis, Marth Munro, Lise Olson, published by the editor, 2002, 181 pp.

Chapters/Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles:

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

Armstrong, Eric, “Compelling Honesty: Searching for Authenticity in the Voice of Nina Arsenault” in TRANS(per)FORMING Nina Arsenault, Judith Rudakoff, editor, Intellect Press, Bristol UK, 2012. In Press.

Armstrong, Eric “Embodying Meter,” Voice and Movement, and other contemporary issues in professional voice and speech training presented by the Voice and Speech Review, Rena Cook, editor, University Readers, July 2009, pending.

Armstrong, Eric, & Meier, Paul,  “R and Its Articulation,” Shakespeare Around the Globe and other contemporary issues in professional voice and speech training presented by the Voice and Speech Review, Mandy Rees, editor, Applause Books, August 2005, p. 237-250.

Armstrong, Eric,  “Hybrid Dialects,” Shakespeare Around the Globe and other contemporary issues in professional voice and speech training presented by the Voice and Speech Review, Mandy Rees, editor, Applause Books, August 2005, p. 251-260.

–––, “IS THIS NORMAL?: A Theatre Coach Works in Film,” Film, Broadcast and E-Media Coaching and other contemporary issues in professional voice and speech training presented by the Voice and Speech Review, Rocco Dal Vera, editor, Applause Books, August 2003, p. 33-43.

Rootberg, Ruth (moderator), Adaire, C., Adrian, B., Armstrong, E., Barnes, M., Gilman, M. Heirich, J., Howland, M., Margolis, E., Munro, M., Olson, L., Timberlake, P., Watson, L.,  “Clavicular Breathing, Held Shoulders and Related Issues: Round Table Discussion,” Film, Broadcast and E-Media Coaching and other contemporary issues in professional voice and speech training presented by the Voice and Speech Review, Rocco Dal Vera, editor, Applause Books, August 2003, p. 278-295.

Armstrong, Eric, “EARNING THE ROLE: The Company Voice Coach, An Interview with the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Andrew Wade,” The Voice in Violence and other contemporary issues in professional voice and speech training presented by the Voice and Speech Review, Rocco Dal Vera, editor, Applause Books, August 2001, p. 148-154.

–––, “Vowel Slide/Glide,” The Complete Voice and Speech Workout Book (and CD), Janet Rodgers, editor, Applause Books, 2001, p. 43-48.

Magazine Articles:

Armstrong, Eric, “Taking Care of Your Voice” in Dramatics Magazine, a publication of the Educational Theatre Association, March 2009.

Reviews:

Armstrong, Eric, “The Shakespeare Workbook and Video,”in The Voice and Speech Review, Rockford Sansom, editor, Taylor and Francis Online,  pp.110–118,  Vol. 11.1, Sept 2017.

–––, “African accents: a workbook for actors”, in The Voice and Speech Review, Jeff Morrison, editor, Taylor and Francis Online,  pp. 223-226,  Vol. 9.2-3, May 2016.

http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/23268263.2016.1183873

–––,     “IPA keyboards for iOS”, in The Voice and Speech Review, Jeff Morrision, editor, Taylor and Francis Online, pp. 96-102, Vol. 9.1, July 2015.

http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/23268263.2015.1062598

–––,     “The Accent Kit,” by Edda Sharpe, Jan Haydn Rowles, and Richard Ryder, in The Voice and Speech Review, Jeff Morrison, editor, Taylor and Francis Online, March 2015.

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13669877.2015.1014190#.VZG76WDBp1Y

–––,     “Speaking with Skill,” by Dudley Knight, in The Science of Voice and Speech, and other contemporary issues in professional voice and speech training presented by the Voice and Speech Review, Jeff Morrison, editor, Taylor and Francis Online, October 2013.http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/23268263.2013.825512#.UsnrQ3kiB0M

–––, “Access Accents: RP, Cockney, Geordie,” by Gwyneth Strong and Penny Dyer in The Moving Voice, and other contemporary issues in professional voice and speech training presented by the Voice and Speech Review, Rena Cook, editor, University Readers, July 2009, p. 449.

–––, “The Atlas of North American English,” by William Labov, Sharon Ash and Charles Boberg, in Voice and Gender, and other contemporary issues in professional voice and speech training presented by the Voice and Speech Review, Mandy Rees, editor, University Readers, July 2007, p. 394-395.

CD-ROM/Book Publications:

Fairfield Language Technology,  Rosetta Stone: US English Level One, Pronunciation Reviewer (editor). 2007.

Awards

2010

Council for Exceptional Children, Yes I Can Parent Award (Ontario wide, with my spouse, Amy Armstrong) For advocating for our two sons, who are both on the Autism Spectrum.

Council for Exceptional Children, Yes I Can Parent Award (Chapter 56, Toronto)

2008

Community Partners Teaching Award: Outstanding Lecture/Seminar/DCM teaching. Dept. of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, University of Toronto. With Dawn Lunan, Alison Bowen, and Beth Kingston

2006

VASTA Leadership & Service Award: One of only 7 such awards given out in the 25 year history of VASTA.