Fine Arts

About Us

 

Faculty

Eric Armstrong

BFA (Concordia), MFA (York)

Associate Professor, Department of Theatre

earmstro@yorku.ca

Professor Armstrong teaches voice, speech, dialects and Shakespeare text to students in the BFA and MFA acting programs at York. He has also taught at Roosevelt University in Chicago, Brandeis University in Boston, Canada’s National Voice Intensive and at the University of Windsor.

Eric holds an MFA from York, and trained with David Smukler in York’s Voice Teacher training program. His BFA is from Concordia, and he also studied at The Drama Studio (London). Through a grant from Theatre Ontario, he apprenticed with Andrew Wade, Head of Voice at the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Professional dialect coaching for theatre highlights include “Another Africa” for Volcano Theatre, “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, “Translations” at Soulpepper, and “Just Stopped by to See the Man” at Steppenwolf; coaching for film and television includes coaching Michelle Williams and Sarah Silverman for Sarah Polley's new film “Take This Waltz”, and Tom Wilkinson for his Emmy and Golden Globe nominated performance in "Normal". He 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 has worked as an actor in theatre and film across Canada. His research/teaching/creative interests lie in the intersection of teaching and technology, and he has used web-based technologies extensively to support his teaching and research. He writes a bi-weekly blog on voice training at voiceguy.ca and is cohost of the podcast “Glossonomia, conversations on the sounds of speech”

Personal website

Coaching for Professional Theatre and Film (Highlights)

2012 

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:

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, “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.

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.