Blinn-Bryan Theatre Arts Program guest lecturer brings the voice of New York to life

Theatre artist and educator H. Russ Brown will show Blinn-Bryan students the complexities of New York City dialects via Zoom

October 8, 2020

H. Russ BrownBlinn-Bryan Campus Theatre Arts students will fit right in with natives of the five boroughs after guest lecturer H. Russ Brown helps them craft the perfect New York accent. The seminar is designed for students enrolled in Drama 1351: Acting I and will take place on Monday, Oct. 12, via Zoom from noon-1:15 p.m.

“This is a unique opportunity for students to work directly with an expert who specializes in dialect and accent training for actors,” Blinn-Bryan Theatre Director Greg Wise said. “Although the pandemic has limited our ability to physically bring guests like Mr. Brown to campus, our virtual resources have actually allowed us to expand our reach and connect students to experiences and audiences in a novel way.”   

Brown will focus on several New York dialects based on accents reflected in the plays “The Big Knife,” “Waiting for Lefty,” and “Lost in Yonkers.” Due to the small class size, students will be able to engage in one-on-one training and receive personalized feedback.

In addition to students, Brown’s seminar is open to observers from the extended Blinn community through Zoom.

Brown is a nationally recognized and award-winning theatre artist and educator who has worked at theatres, colleges, and universities across the country for the past 30 years. He currently serves as Head of the Theatre/Artistic Director and Assistant Professor of Theatre at College of the Mainland in Texas City, Texas. Brown is a stage dialect, voice-over, and vocal production expert with experience training actors how to vocally portray characters that are both unique and authentic. He holds a master’s degree in fine arts from Western Illinois University.

“Any time we get to an area of specialty in class, like accents or combat, we like to bring in a guest artist who can augment and further specialize in that area,” Wise said. “Mr. Brown’s expertise is a perfect complement and continuation of our coursework and equips our students with an even more enriched foundation in the craft.”

Drama 1351 provides students with an introduction to the fundamental principles and tools of acting as used in auditions, rehearsals, and performances. Students learn to analyze characters and scripts, ensemble performing, and basic theater terminology. Guest lecturers like Brown can assist students by expanding the full use of their voice, mind, and imagination.

Blinn’s Theatre Arts Program incorporates a wide range of performance, technical, and production studies to provide students with a robust educational foundation that integrates the academic discipline of theatre in the classroom with work on the stage. The Theatre Arts Program hosts a variety of performances each year on its Bryan and Brenham campuses that provide students with audition and performance experience. For more information, visit www.blinn.edu/theatre.

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