Open Forum

Teaching Artist Spotlight: Adam Michael Rose

By Ginny Butsch posted 02-25-2020 14:33


We recently launched a new Community program called Teaching Artist Directory. This directory is an EdTA members-only benefit that helps you find skilled theatre professionals to lead workshops in your classroom or at an event. 

Our latest featured teaching artist is Adam Michael Rose, an EdTA professional member and dialect expert. Adam has presented workshops at various national and state events, including our International Thespian Festival and National Conference. You can learn even more about Adam by visiting his Teaching Artist Profile.  


What is your favorite thing about being a teaching artist?

I love helping students and teachers alike explore the powerful world of accents and dialects. I consider myself lucky in that I’m able to travel throughout the country to work with so many wonderful theatre makers!


What are your areas of expertise?

  • Demystifying accents and dialects for students and theatre educators
  • Teaching customized in-class and online accent workshops for school productions
  • Creating detailed interactive study guides which help theatre teachers to coach accents effectively in their productions and classrooms
  • Coaching students to achieve authentic, nuanced accent performances


Do you teach workshops for students, teachers, or both?

Both! I offer in-person and online accent workshops, lectures, and coaching sessions for both students and teachers. I work closely with teachers to devise accent curriculum that is right for their classroom or production.


What kinds of workshops do you teach?

My workshops for students dive into many accents for the stage. Some of the most popular ones so far have been Standard British, Cockney, New York City, Irish, Scottish, Italian, French, Russian, German, and Australian, though my training has given me the skills to analyze and coach any accent. My workshops for teachers focus on methodologies of teaching accents to others. As a dialect coach, I’m able to help casts develop and grow confident, emotionally-driven accent performances.


Do you have any special training or certification?

Yes! I'm proud to say that in addition to my theatre training at NYU’s Tisch School of the arts, I am a certified teacher of Knight Thompson Speechwork, which many consider to be the most comprehensive training program for accent trainers. This method is quickly becoming very popular with college acting conservatory training, so I’m very happy to be able to introduce it to young actors who may be considering majoring in theatre.


Why do you believe theatre is important?

I've personally seen the undeniable impact that theatre has on students. Theatre offers a world of exploration, self-discovery, risk-taking, community-building, and the opportunity to make lifelong friendships. Theatre has the power to make us all laugh, cry, and ask ourselves compelling questions. When you thoughtfully add accents into the mix, you’re creating a totally immersive, unforgettable, heart-felt experience for actors and audiences!


What does a typical day look like for you?

As a dialect coach and teaching artist, a typical day involves any/all of the following:

  • Researching and preparing for upcoming shows and projects
  • Developing new exercises and ideas for future school workshops
  • Sharing accent tips, resources, and other content with students and educators
  • Coaching private accent sessions with professional and student actors from around the globe
  • Collaborating with theater educators and other teaching artists
  • Consulting with professional production companies about film, TV and theatre projects
  • Practicing, refining and increasing my own skills. (With around 7,000 languages and exponentially more accents in the world today, I have my work cut out for me!)


What is the best advice anyone has ever given to you?

When I first moved to Los Angeles, I heard this apparently famous story of Bette Davis who, in an interview was once asked, "What advice would you give young, aspiring actors moving to LA?" Her answer was simply: "Take Fountain (Ave)." This makes me smile when I think about it, but I also think there’s an underlying message of simplicity, or less is more. I interpret this as a reminder that no matter how driven we are, or what we are trying to accomplish, that once in a while we must also remember to stop and breathe.


What is your favorite musical (or play)? What makes it so special?

Come From Away. I’ve seen it twice now, and each time I think about it, I still get goosebumps. Unlike many other 9/11-themed stories, this one is happy, uplifting, inspiring! As an ex-New Yorker who was there that day, learning that this story actually happened was truly magical. In addition to its emotionally-driven music, this show also features highly creative staging, and a showcase of accents literally from around the world!


What was the first play you ever saw?

Shenendoah on Broadway starring John Cullum (of Northern Exposure). It was pure magic to a 7-year-old from Baltimore!


Tell us about the moment that made you decide to get involved in theatre.

I was 10-years-old when I performed for the first time in a musical called Sis! Boom! Bah! Opening night brought a rush that I hadn't yet experienced. The second night brought that rush right back again and helped me realize that theatre is special place that allows you to make other people smile. I had never experienced this before.


What is unique about your workshop(s)?

My mission is to get students and teachers totally excited about how they can use accents to make meaningful theatre. Every one of us has an accent when we speak, and yet most of us never stop to wonder why, or to notice how each accent has its own beauty. I teach students and teachers to gain awareness of their own accents, appreciate the sounds of others’, and to learn to speak authentically in any accent. What I teach requires people to pay careful attention, and to try new things, but that doesn’t stop us from having fun! Students and teachers walk away knowing how to explore and develop accents for the stage with confidence and absolute authenticity.


Don’t let character accents scare you away from a great production, Adam can make it an incredible experience! Contact Adam here or explore the Teaching Artist Directory here.