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Radium Girls Question

  • 1.  Radium Girls Question

    Posted 09-10-2019 13:59
    Hello friends,

    Thank you to all who responded to my summer questions about Radium Girls. I have decided to do it this fall and am really excited. Question for those who have produced this show...did you hire a dialect coach for the European accents in the show? If not, how did you handle those? Definitely not in my wheelhouse of expertise and this is the first time I have come up against this issue...certainly will not be the last I'm sure.

    Thank you for any advice yo u can provide!

    Sarah Aanderud Wahlen
    Director of Theatre & Film
    Holy Names Academy
    Seattle, WA

  • 2.  RE: Radium Girls Question

    Posted 09-10-2019 14:54
    I don't know the show well, but dialects are in my wheelhouse and I would say, budget permitting, hire a coach.  It is a great experience for students to work with another theatre professional.  Think about hiring a coach who can both dialect coach, as well as a vocal coach for the whole production. That way, even students who aren't learning an accent can get some benefit. Let me know if you want to chat further!

    Elana Kepner
    Theatre Instructor
    The Oakwood School
    Greenville NC

  • 3.  RE: Radium Girls Question

    Posted 09-11-2019 07:07
    Hi Sarah,
    I just produced this show and went through these questions with my dialect coach.  We also reached out to an original cast member.  In the end, we decided to NOT do dialects except for Von Sochocky and Marie Curie.  The original cast member told us that it played better when the normal voices of the actor are used.  The idea being that these could be girls from anywhere.  We didn't use any New Jersey accents or New York: we just let their voices be the characters.  I hope that helps.

    Nathan Shewell
    Theatre Arts Director

  • 4.  RE: Radium Girls Question

    Posted 09-11-2019 17:10

    Thank you so much!


    Sarah Aanderud Wahlen, M.Div.

    Director of Theatre & Film

    Theology Department, Faculty

    H O L Y  N A M E S  A C A D E M Y

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  • 5.  RE: Radium Girls Question

    Posted 09-11-2019 18:22
    Edited by Valerie Farschman 09-11-2019 18:23
    When we did the show, the only accents were Von Sochocky and Marie Curie, and we used David Alan Stern's Acting with an Accent cds and manual for those two actors. I have used his cds in the past with great success. Some actors don't take it seriously enough, so then I have the assistant director work with them when they are not on stage. Then more than one student is learning the accent. The way Stern teaches dialect - you can speak in the accent the entire time, even when improvising because he uses more than sound replacement.  Most of it is about placement of the sound in the mouth.  As production week gets closer, I make the actors speak in their dialect as soon as they enter the space. It makes it more a part of their everyday life, and seems more natural.
    Like another director stated, it is better that the rest of the cast speaks the way your audience does - so they will identify with them.  The horrors the girls went through occurred not in just New Jersey, but also in Chicago - so it really does not matter that they are identified as from one city.
    You will get many compliments on this show, it has a powerful message.  Best of luck.

    Valerie Farschman, Drama Director
    MLS Theatre Company, Troupe 1422
    Marion L Steele High School
    Amherst, Ohio