Paul Meier

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Paul Meier is a professor in the Department of Theatre and voice specialist for its productions in the University Theatre. He is founder and director of the International Dialects of English Archive (IDEA).

As at several other American and British drama schools where he has held appointments (The North Carolina School of the Arts, The Royal Academy Of Dramatic Arts, The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art), Meier teaches voice, speech, dialect, and heightened text. His dialect class employs his textbook, Accents & Dialects for Stage and Screen, in use at more than one hundred theatre departments and conservatories around the world. His Shakespeare course employs his eBook, Voicing Shakespeare.

In his forty-year career as an accent/dialect coach, he has worked on several hundred stage productions and over twenty feature films. Stage productions include a London revival of The Glass Menagerie starring Diana Hardcastle, and The Tallest Tree in the Forest, starring Daniel Beaty and directed by Moisés Kaufman (The Laramie Project); his dialect designs for over 100 plays and musicals are used in productions world-wide. Films of special note are Ride with the Devil, directed by Academy Award-winning Ang Lee, starring Tobey Maguire, Skeet Ulrich, Jeffrey Wright, and Jewel; and Molokai: The Story of Father Damien, directed by Paul Cox, starring David Wenham, and featuring Peter O'Toole, Sam Neill, Derek Jacobi, and Tom Wilkinson.

Meier's work as an actor on stage, in films and on television includes several years with the BBC Drama Repertory Company, appearing in over one hundred radio dramas, alongside actors such as Richard Burton, Derek Jacobi, and Paul Scofield. Films include Stolen Women, Cross of Fire, and Ride with the Devil. Audiobooks include The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Ayn Rand's Anthem, and The Baghavad-Gita, while national commercials for which has provided voice-over include clients like Coca-Cola, Wal-Mart, and Ford.

At KU, as a director, his nearly twenty productions include ten Shakespeare plays, three musicals and an eclectic mix of modern and period drama, while he is credited with voice, speech, dialect, and text coaching more than seventy productions. Of particular note is his 2010 production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, performed entirely in the original pronunciation, subsequently published as a DVD and as an audio drama.

Meier is Associate Editor Emeritus for Pedagogy and Coaching for the Voice and Speech Review, which has published several of his own articles. Altogether, he has published more than twenty articles and chapters in books.


I train actors with a special emphasis on voice, speech dialects, and heightened text.

Teaching Interests

  • Voice and Speech

Research Interests

  • English Dialects

Selected Publications

Meier, P. (2015). Dialects of the United States,

Meier, P. (2010). Tremor into Action. American Theatre.

Selected Work

Dialect Coaching, Room 101, Frank Skinner, 30 minutes, 09/01/2015

Dialect Coaching, Las Meninas, Lynn Nottage, Irondale Center, New York, 2 hours, 09/01/2015 - 12/31/2015

Performer, On-Camera Industrial Films, 01/01/1988 - 12/31/2015


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