Dudley Knight

Former Professor Emeritus of Drama at the University of California, Irvine


Contributions to IDEA:
California 2


Bio: Dudley, who passed away in 2013, was an American voice/speech/dialect expert and stage actor with more than 40 years of experience as a speech and dialect teacher, and voice director for professional theatre, in addition to being an IDEA associate editor. He conducted workshops and lectures on voice and speech for actors and voice teachers worldwide. He retired from the University of California, Irvine, where he taught for twenty years. Knight coached voice, text, and dialects at many theatres, including the Utah Shakespearean Festival, the Colorado Shakespeare Festival, La Jolla Playhouse, South Coast Repertory, and American Conservatory Theatre. He was a Master teacher of Fitzmaurice Voicework, which is based on the teachings of Catherine Fitzmaurice. He conducted workshops with Phil Thompson, where he taught Knight-Thompson Speechwork, his modified version of the Fitzmaurice technique. As an actor, he played major roles at American Conservatory Theatre, South Coast Repertory, Mark Taper Forum, and Utah Shakespearean Festival, among others. He will be sorely missed. Thanks for your life; rest in peace, Dudley.

Other information about Dudley: Professor Emeritus of Drama at the University of California, Irvine. Founding member of the Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven, Connecticut; extensive stage career includes major roles in regional theatres such as American Conservatory Theatre, Magic Theatre, Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, La Jolla Playhouse, Connecticut Repertory Theatre, Old Globe Theatre, Mark Taper Forum, Olney Theatre Center, Utah and Colorado Shakespeare Festivals, Ensemble Studio Theatre, and many others, along with hundreds of roles in film, television, radio, and voice-over. Certified as Master Teacher of Fitzmaurice Voicework. A forty-year career as voice, speech, text, and dialect teacher and voice/text director for professional theatre, including five years on the artistic Staff of Tony Award-winning South Coast Repertory; conducted workshops and lectured on voice and speech for actors and voice teachers nationwide (www.ktspeechwork.com);  published articles in journals and in the books The Vocal Vision and Standard Speech. Subject of a chapter in Voice & Speech in the New Millennium. His textbook Speaking with Skill is published by Methuen Drama.


The following sonnet is in his memory:



Shall herald trumpets, massive choirs not sound

The great, sad passing of this noble Knight

Whose sudden, crashed oblivion has stunned

Our vast assembly? Sure, a soul so bright

As Dudley’s—mind and heart and wit and speech—

Should earn a thund’ring chorus, banks of brass,

Whose bass to treble verberance might reach

His grand Omnish-ient voice, recall ‘t from space

To vibrant memory. But hearts thus full,

We yearn with empty ears and strain for naught

As dampened horns and muffled drums file hence.

Bereft of echoes, ribs and lungs are dulled

By dead air, shrouded tongues, and lips stopped mute.

All syllables are dust; his rest is silence.


Joanna Cazden
July 2013
Burbank, California

error: Content is protected !!