Deric McNish



While Deric's work is diverse and spans the creative and scholarly divide, the through-line is about creating more inclusive and more impactful applications for acting, voice, and speech training. He works to make the creative process more accessible to diverse people, and to bring actor training to populations that will benefit in surprising ways. Recent areas of interest include English language learners and people with disabilities.

Upcoming presentations:

"Revolutions in Teaching Theatre Arts," Association for Theatre in Higher Education. Boston, MA, Aug. 2018.

"Academic English and the Performing Arts," TESOL International Convention. Chicago, IL. Apr. 2018.

Recent publications:

"The Performance of Fluency," published on 4/13/2017 in the international peer-reviewed journal, Voice and Speech Review. This article was awarded the Dudley Knight Award for Outstanding Vocal Scholarship.

"A Moving Target: Success and the Reset Button," a book chapter in
Acting for the Stage, published by Taylor and Francis on 3/2/2017.

"Training Actors with Disabilities," a chapter for an upcoming Palgrave Macmillan book titled New Developments in Teaching Theatre Arts.

"The Crucible Witch Hunt," an essay in an upcoming Bloomsbury Publishing book titled How to Teach a Play.

His doctoral dissertation, The 19 Percent: Disability and Actor Training in Higher Education, began as an attempt to document best practices to improve access to actor training for people with disabilities. By chronicling strategies uncovered by educators and students, barriers to actor training can be lessened, which can contribute to greater representation of people with disabilities in film, television, and theatre. This research continues to influence his teaching, not only in the practice of creating an inclusive acting classroom, but also in his lecture course in the Integrated Arts and Humanities program at MSU - Art, the Visual, and Culture: Disability in Performance.

This work has led him to explore other applications of concepts such as Universal Design. "Revising Devising: Applying Universal Design to the Creative Process," documents the successful incorporation of the principles of Universal Design into the creative process of devising his 2013 production of Off With Her Head.

He is currently focused on using acting, voice, and speech curriculum to the benefit of English language learners, in a branch of research called "The Performance of Fluency." He created a unique ESL course using acting, voice, and speech activities as a way to enhance English language learning and cultural understanding among MSU's large population of international students. This collaboration with the English Language Center and Dr. Carmela Romano Gillette at the University of Michigan continues to evolve.