Dr. Petronilla Whitfield’s professional output

Communicating and sharing teaching strategies for Acting students with dyslexia:Embodied cognition and visual mnemonics

Conference – Published 5th Aug 19


The presence of students with SpLD (dyslexia) in actor-training institutions is an increasingly common occurrence. This article argues that there is an urgent need to develop inclusive strategies of support in the voice and acting studio that can effectively enable those with dyslexia, while promoting equality of opportunity for realization of potential.  Focusing on the author’s research concerning the facilitation of acting students with dyslexia in the areas of reading, speaking and acting of Shakespeare, this article begins by highlighting specific difficulties presented by dyslexia. It goes on to describe a case-study of two acting students with dyslexia and their visually led methods employed in entering Shakespeare’s text. The workshop section offers a pedagogical strategy for the inclusive voice class when working on Shakespeare, while the section dedicated to participant three demonstrates how a dyslexic acting student uses a visually led approach in enhancing her articulation of speech and extrapolation of meaning in the text. Underpinning the investigations with analysis and theory, the author concludes by sharing her research findings, seeking to stimulate further discussion within the community of voice and actor- training.