Chris works regionally as a speech and dialect coach for plays and musicals.
He taught undergraduate Acting and Voice & Speech at Indiana University and is a teaching artist with the Broadway Mentors Program.
Currently is Head of Faculty and teaches Acting and Audition Prep at the Theatre School of WNY and is Director of Drama at St. Francis High School where he will direct Is He Dead? and Newsies this season.
Full CV available on request.
Chris was nothing but totally awesome and supportive when we worked together on Frankenstein. I was nervous about the dialect, but Chris quickly put me at ease. He started each conversation we had by talking about the things I was doing well, and then helped me through what could be better by giving me super simple, effective tools. Chris has got such a lovely, calming energy and he made something I was really nervous about really fun. I was grateful he was in the room.
Chris is a stellar dialect coach. One of the finest I’ve worked with. He has a collaborative approach, always taking in the thoughts and concerns of the actors as they prepare their dialects.
Throughout my time spent in his classroom I learned a lot about acting and how acting isn’t so different from everyday interactions. I consistently felt as if the environment he provided was a positive and interactive one. He encouraged us to support each other as well as learn more about each person than just the basics. Every time myself, or another student spoke or expressed confusion, he answered with a very clear message and often an example to follow.
Chris is more than just an educator, but a mentor as well. The environment provided was one where I felt respected, valued, and overall, heard.
Chris Handley is an engaging teacher that works with students to build foundations from within. He doesn’t pander. He doesn’t try to implement his own process onto his students, but helps them to find their own voice and artistry through their work.
While it’s always a great pleasure to work with Chris Handley, not only for his amenable and generous nature or his high level of professionalism, but in the instance of working with him on Oliver!, I came to understand his excellence as a dialect coach. Long on patience and insightful notes, Chris also walked the fine line of great collaboration between he, myself and the Director. It was a wonderful experience!
As a huge fan of theatre and novice in acting, I was both nervous and unsure of what I should expect as I entered my first formal acting class. Chris was not only able to create a safe space for me to explore the craft, but also gave me practical knowledge to use as I navigated through scene work and monologue work.
Chris was able to challenge my decisions and encourage me to push myself to perform with more honesty without making me feel embarrassed or inadequate. He also competently handled a class that included a diverse range of talent levels and backgrounds, allowing us each to enjoy that class for what it was able to bring us as individuals.
I have so many good memories of time spent in the class exploring different acting and oratory techniques, and having fun with expressing the deepest truth of our message to the audience. Rather than imposing standards of dialect or tone, he built up our confidence and used Patsy Rodenburg’s philosophy for improving upon our natural voices.
Chris has a profound understanding of what makes a good theatre coach. His sessions simultaneously challenged and empowered the students to reach their goals. I thank him for motivating me to continue pursuing theatre even though I was only studying theatre for a minor.