The Shaping the Arts series highlights TCU College of Fine Arts faculty and alumni who are at the forefront of their field and who Lead On, Creatively.
“I want to prepare students to be creatively trained and ethical artists who are empathetic toward other peoples’ stories across place and time,” said Krista Scott, a professor in the Department of Theatre.
She collaborated with Scott Moffitt ’12 to develop “Actors Guide to International Phonetic Alphabet and Accents,” an educational video series for industry professionals to learn accents and dialects. We spoke with Scott about her new project and using theatre as a tool for social advocacy.
A Guide for Actors
“It was nice to work with Moffitt as a colleague and a peer,” said Scott. “I had as much to learn from him as he had to learn from me.”
At the height of the pandemic, Scott was invited by her former student to collaborate on “Actors Guide to International Phonetic Alphabet and Accents.” Moffit, a dialect coach in Los Angeles, envisioned creating a resource for theater professionals to develop their practice. He sought Scott’s expertise to help inform the web series and supplementary materials.
The pair wrote the script in late 2021 and filmed the series this past January before Scott returned to campus for the spring semester.
“He’s developed unique processes which are based on what he learned in my courses,” said Scott. “Now we haggle and geek out over the minutiae of IPA transcription and discuss best teaching practices in accents and dialects.”
“Actors Guide to International Phonetic Alphabet and Accents” will be released by the end of the year, with Scott and Moffitt planning to add more dialects and accents to the course.
“Hopefully, it’s not a finished product,” said Scott.
Immigration Through the Lens of Theatre
Scott taught at nationally award-winning institutions and theatre programs before founding a professional theatre company with her husband in St. Cloud, Minnesota, called “The New Tradition.” The couple curated a breadth of programs for their community, including adult contemporary plays, acoustic concerts and children’s summer camps.
Following a 10-year successful theatre run, Scott looked to return to academia and reviewed faculty listings for the performing arts. She applied for a theatre faculty position in Cairo, Egypt, and spent the next four years teaching abroad and experiencing a new culture.
“Teaching in Egypt was a wonderful experience. Everyone should travel abroad as often as possible to see what the world is like,” said Scott.
Scott returned to the U.S. and joined the TCU Department of Theatre in fall 2009. She crafted her classical theatre and dialect courses to promote cultural appreciation and empathetic storytelling. Last summer, Scott and her colleague, Assistant Professor Lydia Mackey, taught “Modern Trends in Theatre,” a special topics course for a study abroad program in Sicily.
Students performed “The Suppliant Women,” a play by classical tragedian Aeschylus, to connect to Sicily’s rich Greek history. Scott and Mackay adapted the script and the course to examine the region’s inflow of immigration and the plight of refugees through the lens of theatre.
Students worked with a renowned Sicilian scenic artist to create their own Greek tragedy masks for the play. The TCU production of “The Suppliant Women” performed at the International Festival of Classical Young People’s Theatre of Palazzolo Acreide, with the students being the only group invited from outside of Europe.
Professional Training & Upcoming Projects
Scott was accepted into the 2021 Centre Artistique International Roy Hart, a prestigious program to learn voice, body and movement approaches. In theCévennes hills of southern France, Scott spent 10 days collaborating with international artists and was the only North American invited to the course.
“It was rejuvenating,” said Scott. “I was immersed in three different somatic voice methodologies, and I incorporated much of the training in a new upper-level voice and speech course in 2022.”
Scott’s is currently working on a solo performance of “Wilde Woman,” a play she wrote during a sabbatical leave in 2016. The piece is inspired by Oscar Wilde and Scott hopes to take it to the 2024 Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Scotland.