The go-to guy for Irish accents

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Speaking Synge

Stephen Gabis comes across like speech therapy. That's because Mr. Gabis is a go-to dialect coach whose craft can be heard on Broadway and beyond.
He just did a production of "The Playboy of the Western World" for Queens College, NY. It's one of the most difficult things. I find it tougher than Shakespeare, that particular play by John Millington Synge.
He went to the Aran Islands and literally listened to people through keyholes. English was the second language. Most of them spoke Irish Gaelic first, and the specific Gaelic of that province, of Connacht. It's written in convoluted language. You can't say "I love you." You say things like [speaking in an Irish accent], "It is to you I might be thinking of giving love next Thursday if I'm not milking the cows and stuck somewhere because I drank too much." [back to an American accent] It's a real roundabout way of speaking. It's tonal, like Chinese.
WITH talk of diphthongs and tongue positions, a dialogue session with  His fluency with accents helps make the rounded vowels of "The Seafarer" or the dropped r's of "To Kill a Mockingbird" sound authentic enough to sometimes fool even native speakers of the represented regions.
Read the full NYTimes profile here

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