Paul Meier, British born, is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Theatre and voice specialist for its productions in the University Theatre, retiring in 2017 after 29 years of service. He is founder and director of the International Dialects of English Archive (IDEA), the leading online archive of its kind.
As at several other American and British drama schools where he held appointments (The North Carolina School of the Arts, The Royal Academy Of Dramatic Arts, The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, The Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art, among them), Meier taught voice, speech, dialect, and heightened text. His dialect class employed his textbook, Accents & Dialects for Stage and Screen, also in use at more than one hundred theatre departments and conservatories around the world. His Voicing Shakespeare, an eBook with embedded audio and video, is a leading text for classical actors.
In his fifty-year career as an accent/dialect coach, he has worked on several hundred stage productions and over twenty feature films. Stage productions include a London revival of The Glass Menagerie starring Diana Hardcastle, and The Tallest Tree in the Forest, starring Daniel Beaty and directed by Moisés Kaufman (The Laramie Project); his dialect designs for over 100 plays and musicals are used in productions around the world. Films of special note for his dialect coaching are Ride with the Devil, directed by Academy Award-winning Ang Lee, starring Tobey Maguire, Skeet Ulrich, Jeffrey Wright, and Jewel; and Molokai, directed by Paul Cox, starring David Wenham, Peter O'Toole, Sam Neill, Derek Jacobi, and Tom Wilkinson.
Meier's work as an actor on stage, in films, and on television includes several years with the BBC Drama Repertory Company; he appeared with that company in over one hundred radio dramas alongside actors such as Richard Burton, Derek Jacobi, and Paul Scofield. Films include Stolen Women, Cross of Fire, and Ride with the Devil. Audiobooks include The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Ayn Rand's Anthem, and The Baghavad-Gita, while national commercials for which has provided voice-over include clients like Coca-Cola, Wal-Mart, and Ford.
At KU, as a director, his nearly twenty productions included ten Shakespeare plays, three musicals and an eclectic mix of modern and period drama, while he is credited with voice, speech, dialect, and text coaching more than seventy productions. Of particular note is his 2010 production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, performed entirely in the original pronunciation, subsequently published as a DVD by Films Media group, and as an audio drama.
Meier is Associate Editor Emeritus for Pedagogy and Coaching for the Voice and Speech Review, which has published many of his own articles. Altogether, he has published more than twenty articles and chapters in books.
He maintains his active, world-wide practice as a dialect coach for theatre and films through Paul Meier Dialect Services.