As a professional voice and dialect coach, Dianna Cortez has worked on several productions with The New Group Theatre (Off Broadway) including Downtown Race Riot; Ed Harris in Buried Child; Ethan Hawke, Vincent D’Onofrio, Zoey Kazan, and Jonathan Marc Sherman in Jonathan’s new play Clive, which was directed by Ethan Hawke; and Ethan Hawke in Hurly Burly. She also worked with Sam Rockwell in the Broadway premiere of A Behanding in Spokane, and Kim Cattrall while she performed the title role in Antony and Cleopatra directed by Janet Suzman at the Liverpool Playhouse in Liverpool, England. She’s coached professional productions On and Off Broadway through the Schoenfeld Theatre, The Beckett Theatre, Luna Stage (in NJ) and Shakespeare On The Sound (in CT)—most recently coaching MacBeth and Hamlet. She’s coached a few Solo Performance Art pieces: Susan Stein in her one-woman show on the life of Etty Hillesum based on her journals during the Holocaust; Alana Ruban Free’s one-woman show The Beginner at Life, and Yokko Usami in her solo performance pieces.
As well as coaching, Dianna worked as a performer and director with 20% Theatre (a company focused on switching the male/female gender ratio’s in theatre), Oxford Shakespeare Festival, and City Attic Theatre. Dianna was the Artistic Director and co-creator of City Attic Theatre (C.A.T) whose production included: Therese Raquin by Neal Bell, On The Verge or The Geography of Yearning by Eric Overmyer, and Marisol by Jose Rivera to name a few. City Attic Theatre also created the New Works Competition, C.A.T. Tales. C.A.T produced the World Premiere of new works The Most Beautiful Lullaby You’ve Ever Heard by Greg Romero and The Cellar by Melissa Gawlowski. The Cellar was selected to perform at Abrons Arts Center’s Festival Samhain and The Strawberry One-Acts Festival in NYC.
Mrs. Cortez has a double-major B.A. in Music and Acting from Central Michigan University, and an MFA in Acting at Southern Methodist University. She is Designated Linklater Teacher and Louis Colaianni Speech/Dialect and Phonetic Pillows teacher. She currently teaches the NYU students at The Lee Strasberg Institute, as well as students at Syracuse University/Tepper Program in NYC (B.F.A), Circle in the Square Drama School, PACE University (B.A.-Film/TV/Commercial/Voice Over), The Linklater Center for Voice and Language, and works with clients in her private studio in NYC. She’s taught classes at The Actor’s Studio, LAByrinth Theatre, The New Actor’s Workshop, and The Hagen Institute—HB Studio. She’s previously taught classes in the M.F.A program at The Boston Conservatory and the B.F.A program at Montclair State University. She’s, also, created Voice into Shakespeare month-long summer intensives at Eastern Washington University. Mrs. Cortez was a respondent and selector in the Semi-finals for the Kennedy Center/ACTF in Region I, and is a member of the Voice and Speech Trainers Association (VASTA).