General and Background

Eliza Jane Schneider has been coaching celebrities and developing talent in Hollywood for over 20 years. She has worked as a voice-match expert with Oliver Stone on SAVAGES, and as a dialect coach with Todd Phillips on HANGOVER 3.

Fascinated by sound all her life, Eliza Jane began studying the Suzuki ear-training method at the Eastman School of Music at age 7, where she also studied classical voice. By age twelve, she had gotten her first Equity job playing an English role in A Christmas Carol and an American Southern role in Inherit the Wind at Rochester NY's GeVa Theater.

Schneider studied theater at Northwestern University and UCLA, where she graduated with a BFA from the World Arts and Cultures Department in Theater. She wrote her senior thesis on American Regional Dialects, and then participated in the Dialect 2000 conference at Queens University Belfast. Some of her recordings were used in the creation of the book resulting from that conference, Language Links: The Languages of Scotland and Ireland. She was then an invited guest at the joint meeting of the Northern English Dialect Societies in Yorkshire.

Teaching and Coaching

Ms. Schneider has taught Dialects and Accent Reduction at Brown University, Trinity Rep, UCLA Extension, The O'Neill Theater Center, Word Bridge Playwright's Workshop, The American Federation of Radio and Television Artists (AFTRA), and the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Conservatory at the American Film Institute (AFI) in Hollywood.

She currently teaches classes through her company Competitive Edge Voice Training; previously Eliza Doolittle Dialects from 1992-2010. She also taught with The Henry Higgins of Hollywood from 1997-2007, as amanuensis to Robert Easton, during which time clients Helen Hunt, Robin Williams, and Forest Whitaker won Oscars.

As a coach, Ms. Schneider has also helped Disney Imagineering re-create the voice of Andrew Jackson and a young Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia for their theme parks.

Performing

"The Woman of a Thousand Voices", Eliza Jane Schneider is an actor, playwright, songstress, and fiddler in addition to being a dialect expert. She is most widely known for voicing most of the female characters on Comedy Central's SOUTH PARK, including Wendy, Shelly, Principal Victoria, Mrs. Marsh, Mrs. Cartman, Mrs. McCormick, Ms. Crabtree, the Mayor, and hundreds of additional voices.

Her most recent stage role, Displaced, described her evolution into a grass-roots journalist, one who shared space with, broke bread with, and ultimately tape-recorded the unique and powerful stories of abandoned, mistreated and--often--triumphant human beings living in the streets of our planet's wealthiest and poorest cities.

Her one-woman, 34-character show, FREEDOM OF SPEECH, directed by Sal Romeo, won the "Best Solo Show" award at the New York International Fringe Festival, then ran Off-Broadway at P.S. 122, and was ultimately moved to Joe's Pub at The Public Theater. MOXIE Theatre in San Diego produced a run of the show in 2013 to standing ovations and rave reviews, directed by Delicia Turner-Sonnenberg.

Her gaming fans know her as Rebecca Crane in the ASSASSIN'S CREED game franchise, and she has voiced dozens of other characters and creatures for the gaming world, from Scottish trolls to Jamaican dragons.

She re-created the voices of Keira Knightly as Elizabeth Swann in the Pirates of the Caribbean game franchise, and the voices of Arwen (including speaking Elvish), and Eowyn in the Lego Lord of the Rings games.

For MTV, she voiced animated versions of Oprah Winfrey, Tori Spelling, Beyonce, Giselle Bundchen, Michelle Obama, a Cyborg Brittany Spears, and a Ugandan adoption agent who wouldn't give Angelina Jolie a baby (among others) on Dave Thomas' POPZILLA!.

On camera, Eliza Jane guest starred on Spy TV as various international characters, and UPN's GIRLFRIENDS as a white girl surprisingly fluent in "Ebonics". She is also known in over 60 countries as series regular "Liza," on CBS' BEAKMAN'S WORLD.

Research

Eliza has recorded over 7000 interviews with native speakers of various forms of English throughout the world.

She has performed, researched, and taught dialects all over England, Ireland, Scotland, Australia, both islands of New Zealand, all 50 United States, South Africa, the West Indies, Russia, Israel, France, the Philippines, Hong Kong, and South Korea.

Eliza will complete her research--including every country in the world where English is the primary language--in the summer of 2017, while speaking at the VASTA conference in Singapore.

Eliza's research in Portland lead her to the project, Rwandan Girls: Finding Our Voices. Her company, Vox Pop Entertainment, is dedicated to getting unsung voices heard. She is currently raising money to go to Rwanda to teach female genocide survivors to use voice techniques in the English language to get their stories heard in a powerful way.

Eliza was profiled on the International BRAVO! Network's Arts & Minds program for her research.

KPBS RADIO INTERVIEW WITH ELIZA JANE BY ALISON ST JOHN