Deric McNish
(517) 884-7788

Room 113


Associate Professor
Director of Undergraduate Research – College of Arts and Letters; Program Director: MFA in Acting

ORCID: 0000-0002-6723-0551


Dr. Deric McNish is a Senior Editor of the International Dialects of English Archive, a member of the Editorial Board for the Voice and Speech Review, a Certified Teacher of Knight-Thompson Speechwork, and a Specialist for the U.S. Department of State. He is a member of SAG-AFTRA and Actors’ Equity Association. He earned his PhD from the University of Colorado Boulder and his MFA in Acting from Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland Play House.

Deric’s work focuses on the scholarship of interdisciplinary teaching and learning, including performance-based approaches to English language teaching and learning. Recent publications include his co-authored book, Teaching With Drama (University of Michigan Press, 2023), “Drama Techniques for Teaching Oral Academic Communication” in Pedagogical Innovations in Oral Academic Communication (University of Michigan Press), “Training Actors with Disabilities” in New Directions in Teaching Theatre Arts (Palgrave Macmillan), “Stanislavski in the Voice Studio” in Objectives, Obstacles, and Tactics in Practice (Routledge), and “Performance of Fluency” in the Voice and Speech Review.

Deric has narrated several audiobooks and performed in national tours and at theatres including the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, the Porthouse Theatre, the Cleveland Play House, and the Metropolitan Opera. On camera work includes Guiding Light (CBS), Third Watch (NBC), and several films. Deric has worked as a dialect coach and has directed dozens of productions at Michigan State and The Summer Circle Theatre, including multiple devised and world premieres. Deric received the 2019 All-University Teacher-Scholar Award, the 2018 AT&T Award for Innovation in Instructional Technology, the 2017 Innovation and Leadership Award for Faculty, the 2017 Fintz Award for Teaching Excellence in the Arts and Humanities, and the 2016 Dudley Knight Award for Outstanding Vocal Scholarship. He received fellowships for the 2019-20 Hub for Innovation in Learning and Technology, the 2019-20 CAL Leadership Fellowship, and the 2018-19 Adams Academy for Instructional Excellence and Innovation.

Media Mentions

Awards and Honors


Disability on Stage, Screen, and New Media
Study of the representations of people with disabilities in theatre, film, and television. MSU Integrative Studies in Arts and Humanities.

Action Through Art: Devising Creative Performance
Practical exploration of a collaborative process for creating original performances to impact social issues.

Acting with Accents
MFA and BFA sections. Strategies for accent research, acquisition, and performance.

Voice for the Actor
MFA and BFA sections. Practical exploration of various techniques, focusing on the physical actions and anatomy of healthy vocal production, expansion of range, expressivity, and application to text.

Classical Styles
Graduate sections. Performing classical styles including Shakespeare, Restoration, French Renaissance, and Spanish Golden Age.

Graduate and undergraduate sections. Voiceover performance for commercials, industrials, audiobooks, animation and gaming.

ESL: American Performing Arts
Using theatre, acting, and voice teaching approaches with English language learners and educators.

Introduction to Acting
Introductory and practical exploration of skills used by actors on stage and screen.

Advanced Scene Study – Psychophysical Approaches
Based on Michael Chekhov’s psychophysical approach to acting.


Drama in the Language Classroom: What Every ESL Teacher Needs to Know. Co-authored with Carmela Romano Gillette. University of Michigan Press. Digital: Mar. 2019. Print: 2023

“Performing Fluency: Drama Techniques for Teaching Oral Academic Communication.” Pedagogical Innovations in Oral Academic Communication. Co-authored with Carmela Romano Gillette. Ed. Megan M. Siczek. University of Michigan Press. 2022.

“Stanislavski in the Voice Studio.” Objectives, Obstacles, and Tactics in Practice: Perspectives on Activating the Actor. Ed. Hillary Bucs and Valerie Pye. Routledge. Dec. 2019.

“Training Actors with Disabilities.” New Directions in Teaching Theatre Arts. Ed. Anne Fliotsos and Gail Medford. Palgrave Macmillan. Aug. 2018.

“Performance of Fluency.” Voice and Speech Review, an international peer-reviewed journal. 2-3. Apr. 12, 2017. Recipient of the 2016 VSR Dudley Knight Award for Outstanding Vocal Scholarship.

“Hysteria in the Crucible.” How to Teach a Play. Ed. Miriam Chirico and Kelly Younger. Bloomsbury Publishing. Jan. 2020.

Re-Access Podcast. U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and the U.S. Embassy to Russia. 2022-2023.

Syllable of Recorded Time. 2 seasons. MSU College of Arts and Letters. Fall 2019 (Season 1 – 8 episodes, host/writer/director), fall 2023 (Season 2 – 6 episodes, producer/guest).

“When the Hurly-Burly’s Done: Interpretations of Shakespeare’s Post-War Homecomings.” Homecoming Veterans in Literature and Culture: Comparative and Interdisciplinary Perspectives. Ed. Niels Boender. Routledge. (accepted/ongoing, est. fall 2024).

“A Moving Target: Success and the Reset Button.” Acting for the Stage. Ed. Anna Weinstein. Focal Press, Taylor and Francis, Feb. 24, 2017.

55 samples collected, analyzed, and published to the International Dialects of English Archive.

“Theatre and Film: 1900 – Present.”  Cultural Sociology of the Middle East, Asia, and Africa, Volume 4: West, Central and South Asia.  Sage Publications, 2012.

“Entertainment: Prehistory – 1200.”  Cultural Sociology of the Middle East, Asia, and Africa, Volume 3: East and Southeast Asia. Sage Publications, 2012.

“Entertainment: 1200 – Present.” Cultural Sociology of the Middle East, Asia, and Africa, Volume 3: East and Southeast Asia. Sage Publications, 2012.

University News

Student View: Taking Advantage of Opportunities that Come Along
Published September 1, 2022 in College of Arts & Letters
Tessa Golden Kresch, a junior from Farmington Hills, Michigan, who lived in San Juan, Puerto Rico, is majoring with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting with a minor in Entrepreneurship and…Read now »
Deric McNish Selected by U.S. Department of State for Prestigious English Language Specialist Project
Published August 4, 2022 in College of Arts & Letters
A picture of a man with short black hair in a grey suit.
The U.S. Department of State has selected Deric McNish, Associate Professor in Michigan State University’s Department of Theatre, for a four-month English Language Specialist project in Russia,…Read now »
MSU Outreach Effort Celebrates Works of Black Playwrights
Published April 6, 2022 in College of Arts & Letters
Zoom screenshot of six individuals and 3 groups of students.
A group of Michigan State University faculty and students from the Department of Theatre in collaboration with the Wharton Center Institute for Arts & Creativity led an effort to bring the Next…Read now »
College Honors Faculty Promoted in 2021
Published December 15, 2021 in College of Arts & Letters
The College of Arts & Letters is pleased to recognize several faculty members who recently were promoted to full professor, associate professor, or associate professor-fixed term. These faculty…Read now »
MSU Department of Theatre Announces 2021-2022 Season
Published September 21, 2021 in College of Arts & Letters
The Michigan State University Department of Theatre announces its 2021-2022 season, which focuses on the examination of the contemporary understanding of gender. “One of the greatest…Read now »
Theatre Students Develop Anthology of Audio Plays to Evoke Conversations Around Social Justice Issues
Published March 9, 2021 in College of Arts & Letters
A standing microphone next to the title "Audio Anthology" in scripted letters
A group of Michigan State University Department of Theatre students created a series of new audio plays, each connected to themes of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). All five “Audio…Read now »
Department of Theatre Announces Fall 2020 Experimental Season
Published October 19, 2020 in College of Arts & Letters
The Michigan State University Department of Theatre announces an experimental season for Fall 2020, rooted in diversity, equity, inclusion, and public discourse. While conventional…Read now »
Inspiration Drawn from Detroit for ‘Into the Woods’ Production
Published January 28, 2020 in College of Arts & Letters
two women in costumes standing next to each other in the woods
MSU is giving the Tony Award-winning fairytale-themed musical Into the Woods a creative re-imagining designed to resonate with mid-Michigan audiences. Inspiration for the set and…Read now »
LAE Podcast Season 4: Theatre Professor Deric McNish
Published January 16, 2020 in College of Arts & Letters
Two men sitting in chairs facing each other and smiling. Behind them is a TV and a desk underneath.
The new episode of the Liberal Arts Endeavor Podcast is out! Our host, Dean Christopher P. Long, spoke with Deric McNish, Assistant Professor of acting, voice, and speech and…Read now »
Department of Theatre Creates Accessible Audio Resource for Shakespeare Fans
Published October 24, 2019 in College of Arts & Letters
Group of four people in a studio sitting at a table with microphones
MSU Department of Theatre Assistant Professor Deric McNish and his students have been hard at work on a new project with Shakespeare as their muse and The Winter’s…Read now »
Crystal Skillman Awarded Guest Playwright in Residence at MSU with Pulp Vérité
Published February 14, 2019 in College of Arts & Letters
woman wearing a white shirt with two buns looking at the camera
This month, Michigan State University is proud to welcome Crystal Skillman as a 2019 Guest Playwright in Residence for a week-and-a-half-long workshop on her new play Pulp…Read now »
Faculty Members to Receive All-University Awards
Published January 28, 2019 in College of Arts & Letters
brick building surrounding by trees with red and green leaves
Four College of Arts & Letters faculty members will receive All-University Awards on Tuesday, February 5, during a special ceremony held at the Heritage Room of the University Club from 3:30…Read now »
Divergent Voices Theme of 2017-2018 Department of Theatre Season
Published May 25, 2017 in College of Arts & Letters
graphic grid of theatre posters
In a time where debate may be equivalent to yelling, where respect means only similar points of view, where we all seem to only agree on disagreement, theatre must do what it was created to do:…Read now »
2017 Alumni Board Faculty & Student Awards
Published April 3, 2017 in College of Arts & Letters
Linton Hall
In recognition of their outstanding achievements in leadership, teaching, innovation, and community engagement, five deserving individuals were presented with CAL Alumni Board Awards at the…Read now »
Summer Circle Theatre Announces Its 57th Season
Published March 2, 2017 in College of Arts & Letters
Summer Circle Theatre outside kresge art center
Summer Circle Theatre returns this June for its 57th season and will take you on a journey across the United States (with a detour to Neverland). So, pack your bags and explore the entire…Read now »
Kellyn Uhl
Published October 24, 2016 in College of Arts & Letters
a black and white image of a women with short hair wearing a blouse and hoop earrings
Alumna Kellyn Uhl is a Registered Dance/Movement Therapist (R-DMT) who, after graduating from Michigan State University in 2010 with a BFA in Theatre, worked as an actor, dancer, and photographer in…Read now »