Actor and director Rod Menzies is an internationally recognized voice, speech, text and dialect coach. He is a former co-artistic director of Ensemble Studio Theatre Los Angeles (EST/LA), where he serves on the Board of Directors and contributes as an actor and director in the development of new American plays. He is also a member of the Open Fist Theatre Company, where he acts and directs. In 2018, he appeared in Zuri Alexander’s award-winning short ﬁlm, Quiet Denial, which has screened at a number of ﬁlm festivals including L.A. Shorts, where it was recognized with an Audience Award. As a director, Menzies has helmed more than 60 theatrical productions, including three world premieres for EST/LA, and an award-winning world premiere of Tom Jacobson’s Walking to Buchenwald, for Open Fist. In Los Angeles, he has performed leading roles at Open Fist, A Noise Within, Odyssey Theatre Ensemble, Pico Playhouse, Getty Villa, Chalk Repertory Theatre and EST/LA. A veteran of the Shakespearean Stratford Festival in Stratford, Ontario, Canada, Menzies has played many leading Shakespearean roles, including Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet; Sir Andrew Aguecheek in Twelfth Night; Hortensio in Taming of the Shrew; Lysander in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and the title role in King Henry V.
As a faculty member in nationally recognized conservatory programs, Menzies has taught acting, Shakespeare and directing, as well as many courses in voice, speech, text and dialects. He is a founding faculty member of Canada’s National Voice Intensive where he taught voice and Shakespeare text for 15 years, and the founding producing director of New York Theatre Intensives, where he taught a summer intensive in new play development in collaboration with the member artists of EST/NY.
Among the actors he has coached are Patricia Arquette, Neve Campbell, David Duchovny, Mariska Hargitay, Adrian Homes, James Purefoy, Marcus Scribner, Alicia Silverstone, TJ Thyne and Sophie Turner.
In addition to UCLA TFT, Menzies teaches at the AMDA Conservatory of the Performing Arts. He received his master of fine arts degree in theatre from York University in Toronto and a diploma in acting from Bristol Old Vic Theatre School in Bristol, England.