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Volume 1, Issue 2
April 2005

Table of Contents:

A Message from the President
From the Editor
Membership Announcement
VASTA Conference 2005 – Glasgow
VASTA's Legacy: The Mentoring Program
Mary Had a Little Dialect
Regional News

A MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT

Lisa Wilson

Dear VASTAns:
Taxes, productions, coaching, exams, spring fever; if you are like me, you are in one of the busiest times in your work cycle or semester. So, I will keep this short and sweet with a few updates and reminders. The next VOICE will come out this summer. If you have an article or news, please contact incoming VOICE editor, Erica Tobolski or outgoing editor Chris Morris.

You will find a short notice from our Membership Director Krista Scott regarding renewal notices, please be sure to read it. We are still accepting registrations for 2005 VASTA Summer Conference in Glasgow, Scotland. Lise Olson and Phil Timberlake are the conference planner and assistant, respectively. Lise is receiving the UK registration, Phil the US and Canadian. Reminder: housing in the dorms is on a first-come-first-served basis. Lise has provided some very helpful information for FAQs that you may have, especially for those of us who have never been to Glasgow or the Fringe in Edinburgh.

We are very pleased that our own wonderful Phil Thompson will be presenting Experiencing Speech, a one day intensive in Knight Speech Work following the ATHE conference in San Francisco. The registration for this workshop is limited; in order to plan we must have received your registration by July 8th. You can find all the info, forms and contacts you need for these workshops at www.vasta.org.

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FROM THE EDITOR

Christine Morris

Welcome to the second issue of The VASTA Voice, our new e-newsletter!
As revealed in the inaugural issue, the plan is to offer the newsletter five times a year: September, November, February, April, and a summer issue in July.

After 8 years of service to the newsletter (4 as a regional editor, 2 as Associate Editor, and 2 as Editor), I am “retiring” as Editor with this issue. I will assist current Associate Editor Erica Tobolski as she takes over with the July issue, and she will fully assume the helm in the fall.

Over the next several months, we will be looking at ways to make the new e-newsletter even better. Some ideas under consideration include having issues devoted to particular topics, and having columns written by members, perhaps on a rotating basis. What do you think? What would you like to see in your newsletter? Please send your thoughts to me (through the end of June) at cmorris@duke.edu, or to Erica at tobolski@sc.edu

I’d like to thank Paul Meier for being a wonderful editor mentor when I worked as his associate, and Erica Tobolski, who has worked as my associate for the past two years with such tremendous capability, good humor, and grace. Thanks to all who’ve made suggestions and submitted material during my editorship, the Board for its generous support, and to Michael J. Barnes and Eric Armstrong for so ably steering us into this new world of electronic formatting.

It’s been a privilege to serve VASTA in this way.

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Membership Announcement

Krista Scott

Greetings from your Membership Director,

As some of you have already experienced, we are trying to cut costs and workload by sending your VASTA membership renewal notice via email. The initial attempt was in the first week of April, and so far we are seeing a good deal of quick response, as well as getting some useful feedback on the currency of our member database. A few folks were inadvertently notified when they in fact had already renewed, and I thank them for their kind and patient replies to assist with our updating. In addition, those who had let their membership lapse from 2000 onward were sent a renewal announcement as well; this friendly nudge has brought a few old friends back into the fold while also helping us to clean up the list from the emails that were kicked back.

We are still working out the bugs to improve the system, and I appreciate any of your feedback to help the VASTA board and me with this endeavor. If you haven’t received a VASTA membership renewal notice and think you might be due, if you received one in error, if you don’t have email or your email address has changed, please contact me or Craig Ferre (treasurer), at the addresses listed below. Our goal is to make sure you are up to date and eligible for all the great benefits you receive from VASTA.

Sincerely,

Krista Scott
VASTA Membership Director
146 Troy Rd.
Ithaca, NY 14850
Kscott@ithaca.edu
(607) 274-1232

Craig Ferre
VASTA Treasurer
P.O. Box 524
Laie, HI 96762
ferrec@byuh.edu
(808) 293-3903

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VASTA Conference 2005 - Glasgow

Lise Olson

Lise OlsonOn the 9th August 2005, VASTA will welcome everyone to its first overseas Conference in Glasgow, Scotland. The Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, one of the UK’s premier drama schools, will be our host venue. We considered other locations in the UK before deciding upon Glasgow. However, the city’s rich history in the arts, coupled with the proximity of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, clinched it!

Our main presenters, Barbara Houseman, Kevin Crawford and Donna Soto-Morettini, are all great teachers and represent three very different strands of contemporary voice training and methodology. Their workshops will be held Wednesday through Friday, with delegates getting 2 workshop sessions per presenter. It would be useful to have a short piece of memorised text prepared for Kevin’s sessions.

As is usual for VASTA Conferences, the schedule will be jam packed with other events—Cicely Berry’s Keynote address will be at a brown-bag lunch session, as will an International sharing of ‘Things That Work’ and a meeting devised to facilitate further international cooperation between different voice organisations present. In the early evening there will be papers and workshops by VASTA presenters. All VASTA activity ends between 6:30 and 7 PM to allow delegates to take the train to Edinburgh or sample Glasgow’s many fine restaurants and theatre events.

One change this year is the inauguration of VASTA DAY on Saturday—a dedicated forum for VASTA members to present papers and workshops. VASTA members from South Africa, Australia, Germany, Canada, the UK and the USA will all be presenting their work.

Registrations are coming in already and the first discount booking deadline has come and gone. There is still accommodation available in single-ensuite study bedrooms at the Glasgow Student Village. Fill in your registration form today and join us in the land of tartans, haggis, neeps, tatties and single malt!
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VASTA’s LEGACY: The Mentoring Program

Ginny Kopf

VASTA needs you! Will you be a mentor to a teacher “in training” who is eager to learn about teaching and coaching voice and speech? The VASTA Mentoring Program has many requests by potential mentees across the country, but we need more of you willing to share your knowledge, your encouragement, your guidance.
A mentor relationship can take many forms. Which of these you could offer?

1. Advice, feedback, and a supportive ear as needed, via e-mails or phone calls.
2. Shadowing—allowing a mentee to observe you teaching and/or coaching.
3. Assisting you as you vocal coach academic, community, or professional productions.
4. Assisting you in your classroom or workshops.

Any one of these would be dynamic personable service to these new members of VASTA. Those who have volunteered as mentors the last 5 years have been extremely positive about their experience, and have continued to offer their services year after year. Here are a few responses from mentors this past year:

“It was a very satisfying experience and mutually rewarding.”
“I was hesitant to take on any more responsibilities but soon pushed those hesitations out of my thoughts. From my point of view, an excellent experience.”
“My mentees were highly skilled and made excellent contributions to me and to the productions on which they worked.”
“Passing on my knowledge to a younger generation of voice and speech teachers is part of my responsibility in ensuring continuity in our field.”

The benefits of being a mentor will go beyond personal rewards of helping someone. Your guidance is priceless, your encouragement and experience can light the way for someone new to the field. Just sharing your testimony of how you got your training and how you entered the field can be a powerful influence on a young voice trainer. Are you on a tenure track? Being a mentor, even for a short stint, looks terrific in your file. Beyond these benefits, being a mentor is a way of carrying on your “legacy,” as it were, of your training technique and style. It also promotes VASTA’s legacy as well. The first tenet of our Statement of Principles is to “offer instruction, advice, and guidance based on their ongoing pursuit of the best information, thought, and practices available….” We VASTA members always strive to give our best, and I assure you that if you give your best to the next generation, it will come back to you.

The Mentoring Program was created by Deena Burke, former board member and still-active member, in 2000 and she passed on the directorship of that program to Ginny Kopf in 2002.  Ginny receives requests for a mentor through vastavox.  The prospective mentee fills out a form on our VASTA web site to share the specifics of what they are hoping for in a mentor, how long they hope the mentorship would be, their background, and areas of interest.  Then Ginny researches who might be a good fit for that person as a mentor, using her list of Mentors.  She usually tries to match up mentees with someone in their state (though some mentees are willing to relocate for a period).  So the program needs to have many more of you to call upon. 

Ginny also matches people up according to the request for a mentor with an expertise in a certain area of interest (dialects, accent modification, scansion, heightened text work, breath work, etc.)  If the mentor agrees to take on a mentee, she makes a connection.  Then the two parties work out the details via e-mail or phone calls as to exactly what the extent of their relationship will be, and over what period of time.  Ginny simply makes the connection, so it is really up to you two to come up with a plan that works best for both parties.

Try it, and see if you like it!  There’s no obligation on your part or the part of your mentee to begin or to continue the relationship if you don’t feel it’s a match.  Ginny is just here to help link people.  You work out the design and extent of your mentorship. 

VASTA needs you!  Please e-mail the director of the program, Ginny Kopf, at gkvoice@cfl.rr.com to show your willingness to be a mentor.  Write to her where you teach and coach, and what you might be interested in sharing as a VASTA Mentor.      

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Mary Had a Little Dialect, or
An Introduction to Pre-Dialect Training

Eric Armstrong

n.b. This article uses a combination of IPA symbols, Wells' Lexical Set Words (set in small caps ), and eye-spelling to try to convey the sound of the vowels used. The IPA symbols that are beyond the ASCII character set have been laid-out here using Unicode characters. To test whether you can see Unicode, [ə] should be schwa, comma. If you see something other than a schwa, know that some of the characters in this article may look odd. (For those who have Unicode support, I have chosen the free Gentium font as the primary IPA Unicode font, followed by Arial MS Unicode, Lucida Sans Unicode, and MS Mincho. Any of these fonts should help, if your browser can handle the Unicode characters.)

In many actor-training programs, Dialects are taught near the end of the progression as a necessary skill that builds upon the voice and speech skills developed in earlier years. However, there are skills that are required for success in dialects that are not taught directly as part of most voice and speech training programs. I have begun to experiment with a variety of techniques to create a strong foundation upon which students may build a variety of dialects.

One skill that I find is assumed to be easily done is the “sound change”, most typically swapping one vowel phoneme for another. This is probably the one skill that is used in all dialect-training techniques, and yet, other than doing a dialect sound change, there are few exercises available to introduce the concept.

My exercise is extremely simple, and devised to make success a foregone conclusion. The instructions are incredibly simple:

Begin by speaking Mary Had a Little Lamb through once so that everyone remembers/learns it:

Mary had a little lamb
Its fleece was white as snow
And everywhere that Mary went
The lamb was sure to go.

It followed her to school one day
Which was against the rule;
It made the children laugh and play
To see a lamb at school.

The next step is to replace all the vowel sounds in the rhyme with the vowel EE fleece /i/. It may help, if working from the text above written on a chalkboard to underline all the parts of the spelling that represent a vowel, so that students can easily anticipate where to put the EE fleece /i/. A reasonable facsimile of how this sounds follows 1:

This is immediately followed by doing it with the other “corners” of the vowel space, palm /ɑ/, GOOSE /u/ and "intermediate a" (Stage Standard bath) /a/ (or trap /æ/, if I haven’t introduced this sound yet with the group). Transcriptions of these versions follow:

Participants are encouraged to shape their mouths into the vowel shape and maintain it through the words, particularly in sounds that precede the vowel. This is most evident in the OO goose /u/ version of the rhyme, where the lip rounding can be transferred to the consonants that precede it. This is natural in English, as we tend to anticipate the shape of sounds to come.

This causes the “quality” of text to shift, as you will have surely noticed if you have been experimenting as you read. The placement of the vowel infects the surrounding consonants so that the forward-close position of the /i/ vowel leads to a resonance placement that is very far forward in the mouth and an articulatory focus on the alveolar ridge. Its antithesis, with the AH palm /ɑ/ vowel, tends toward a more pharyngeal resonance placement, in the back of the oral cavity, with a softening of the consonants that are formed at the front.

It is this placement discovery that students find the most dramatic – that by changing the vowel, one changes the consonants as well. I do point out that, with care, one can change the vowels and affect the consonants less, which is another skill that is necessary for dialect work – often a vowel will contrast with the placement of the consonants in a given dialect. At this point we’ll go back and experiment more subtle variations with the sound, trying to keep our personal placement/articulation patterns consistent, while shifting the vowel.

It’s fun at this point to ask students if the various versions sound like a particular language or dialect to them, as there are sound changes within the pattern, which are typical of certain accent groups (e.g. while the placement pattern of the EE fleece /i/ pattern usually gets interpreted as something European, “sure to go” with /i/ often sounds like Scots, with the archaic pronunciation “gie” [ɡi].)

As all the vowels are ‘upgraded’ to fully realized vowels, some words or syllables get more energy than is typical, particularly words or syllables that usually get schwa as their only vowel (e.g. “the, a, was, as, and, that, to, children”). This leads to a rather stilted sounding pronunciation, as we struggle to fully realize the vowels in these words. At this point, I suggest that we try easing off on these words/syllables, toward schwa, allowing them to be reduced in a similar pattern to our own speech. This is turn allows the speech to be more fluid and introduces another important concept of accent/dialect training: sound changes cannot be applied equally to all words, as all words are not equal. Operative words are the easiest for the actor, as applying rule-based sound changes to them is usually pretty straight forward. “Less important” words are more challenging, as they may behave slightly differently than they do in our dialect. The vowel’s sound-change in the stressed form of the word isn’t the same in the unstressed form, and there are rules that one must learn for reducing those sounds.

An aspect of this exercise that I love is that it involves no mimicry – students can get the concept immediately, apply it to their speech and hear it change without having to listen to a tape or to a teach demonstrate what it will sound like. This is important, as those who don’t trust that they can speak differently are afraid of mimicry, and their fear may make the kind of early call and response type of exercise frustrating. Naturally, some students are natural mimics, so they flourish on call and response; they will get the concept of dialects easily2. These exercises may seem somewhat dull for those types of students. However, student for the student for whom dialects don’t come easily, this exercise is ideal.

1 Note that there is some difficulty with the rhotic diphthongs in words like “sure.” One can opt for the pure /i/ realization [ʃi], or try the diphthong suggested above [ʃiɚ]. Some people naturally tend to shift to a pronunciation closer to Scots dialect with a trilled /r/. (return to text)

2 I often wonder whether these students learn dialects in spite of my teaching – regardless of the approach that I teach, they pick up the dialect primarily by mimicking either me or a source sample. (return to text)

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REGIONAL NEWS

INTERNATIONAL

LINDA CARTWRIGHT (Auckland, New Zealand) continues to lecture in voice and speech at Unitec New Zealand’s School of Performing & Screen Arts and South Seas Film & Television School, as well as in private practice. A highlight this year has been working with some of the actors on the film of the first Narnia book, The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe.

GILLYANNE KAYES (London, UK), in response to numerous requests, has created a CD, Singing and the Actor Audio Guide, to accompany her book. This is available at <info@vocalprocess.net> and demonstrations are given in both male and female voices. She will be presenting a workshop entitled “Perspective on Passaggio” for the Pan-European Voice Conference (PEVoC 6) this August in London. Highlights in Vocal Process’s training program this summer will be With One Voice at RADA (with David Carey) and a musical theatre weekend at the RSAMD, Glasgow, August 5 through 7, the weekend leading up to the VASTA conference.

HEATHER KEENS (London, UK) is currently lecturing in singing and voice at Kingston University, Kingston Upon Thames. Her vocal group, VOX, recently made a successful debut at the Royal Albert Hall, in the presence of composer Sir Peter Maxwell Davis, at the Arts Dept. graduation ceremony. VOX sang a music theatre work composed by Heather’s Australian-born husband, Frank Millward, called Vulture Culture. Heather also lectures in singing at the Guildford Conservatoire, Surrey University. In March, Heather was invited by Gillyanne Kayes to run a Phonetics Course for singers at RADA, where her homemade phonetic cushions were much enjoyed.

FFLOYD KENNEDY (Brisbane, Australia) is currently undertaking a Masters by Research degree at the University of Queensland, her topic being “Towards a Theory of Voice.” She is also teaching Voice and Studies in Acting at the Queensland University of Technology (Creative Industries) and continuing to run her private practice, Being in Voice. Her web address is <www.being-in-voice.com>.

LOUISE KERR (London, UK) teaches voice at MD2000, a dance conservatory/music theatre school in Hampstead, as well as working in business training. She is about to start filming the second series of Channel 5’s Celebrity Swap, which will be released in the autumn. She is the “voice and performance expert” and will help the celebrities change age, class, race and gender.

KATE FOY (Queensland, Australia) voice-coached The Taming of the Shrew directed by Leticia Caceres in the second annual USQ Shakespeare in Queen’s Park Festival, Toowoomba, in March this year. Kate will direct a season of Black Box Shakespeare in October and, in July, voice coach Arthur Miller’s The Crucible in productions for the Performance Centre.

CANADA

ERIC ARMSTRONG (York University, Toronto) has had a busy winter moving house from the ‘burbs to Toronto proper (see his professional index listing for an up-to-date address). Fall 2004 saw Eric dialect coaching for GeVa Theatre in Rochester, New York on productions of John Bull’s Other Island and That Was Then. This is the end of Eric’s 8-year term as Director of Technology for VASTA, and he just completed a website redesign of <www.vasta.org>. Plans for summer include preparing his tenure file and presenting at VASTA in Glasgow with Dawn Mari McCaugherty on the “Personal Language Curriculum” at York.

PAMELA HAIG BARTLEY (University of Saskatchewan) is in the throes of directing The Rivals at the U of S, as well as teaching two undergrad classes and one grad class. As a new department head, she is learning the intricacies of "taking a meeting" in all its myriad forms. Pam is slated to direct It’s All True at Saskatoon's Refinery in the spring. And, on occasion, she gets to spend time with her husband and son (who, remarkably, generally seem glad to see her).

MARK INGRAM (York University, Toronto) has had another very busy year studying/teaching/coaching at York, where he will be completing the MFA (w/ voice teaching diploma) this May. He has acted in The Seagull, The Idiots Karamazov, The Life of Galileo, and No Exit. Along with his work at York, Mark taught voice to first-year undergrads at the Humber College School of Comedy, continued to run the Rogue & Peasant Theatre Co. <www.roguetheatre.org> and fit in a little fight choreography on the side. He will be on faculty at Canada’s National Voice Intensive in May/June and is slated to present a paper at ATHE in July.

DAWN MARI McCAUGHERTY (University of Calgary) directed On the Open Road (Tesich) at the university in the fall. Half way through a 6-month sabbatical (her first!), she has been appreciating the time to reflect, write and read many of the books that have been patiently waiting on her shelves. May/June will mark her fourth year as senior faculty at Canada’s National Voice Intensive in Vancouver and in August she will be presenting at VASTA Glasgow with Eric Armstrong.

BETTY MOULTON (University of Alberta) has been Coordinator of the Professional actor training program at the University of Alberta this year, is currently coaching The Beaux Strategem, and will return to the Colorado Shakespeare Festival for her ninth season as voice, speech and text coach. She recently produced a CD of poetry for choreographers entitled Renaissance.

MID-ATLANTIC

MARY BAIRD, since living in California, has worked as an actor at the Aurora Theatre, done readings with Playground at Berkeley Rep, and just finished doing a musical workshop of Rivers End at the Marine Theatre.  She will be going to Shakespeare Santa Cruz to act in Engaged and be vocal coach for the 2005 summer season.  She just finished teaching a Voice I class at Academy of Arts in San Francisco.  She is still looking for work.

SHIRLEY BARASCH's award winning poems—"My Dove" / "Kites, Balloons and Sailboats"—appeared in November's Taproot Literary Journal. She also received her 8th ASCAP award. In December, she read 12 poems at a winners' meeting. In March her play, For Professional Purposes, will have a reading by "Sunday Night Live" of Pittsburgh. Retired from Point Park University after 34 years as Professor/Director of Music and Fine Arts, she developed the Program of Voice/Musical Theatre for 21 years, chaired the Conservatory of Performing Arts, and administered the Pittsburgh Playhouse for five years. Her musical theatre/opera students are on Broadway, touring, and teaching, and one will sing with Placido Domingo in May at the MET as Cyrano's sidekick!

MARK ENRIGHT (Playwrights Horizons Theater School at New York University). In addition to teaching, Mark has also served as the voice and dialect coach for three undergraduate productions: Othello, A Streetcar Named Desire, and In the Blood by Suzi Lori Parks.  Currently, Mark is serving as coach on an original piece, The Animal Project (working title), by Steven Druckman. Mark has enjoyed supporting VASTA for the last two years as the Assistant Conference Planner for the New York and Philadelphia conferences.  Mark is proud to announce that his partner, Ira Brodsky, coauthored a collection of short plays (with Barbara Lhota), Duo Practice and Competition, as part of a series for forensic competitions.

JANET MADELLE FEINDEL (Associate Professor, School of Drama, Carnegie Mellon University) has been teaching for the Alexander Alliance in Germany, Toronto and Philadelphia. She was granted indefinite tenure at Carnegie Mellon University in January 2004.  She coached Slippery Slope with director Mladen Kiselov, at CMU. Her article "Voice and the Alexander Principles," based on her workshop presentation in Oxford, England last summer, will be published in the International Congress on the F. M. Alexander Technique Papers in England.  She is Director of Carnegie Mellon Outreach with the Hope Academy, Pittsburgh. She presented a workshop on Voice and Alexander at the Women in Creativity Conference at the University of West Virginia.

STEPHANIE GRAYSON (Speech-Language Pathologist, ASHA member) is pleased to announce the launch of her new website www.CorporateSpeechTrainer.com . Ms. Grayson specializes in business communication skills training, offering services to corporations and executives in Manhattan. Her corporate client list includes American Express, as well as other executives working at various prestigious New York area organizations. Services are provided on-site at the client's location. She has experience not only wth English-speaking professionals, but also with executives who speak accented English or English as a second language. She may be reached at her email address: Speech1234@aol.com with subject line: New Speech Client

CHRISTINA KEEFE spent last semester as vocal coach for Muhlenberg College's production of Tartuffe and Lehigh University's production of Desire Under the Elms. Christina also participated in this year's ACTF Festival, where she was an adjudicator for the Irene Ryan Awards and also taught a workshop called, “Dynamic Flow: Connecting Breath and Movement.” Christina will be working as a Visiting Professor at Lehigh University in the fall, where she will teach acting and voice, as well as direct A Midsummer Night's Dream. This summer, Christina has been chosen to work as an actor with the New Plays Series at ATHE in San Francisco.

NANCY KREBS served as dialect coach for the Olney Theatre Center's productions of Blithe Spirit and Carousel, and will be serving in the same capacity for Lend Me a Tenor in the spring.  She conducted a short workshop in the Lessac Approach for members of the Denver Center Conservatory. She is gearing up for several Lessac workshops and seminars throughout the summer, notably the “Voice Methods Workshop” at William and Mary College in early June, and two one-week introductory experiences at DePauw University in July. In early February, she began work on her sixth album of original songs.

BARRY KUR directed Measure for Measure in the fall and this spring will dialect coach Sweet Charity and Arcadia at Penn State University.  This spring, he will also dialect coach a production of The Women of Lockerbie by Deborah Brevoort for the Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble. This summer, he will be joining Nancy Krebs as an instructor of a week-long introductory Lessac workshop at DePauw University.

BETTYANN LEESEBERG-LANGE (Catholic University of America) dialect coached the following productions since September: All My Sons, CUA; Seagull, Kasi Campbell directing, REP Stage; Diary of Anne Frank, Roundhouse Theatre; The Laramie Project, Fontaine Syer directing, CUA; Pygmalion, CUA; Omnium Gatherum, Halo Wein directing, Olney Theatre; and regional bank commercials for Trahan, Burden & Charles, Baltimore. She presented “Vocal Health” to the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians in York, PA, “Musical Dialects” to the annual Howard County High School Drama Festival and was quoted in an article on Baltimore dialects for the January 2005 issue of Baltimore’s STYLE magazine.

JUDI LEHRHAUPT has just completed a voice and speech workshop for the drama department at St. Paul's School in Concord, New Hampshire. Judi is also doing classes in accent reduction and maintaining a healthy voice for Health Partners in Philadelphia, PA.

NATALIE MCMANUS (Designated Linklater Voice Teacher/Speech-Language Pathologist/Certified Forensics Coach) is currently teaching both Introduction to Voice and Speech, and Advanced Voice at George Mason University in Virginia.  Her company, Puck's Pals, is flourishing, having doubled the number of middle schools who have signed on for her Shakespeare workshops.  Her high school forensics team is also doing well and Natalie is enjoying her position of tournament director for the county-wide meets.  Between seeing private clients from time to time, and getting her three teenagers here and there, she found time to appear in a movie, Past Perfect, which will be released to the festival market.

KATE (WILSON) MARÉ is currently dialect coaching the Broadway revival of The Glass Menagerie, directed by David Leveaux. She is co-coaching (with Cicely Berry) the Theatre for New Audience production of Coriolanus, directed by Karin Coonrod. At Juilliard she is coaching Macbeth, directed by Rebecca Guy.

EVAN MUELLER continues to teach as an adjunct instructor at New York University in the Steinhardt School’s Department of Music and Performing Arts Professions. Evan has worked on the NYU productions of Parade and Tonight at 8:30 as dialect coach, and he continues to work as an actor, most recently with Amphibian Productions and the Public Theater of Maine. As a director, he spent the past summer directing an acclaimed production of Nocturne in Boulder, Colorado. Evan is looking forward to making a presentation at the upcoming Naked Voice Conference, presented by the NYU Department of Speech-Language Pathology.

LUCILLE SCHUTMAAT-RUBIN, Ph.D. attends to clients with diverse vocal needs in her private NYC practice, Professionally Speaking. Highlights include teaching a venture capitalist how to dismiss stage fright, a director to sound more polished on TV, an actor to maintain a clear voice while reading for recorded books, a voice-over novice to eliminate her “New Yorkese,” a broadcast journalist to give up her nasality, a recording artist to eliminate speaking misuse, a CEO to keep her audience awake, a financier to give a professional presentation, and an author to keep his voice on his book tour. Coaching is always exciting!

KRISTA SCOTT is currently serving as the director of dialects for Our Country’s Good at Ithaca College, where she is in her fourth year as an assistant professor of Voice, Speech and Acting. She recently portrayed Angelina, a Depression era grand diva, in the original musical, Precious Nonsense (a new “Noises Off meets Gilbert & Sullivan” farce) at the Kitchen Theatre in Ithaca. Her adaptation of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol ran for twenty-seven performances at the Metropolis Performing Arts Center in Arlington, Illinois during the 2004 holidays, and is slated to be reproduced in the coming holiday season. Krista is very excited to be presenting a workshop in “Physicalizing the Passion in Heightened Text” with Ruth Childs at the upcoming Glasgow VASTA conference.

LEIGH SMILEY presented at the 2004 Voice Foundation Workshop in Philadelphia, performed as Irene in Anna Bella Eema at the Philadelphia Fringe Festival, and directed Ellen McLaughlin's Trojan Women at the University of Maryland where she is an Assistant Professor of Voice and Acting.  Leigh taught a weekend workshop in Linklater Voice at DeSales University in Allentown, PA, performed Maggie and Blanche at UMD's Celebration of the 3 Millionth Volume in its libraries, and will be performing Anna Bella Eema at the International Federation of Theatre Research Conference in June of 2005.  She continues her private voice and speech practice in the WDC area and is currently continuing her study of clown and Alexander work.  

AMY STOLLER launched her website at www.stollersystem.com last fall. She can be heard as the voice of Anchor Audi (Lynbrook, Long Island) in a local cable spot, which was so successful she was also hired to be the voice on their IVR phone system. Currently she is the production dialect coach for J. B. Priestley's I Have Been Here Before, which opened at the Pearl Theatre Company on February 27.

LYNN WATSON (U. Maryland, Baltimore County) consulted on voice and dialects for Arena Stage; productions included The Importance of Being Earnest (dir. Everett Quinton) and a new adaptation of a Sophie Treadwell play, Intimations for Saxophone (dir. Anne Bogart). Lynn is co-directing a production of Much Ado About Nothing at UMBC. In preparation for Much Ado, Peggy Shaw was invited to UMBC to lead a series of workshop sessions with the actors, directors, and coaches on gender and performance, which is integral to the production www.umbc.edu/theatre/muchado.html.

SUSAN WILDER is currently in The Constant Wife, which just finished a run at the Coconut Grove Playhouse in Miami and is now at the Walnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia. She was voice & text coach on The Merry Wives of Windsor and An Enemy of the People at Academy Repertory Theatre in New Jersey.

NEW ENGLAND

PATRICIA HAWKRIDGE, MFA, (chair of the Salve Regina University Theatre Arts Department in Newport, RI)  directed her adaptation of Medea at the university this fall. One reviewer noted,  "Salve Regina troupe exacts their pound of excellence with Medea.   Director Patricia Hawkridge has crafted an intense, subtle, gripping interpretation of Euripides' most intriguing play."  Upcoming adventures for Pat include performing the role of Mme. De Rosemonde in Les Liasons Dangeruses at the University of Rhode Island this winter; she directed in the '5X10' - 10 Minute Play Festival of the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival - Region I in January 2005.

LAURA HITT opened her private voice studio in Brookline, Massachusetts this fall. She continues to teach voice/speech and music theater performance full-time at the Boston Conservatory. In the summer, she became an Associate Teacher of Fitzmaurice Voicework. Coaching included Fugard's Statements… for the NY Fringe Fest this past summer. This winter, she is coaching blue/orange for Zeitgeist Theatre in Boston. Last winter she performed in And Then…,an odd little play about a man and woman frozen in time.

NANCY HOUFEK (Harvard University) coached Mark Wing-Davey's The Provok'd Wife, Neil Bartlett's Dido, Queen of Carthage, Robert Woodruff's Olly's Prison, and Janos Szasz' Desire Under the Elms for the American Repertory Theatre.  For the Institute, she coached the MFA Showcase, taught the 2nd year Shakespeare scene study class, and continued her courses in Voice, Speech, Dialects and Texts with the MFA candidates.  Her negotiation, storytelling, and presentation skills workshops for the Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning, the Harvard Medical School, and the Kennedy School of Government have expanded to include clients throughout the United States.

DEBORAH KINGHORN (University of New Hampshire) recently dialect coached A Chorus of Disapproval, Titanic, and And Then They Came for Me and directed Much Ado about Nothing.  She recently became a Master Teacher of the Lessac work and is currently President of the Lessac Training and Research Institute. She reviewed Breathe and Speak, by Marc Clopton, and will teach in the Lessac Summer Intensive Workshop in Gainesville, Florida May 29-June 26.  Information can be obtained by contacting her at deb.kinghorn@unh.edu or going to the Lessac website, www.lessacinstitute.com. She will become Chair of her department on July 1.

MARYA LOWRY (Brandeis University) a founding member of Boston's newest professional Shakespeare company, will be coaching Actors' Shakespeare Project's winter production of Measure for Measure and playing Portia in the spring production of JuliusCaesar. For Brandeis Rep, she recently coached Eric Hill's King Lear. Joining with Carol Mendelsohn, Marya will teach a six-day workshop on Lamentation (incorporating Roy Hart voice work) at the Roy Hart Centre in France in August. For more info, contact Marya at lowry@brandeis.edu.

RUTH ROOTBERG taught a master class in integrated voice and movement using Alexander Technique and Laban Movement Analysis at Columbia College in Chicago in November. Her weekend workshop "Moving Voices" will be held April 9-10 in Amherst. For information, go to www.movingvoices.com.

KAREN RYKER (University of Connecticut-Storrs) is putting finishing touches on the “Reviews and Sources” section of the next Voice & Speech Review.  She is pleased to announce that Dale AJ Rose will take over as Head of Performance Programs at University of Connecticut in fall of 2005.  Summer 2004 voice/text coaching at Berkshire Theatre Festival included Siddhartha, conceived and directed by Eric Hill.  Recent coaching for Connecticut Repertory Theatre included Mother Courage with guest director James O’Connor and Julius Caesar.  Summer 2005 will involve acting work and continuing a script development workshop of Prudence Crandall, a new play with a premiere production scheduled for the spring of 2006.

PETER JACK TKATCH (University of Vermont) dialect coached She Stoops to Conquer and consulted on dialects for Private Lives at St. Michael’s Playhouse in the summer 2004. He also performed in the Young Playwrights Festival and dialect coached Betrayal for the Vermont Stage Company. Currently he is directing and vocal coaching A Midsummer Night’s Dream at UVM’s Royall Tyler Theatre.

MIDWEST

LIZ CARLIN METZ directed a critically acclaimed King Lear with her Chicago theatre company, Vitalist Theatre, which was cited in the 2004 Chicago theatre season Top Ten by senior critic Lawrence Bommer. She spent three months in London as director of the Roger Williams University London Theatre and British Culture Studies Program.  She is currently directing The Skriker for Knox College. 

TYNE TURNER has taken some time away from the professional theatre to contribute through Americorps to arts integrated urban education. She is currently teaching theatre to urban middle school students at Lincoln Center of the Arts in Milwaukee. It's thrilling and exhausting all at once. She has fit in some coaching and acting at Long Wharf Theatre, Madison Rep, and First Stage Children's Theatre, but for the most part, she has been teaching poverty-ridden children how to think through theatre. New Address: 3241 S. 14th St., Milwaukee, WI 53215

BETH MCGEE (Case Western Reserve University) voice coached Hurlyburly and voice/dialect coached The Real Thing for the Cleveland Play House/Case Western Reserve University Professional Actor Training Program at the Cleveland Play House. She also dialect coached A Streetcar Named Desire at Cleveland's Fine Arts Theater. She is currently acting in a workshop production of Uncommon Women and Others as Mrs. Plumm.

SUSAN MURRAY MILLER has enjoyed teaching intermediate acting to opera students at Roosevelt University in both the fall semester of 2004 (realism) and spring semester 2005 (styles, including Shakespeare). She has been a member of the Joseph Jefferson Committee since late 1996, judging about 125 plays per year in Chicago. Also in Chicago, she has coached dialects for productions at Chicago Dramatist's, Court Theatre, Seamachi (6 seasons), and Timeline, among others.

CLAUDIA ANDERSON (The Theatre School, DePaul University) coached dialects for The Importance of Being Earnest and Travesties at the Court Theatre, The Love Song of J. Robert Oppenheimer at Next Theatre, and A Streetcar Named Desire at Raven Theatre. The Richard Armstrong work continues to be her inspiration, as she explores new directions in her own voice and her approach to Theatre School voice classes.

KATE DEVORE (Total Voice, Inc.) has spent much of her energy recently working with colleague Starr Cookman on a day-long voice and voice care workshop for professional voice users and trainers, and the manual and CD that go with it. The seminar is called “Love Your Voice” www.LoveYourVoice.com. We've done two in Chicago and one in Connecticut, and hope to be coming soon to a town near you! Last winter Kate also performed in the premiere of a new play, Cheddar Heads, in Chicago.

PHIL TIMBERLAKE (Northern Illinois University) performed David Sedaris’s The Santaland Diaries at NIU last winter and will appear in a new musical adaptation, Queen Lucia, at Lifeline Theatre in Chicago this summer. Phil was dialect coach for The Importance of Being Earnest at First Folio Shakespeare Festival and will serve as voice and text coach for First Folio’s summer production of Taming of the Shrew. He also attended a Fitzmaurice reunion weekend in NYC last fall. Phil is an Assistant Director of Conferences for VASTA in Glasgow this summer (get those registrations in!) where he will present a workshop, “Umlaut! The Musical.”

SOUTHEAST

MICHAEL J. BARNES (University of Miami) just finished directing Desdemona: a play about a handkerchief and recently coached University of Miami productions of As You Like It and Mere Mortals.  He has been working with a young actress, Genesis Rodriguez, who NBC is working to move from telenovellas to mainstream media and was featured in an interview in People en Español.  

CYNTHIA BARRETT played Ghost of Christmas Past in A Christmas Carol for the North Carolina Shakespeare Festival; taught for a week with Catherine in the “Fitzmaurice Voicework Teacher Certification Program” in Los Angeles; coached The Syringa Tree at Atlanta’s Horizon Theatre Company; taught a 6-week “Fitzmaurice Voicework” class for Georgia Shakespeare Festival and continues to teach private voice clients in Atlanta, Georgia and Charlotte, North Carolina.

MARCIA MARY COOK (The University of the South, Sewanee, TN) In addition to theatre classes, Marcia Mary is now teaching Speech to future preachers at the University's School of Theology. For Theatre Sewanee's production of Dark of the Moon in November 2004, she served as dialect and interpretive coach. In February 2005, a fun (and odd!) gig for a V & D teacher was her silent role as Annie in The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds. Marcia Mary attended the June 2004 Fitzmaurice workshop in Chicago. It was a vigorous and instructive revelation to a person whose training did not include any of the "Name Brand" voice methods, and an inspiration to learn from Catherine herself, as well as her skilled team!

BRIDGET CONNORS (Associate Professor, Florida Atlantic University) This year Bridget performed in the following productions: Wait and See, New Theatre, Coral Gables, FL; Frozen, Gable Stage, Coral Gables, FL; and The Memory of Water, Mosaic Theatre, Plantation, FL. This summer she will be playing Lady Macbeth in Macbeth, New Theatre, Coral Gables, FL. She served as vocal coach for Journey of the Fifth Horse and The Frogs at FAU, and King Lear and A Midsummer Night’s Dream at New Theatre. Conference presentations include “Diversity- just do it” at ACTF, and “Learning the IPA” at SETC.

RINDA FRYE (University of Louisville Theatre Arts Department) is currently dialect coach for two Humana Festival productions: Moot the Messenger by Kia Corthron and directed by Marion McClintock, and Pure Confidence by Carlyle Brown and directed by Clinton Turner Davis. This makes seven productions she has coached at Actors Theatre of Louisville in the past year. She directed and coached A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the University of Louisville in February and acted/voice coached Pearl Cleage’s Bourbon at the Border at Miami University, Ohio this past October. She gave two workshops at the Southeast Theatre Conference in Greensboro in February: “The Writers Voice” (with two of her students) and “Voice through Improvisation” (with two colleagues) going to Glasgow in August.

ANTONIO OCAMPO-GUZMAN is directing his bilingual adaptation of Romeo & Juliet at Florida State University's School of Theatre. He coached Charles Mee's Big Love at FSU last fall. Joining forces with Micha Espinosa, Antonio is currently planning and implementing the establishment of a network of Latino actors with the goal of offering bilingual theatre training beginning in 2006. Antonio will be joining the faculty at Arizona State University in Tempe this coming fall.

DAYDRIE HAGUE (Auburn University) directed Brian Friel’s Lovers this fall and is currently coaching Comedy Of Errors. She served as a preliminary rounds judge for the Irene Ryans at KCACTF in Palm Beach and presented a “British Dialect Workshop” with Kate Ingram and Richard Gang at SETC. She will be presenting a Fitzmaurice Workshop in Glasgow this summer with Lynn Watson and Michael Barnes.

MARLENE JOHNSON (Georgia College and State University) Directed Euripides' Trojan Women translation by Gwendolyn MacEwan in February, and directed All in the Timing in the fall. She traveled with 12 students to the Czech Republic last June and toured three one-act plays. Marlene presented a workshop with Janet Rodgers at SETC on “Voices of the Archetypes” and will present at VASTA on the “Use of Archetypes in Actor Training.” She was recently named Chair of the Voice and Speech Committee for SETC. Marlene recently took classes with Kristin Linklater in NY as well as Mind-Body Centering with Erika Berland and is working towards Linklater Certification.

KATE INGRAM (University of Central Florida) At ATHE in Toronto, Kate was a VASTA peer reviewer, and performer in a New Works Viewpoints Project. Acting roles included Desiree in A Little Night Music at the Orlando Shakespeare Festival and Claire in The Visit for the UCF Conservatory Theatre. Kate dialect coached UCF’s Dancing at Lughnasa. In December, Kate hosted a 5-day intensive Catherine Fitzmaurice Workshop at UCF, which featured Catherine and Dudley Knight, and participants from all over the country. Kate offered three voice workshops at SETC: “R.P. British” (with fellow VASTANs Daydrie Hague and Richard Gang); “Irish Dialect;” and “Linking Lessac with Laban” (with UCF colleague Brian Vernon) about which she is currently writing an in-depth article.

CAROL PENDERGRAST will give a presentation at an international theatre conference in Buenos Aires (with too long a Spanish title to write here) the week of August 2.  She will prolong her stay in Buenos Aires to translate for a tour group of tango dancers from the US and to continue to feed her tango addiction.  She will also be studying the singing of tango songs with Luis Linares (catch him in shows at Cafe Tortoni if you get down to BuenosAires).

JANET B. RODGERS (Associate Professor of Theatre at Virginia Commonwealth University) recently returned from Romania where she was a senior Fulbright Scholar, teaching voice and speech at Lucien Blaga University in Sibiu and at Babes-Bolyai Univeristy in Cluj. While in Romania, she also taught classes for the professional acting company of the National Radu Stanca Theatre of Sibiu and worked on a production of John Steinbeck's Sweet Thursday, directed by Adriana Popovici. Since returning, Janet has taught a workshop on Archetypes, along with VASTA member Marlene Johnson, at SETC in March and is dialect coaching a Theatre VCU production of the musical The Civil War. In late May she will be returning to Romania for three weeks and is looking forward to Glasgow.

BENJAMIN SMITH (Barter Theatre) is currently the resident vocal coach at the Barter Theatre in Abingdon, Virginia. He just joined Equity and is playing Son in the Barter’s current production of A Higher Place in Heaven. Benjamin also is an adjunct at Emory and Henry.

ERICA TOBOLSKI played Titania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream for Theatre South Carolina this April. She was Faculty Advisor for Dancing at Lughnasa, dialect-coached by a third-year graduate student at University of South Carolina. This past year she served as chair of the now official Voice and Speech Committee for the Southeastern Theatre Conference (SETC). At the SETC convention she presented on one panel and two workshops: “Getting into Graduate School,” “Uniting Actor, Body and Voice,” and “Voice-over Essentials.” She and colleague Sarah Barker are working on a production of The Bacchai this May. This grant-supported project is a continuation of their ongoing research of performance aesthetics in Greek tragedy and will be presented at the VASTA conference in Scotland.

ELIZABETH WILEY (College of William and Mary) produced and performed A Child's Christmas in Wales in Williamsburg, Virginia in December 2004; directed Alchemy of Desire/Dead-Man's Blues, a play with songs by Caridad Svich at the College of William and Mary in February 2005; played Mrs. Hawkins and dialect coached Treasure Island at Virginia Stage Company in April 2005; and will be directing Candida for Wedgewood Renaissance Productions and Virginia Shakespeare Festival in the summer of 2005. The College of William and Mary is hosting the "2005 Voice Methods Workshop" featuring master teachers Catherine Fitzmaurice, Nancy Krebs and Louis Colaianni May 30 through June 4, 2005. For more info, see the workshop website at www.voicemethodsworkshop.com.

SOUTHERN

ALLISON HETZEL (University of Louisiana at Lafayette) is currently performing in The Witlings. She recently directed Prelude to a Kiss and is looking forward to traveling to Scotland to attend VASTA this summer.

JIM JOHNSON (University of Houston) Assistant Professor at the University of Houston, he is currently performing at Stages Repertory Theatre as all the characters in Billy Bishop Goes to War. This spring he also co-directed Waiting for Godot. Next fall, Jim will direct Arms and the Man at UH. Jim is coaching Judith Ivey's production of Steel Magnolias at the Alley Theatre, along with As You Like It and Hamlet at the Houston Shakespeare Festival. In August he will teach a week-long workshop in Estes Park, Colorado with actress/teacher Connie Cooper. He will be going up for tenure in the 2005-2006 academic year.

ASHLEY SMITH (Southern Methodist University) is currently working as dialect coach on Dallas Theater Center's production of My Fair Lady. When finished, Ashley will be playing the roles of Mercutio and Demetrius at the Utah Shakespearean Festival.

 

©2005, Voice and Speech Trainers Association

Questions or comments? E-mail us at vastavoice@vasta.org

 

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