2012 Conference - A Voice for Good

Key Presenters

Brent Blair | Elizabeth Ingram | Marie-Paule Marthe
Ivan Midderigh | Michael Rohd | Molly Smith

Brent Blair

Brent Blair is an Associate Professor of Theatre Practice and Director of the M.A. in Applied Theatre Arts at the University of Southern California. He is a Linklater-designated voice instructor and a former Fulbright Scholar in the Igbo traditional theatre of West Africa. He founded the Applied Theatre Arts focus at the School of Theatre and is the founding director of the Center for Theatre of the Oppressed and Applied Theatre Arts in Los Angeles, based on the works and training methods of Augusto Boal. He has formed numerous collaborative and curricular programs that partner with community members using theatre as a vehicle for education, therapy, and social change. Brent Blair teaches courses in Voice, Theatre for Youth, Theatre and Therapy, Theatre in Education and Theatre in the Community.


Elizabeth Ingram


Elizabeth IngramElizabeth Ingram is a designated Linklater voice teacher and has worked as an actress for many years in England. In London’s West End Theatre she has performed The Chinese Prime Minister (with Dame Edith Evans, dir. Vivian Matalon) and Poor Bitos (dir. Shirley Butler). She has also performed at the National Theatre, London’s Fringe Theatre, and also at many major repertory theaters in England and Scotland. She has several television performances for BBC, ITV, and Granada and Harlech Television.

In the U.S.A. she has performed leading roles at Shakespeare and Company, in Lenox, Mass., including in Coriolanus, Love’s Labour’s Lost, The Winter’s Tale, All’s Well That Ends Well, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Comedy of Errors, Mrs. Klein, Enchanted April, Maisie and, most recently, Pinter’s Mirror, three one-acts by Harold Pinter. She has performed at Syracuse Stage in You Never Can Tell, My Fair Lady, A Streetcar Named Desire, A Christmas Carol; at the Actors Theatre of Louisville in All My Sons; at the Berkshire Theatre Festival in Heartbreak House; and at the Women’s Company playing Kent in King Lear. She appeared in This Powerful Rhyme, a program of Shakespeare’s sonnets with music by Andrew Waggoner at the Merkin Hall in New York City, the Eastman School in Rochester, and the Red House in Syracuse.


Marie-Paule Marthe

Marie-Paule MartheMarie-Paule Marthe is a senior teacher in the Abraxas Voice Institute, in Southbridge,
Massachusetts, which she helped found in 2011. She is a professional actress and singer who
performed and toured for many years with the Roy Hart Theatre and other companies in
France and abroad. She is one of the founding members of the Roy Hart International Arts
Center, (1991), Malérargues, France, where she has taught and performed until recently. Her
classes attract students and artists of the performing arts from professional and amateur
backgrounds of all ages.

Marie-Paule brings to her work a blend of practical and theoretical tools with her expertise in
Roy Hart Theatre’s extended human voice and singing technique, and in movement. She was
trained and has taught with Françoise and Dominique Dupuy, dancers and choreographers for
more than sixty years, both famous pioneers of Modern Dance in France . She also studied
Bel Canto singing with Roberto Caverni in Pisa, Italy. A focus of hers within the playgrounds
of voice, movement and acting is musical and versatile expression.


Ivan Midderigh


Ivan MidderighIvan creates a fusion of humour, honesty, compassion and energy in his work, helping business professionals expand their 'presence', and communicate more effectively while developing their interpersonal relationship building skills.

Ivan believes that the alchemy of theatre in the workplace challenges and encourages people to move beyond their everyday perceptions of both themselves and their fellow workers, consequently bringing a greater understanding and cooperation to the workplace.

In 1971 whilst working in London as a professional portrait photographer, Ivan became a member of the Roy Hart Theatre,( whose pioneering work with the human voice had received world wide recognition. He moved with the company to the Chateau de Malerargues in the south of France in 1974 and taught voice workshops throughout Europe and the United States, and also performed in many of the theatre's major productions, before training in Active Communicating, a theatre-based methodology designed specifically for the corporate world.

As a senior facilitator for Corporate Scenes since 1992,( Ivan has led seminars with wit and style for major international companies including AT&T, Pacific Bell, Nortel Networks, The Gap, Sandia National Lab, Levi Strauss, MacKinsey and Co, is a guest lecturer at The Olin School of Business at Washington University, St Louis, and is senior faculty with the annual Executive Coaching Institute at the Center for Executive Education, University California Berkeley Haas School of Business.

He also spent 5 years (2004 - 2009) in South Africa as a master facilitator of the Brand Ambassador programme for Avis Corporation of Southern Africa and the Brand Champion programme for the Kelly Group and Transnet.  Additionally he was a member of the original faculty with the Ariel group facilitating programmes for Deloitte and Touche and Societe Generale. With his own company, Hart Training, he facilitated seminars for PricewaterhouseCoopers and Prudential in the U.K.

Combining his talents as voice teacher, corporate facilitator and photographer, Ivan creates and facilitates his own seminars, and also contributes his special skills to programmes run by other training companies.


Michael Rohd

Michael Rohd

Michael Rohd is founding artistic director of Sojourn Theatre, an ensemble-based company centered in Portland, Oregon that has made twenty-four major works around the nation over the last twelve years and is a 2005 recipient of Americans for the Arts’ Animating Democracy Exemplar Award. He is on faculty at Northwestern University’s Theater Department with a focus on Devising Performance, Directing & Civic Engagement. Upcoming projects include a collaboration between Sojourn Theatre and NYC’s The TEAM that will premiere at Kansas City Rep winter 2013, a community-based and site specific production with Flint Youth Theater in Michigan, a Chicago based participatory theatre event called How To End Poverty in 90 Minutes and leading the newly formed Center for Performance and Civic Practice.  Work at Sofourn Theatre as creator/director/performer includes GOOD (his critically acclaimed site specific Brecht adaptation at a car dealership) The War Project (2005 Drammy, Best ensemble) 7 Great Loves (five 2003 Drammy awards including Best Production and Best Director), and Witness Our Schools (9 months of Oregon and national touring). Rohd was a 2005 recipient of Americans for the Arts' Animating Democracy Exemplar Award as well as the Theatre Communication Group's 2001 New Generations Grant, and their 2002 Extended Collaboration Grant with Atlanta's Alliance Theatre.  His work has been supported by Ford Foundation, the NEA, Rockefeller's MAP Fund, Doris Duke Foundation and Arts Councils in states around the nation including CA, OR, LA, NE & VA, He is author of the book Theatre for Community, Conflict, and Dialogue, and has recently premiered new work in Illinois, Idaho, New York & Australia. He has an MFA in Directing and Public Dialogue from Virginia Tech, where he studied with Bob Leonard.


Molly Smith

Molly SmithOver the past 12 seasons, Molly Smith has been instrumental in leading the reinvention of Arena Stage. From the programming for the architecture to the envisioning of the Kogod Cradle, Ms. Smith has focused her creative life on building this new Center for American Theater. This reinvention has been part of a major artistic change as well, into the production, presentation, development, and study of American theater that leads Arena into the 21st century. Ms. Smith has been a passionate leader in new play development for the past 30 years while at Arena Stage as well as at Perseverance Theatre in Alaska, the theater she founded and led for 19 years. She has commissioned or championed numerous world premieres, including Paula Vogel’s Pulitzer Prize-winning How I Learned to Drive and The Mineola Twins; Tim Acito’s The Women of Brewster Place; Moisés Kaufman’s 33 Variations; Charles Randolph-Wright’s Blue; Zora Neale Hurston’s lost American play, Polk County; Karen Zacarías’ Legacy of Light; and Passion Play, a cycle by Sarah Ruhl; some of which she has directed. She founded Arena’s downstairs series, which has read or workshopped some 60 plays, half of which have gone on to full productions. In 2009, two shows nurtured at Arena Stage (33 Variations and Next to Normal) moved to Broadway. Ms. Smith’s directorial work has also been seen at the Shaw Festival in Canada, Berkeley Rep, Trinity Rep, Tarragon Theatre in Toronto, and Centaur Theatre in Montreal and includes classics such as South Pacific, Mack and Mabel, Anna Christie and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Ms. Smith has served as literary advisor to Sundance Theatre Lab and formed the Arena Stage Writers Council, composed of leading American playwrights. An avid traveler, Ms. Smith brings artists of international renown to work at Arena Stage and has served as a member of the board of the Theatre Communications Group as well as the Center for International Theatre Development. She directed two feature films, Raven’s Blood and Making Contact, and received honorary doctorates from both Towson and American universities.