If you are interested in being involved and helping VASTA grow, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org to see how you could become involved.
Volume 4, Issue 1
Table of Contents:
A Message from the President
From the Editor
The VASTA Endowment Grant
VASTA Issues: Diversity
VASTA Fellows Program
A MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT
I’m freshly returned from our Autumn board meeting full of enthusiasm and with a long list of jobs to do, chief amongst them, this letter. The board met in beautiful Des Plaines Illinois in a hotel conveniently located near O’Hare airport and with very little to distract us we managed to get through a great deal of business.
I’m happy to announce that we will be holding our 2007 conference at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland OR. For obvious reasons, we’ll be focusing on Shakespeare and we’ve decided this time to pay particular attention to vocal coaching. Holding our conference at the festival gives us access to some wonderful resources. Scott Kaiser, Head of Voice and Text at OSF will be there with us and we’re working on a slate of presenters, with connections to the festival and with something to say about coaching and Shakespeare. We will also have the wonderful resource of the plays themselves. Onstage during our conference will be The Comedy of Errors, Coriolanus, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Othello, Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner, The Clay Cart, The Further Adventures of Hedda Gabler, Our Town, and A View from the Bridge. We plan to include discounted tickets to some of these shows in the conference fee so that the theatre itself becomes a presenter and the productions a focus of discussion. OSF is a top-notch Shakespeare festival and I’m certain that this will be a rewarding and memorable conference.
This choice of conference sites does carry with it some challenges, though. Ashland Oregon is a scenically beautiful, and somewhat remote location and getting there is not as easy as trip to a major urban center. The festival website provides information on travel to Ashland which will help you make plans. My expectation, though, is that most of you will find cheap flights to big cities like San Francisco or Portland and then hook up for carpooling to Ashland.
Our dates are not yet finalized, but we do know that we will be holding our conference either before or after ATHE’s conference. That means our dates will be in late July (26 – 29) or early August (3 – 7) I know that some of you will be applying for support from your home institution and I hope this is enough information to get your funding requests in.
I’d like to take a moment to thank an outgoing officer, Amanda Durst, who is finishing her term as VASTA’s Archive Catalogist. Amanda deserves a particular mention because her service included a fundamental reworking of the position. For many years, VASTA’s archives traveled in boxes from garage to garage. Finally, the archive found a home at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) and, in 2005, Amanda began the task of cataloging the documents in the archive. Her work has converted a cache of papers into a searchable library of documents, available to researchers. Thanks Amanda!
And thanks are also due to Janet Rogers who runs the Voice Pedagogy program at VCU. In 2002 Janet published The Complete Voice and Speech Workout she relied on the input of VASTA members to create this resource of 74 exercises. In recognition of that contribution, she wrote into her contract with Applause books that 30% of royalties be donated to VASTA. Janet recently informed me that the book has now turned a profit and VASTA should be receiving a check soon. The book itself is a great example of the willingness of our membership to share ideas and this gesture from Janet is, likewise, the sort of generosity that makes me proud to be part of this group.
Speaking of money, I need to let you know that we’ve made a slight ($4) increase in membership dues. Over the history of the organization, we’ve been cautious about raising dues. In 1999, we increased dues to $65 to help us afford the journal. With the size of that journal and our increasingly international membership we found it necessary, a year later to add a shipping and handling fee of $6. For the last 7 years that fee has been in place, bringing the total cost of membership to $71. This August, we decided to fold that fee into the total cost of dues for the sake of simplifying our accounting. While we were at it, we took a look at the cost of membership in several other organizations: ATHE ($105), NATS ($80+ plus $45 to the local chapter), and ASHA ($200). In that context, I think, our new membership fee of $75 for full membership and $45 for student members is still a terrific bargain and we expect it to stay at this level for quite some time. The increase takes effect January 1 st 2008, so if your renewal falls after that date, please take note.
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FROM THE EDITOR
I’m writing at a very interesting time, especially in comparison to our own VASTA President in his letter. I find myself mixed in a time of relocating and renovating, teaching, administrating and even acting a little, while trying to balance a family life full of activities.
I’m at the end of my first year in a new position, where the extra hoops I must jump through during year-end are quite stressful. With all my administrative work going on, it was wonderful to have such an amazing response to my request for volunteers for the positions of Regional Editors. Thank you to all those who expressed interest in the positions – it’s just another example of what a great organization this is.
With this issue being our Fall Member News Issue, I’m always fascinated to read about all the work that people have going on in their careers. Just a reminder, that if you are interested in writing an article about your insights/adventures/experiments for the newsletter – please send it to email@example.com.
I want to thank my associate editor, Jeff Morrison firstname.lastname@example.org, for all his hard work recently – he’s really been stepping up to the plate when I needed the extra help. Thanks for the breathing space!
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The VASTA Endowment Grant
The VASTA Endowment Grants and Awards Committee is pleased to announce the first of two awards that VASTA will be making in 2008. After a hiatus to grow the VASTA Endowment, we're please to reintroduce VASTA's Clyde Vinson Memorial Scholarship.
Clyde Vinson (1928-1989) taught for more than thirty years, both in universities and privately in New York City. He received his Ph.D. from Northwestern University and spent two years with The Working Theatre, a training program in voice, movement and acting founded by Kristin Linklater, Joseph Chaikin and Peter Kass. He organized the Court Theatre in Detroit, Michigan and directed there for three years. Clyde was on the faculty of Wayne State University and the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. He worked at the Circle Repertory Theatre in New York City and eventually opened his own Studio there. When the Royal Shakespeare Company came to Broadway, Clyde worked with the company, and when Derek Jacobi won his Tony Award he thanked Clyde in his acceptance speech. Clyde's last published work was an interview he did with Derek, which appeared in the January 1989 issue of Text and Performance Quarterly.
Clyde wished it to be known that his death resulted from AIDS. He is survived by his family in Texas, and by loving friends and students in New York, and in theatres everywhere.
VASTA's Clyde Vinson Memorial Scholarship includes:
one year free membership,
up to $500 for travel to the VASTA Conference,
waiver of conference fee,
a $500 award.
Nominations for the scholarship must be made in writing by a VASTA member. Upon receipt of a nomination letter, an application form will be sent to the nominee. The nominee must either be currently engaged in preparatory work as a voice/speech trainer, or have less than three years employment experience. The deadline for nominations is February 28, 2008. The deadline for completed applications is April 30, 2008. Letters should be sent to Eric Armstrong, chair of the Grants and Awards committee, either by e-mail < email@example.com> (preferred) or by snail mail:
Eric Armstrong, Chair
VASTA Endowment Grants and Awards Committee
209 Medland St.
Toronto ON M6P 2N6
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VASTA Issues: Diversity
VASTA issues: Diversity
This is the latest installment of a continuing column on diversity issues in the VASTAVoice. As chair of the VASTA diversity committee, I invite anyone to contribute to this column; to do so, please send your essay to firstname.lastname@example.org for consideration. Also feel free to comment either in the Voice, or to my e-mail address if you wish to discuss any of the issues brought up in this column. The other members of the diversity committee are Phil Thompson, Antonio Ocampo-Guzman, Elizabeth Terrel, and Michelle Lopez-Rios-- Beth McGee, President-elect, VASTA
Academic Casting: How we Represent Race on Stage
by Michelle Lopez-Rios, Assistant Professor of Voice and Speech
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
In the fall of 2006, I joined the faculty of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Department of Theatre. Among my new creative endeavors and duties was acting as dialect coach for the debut production of the Musical Theatre track, West Side Story. This classic was a huge kick off to the program that would be a true collaboration between the Theatre, Music, and Dance Departments. Everyone knows this Romeo and Juliet story told through two modern gangs with racial and cultural differences. Countless productions have been produced without casting Latinos as Sharks, including the Broadway and film versions. It was no surprise that our production would be one of those with Caucasians portraying Puerto Rican gangsters and sultry Latinas who dance around the stage making feisty gritos (Ay Ay Ay!). There was overwhelming support and enthusiasm for the project. However, a few members of the faculty began to ask questions about our production. Are we showing cultural differences or promulgating stereotypes? Why this musical? How does this situation play into non-traditional academic casting? Do we really need to talk about colorblind casting again? I was asked to present a lecture and discussion on the topic of Race and Representation as part of the “Cultures and Communities Difficult Dialogues Series.” This series would be presented in conjunction with the production and aim to address some of these questions.
As I sat down to think about these issues and how to begin a dialogue I could muster no answers, only more questions. Should West Side Story be cast race specific? Does colorblind mean culturally blind? If we stopped doing theatre that contains racist points of view or stereotypical characters, then don’t we lose out on a wealth of material? Can we change the material? Should we change the material? Finally, what is so bad about a musical with wonderful music and dancing that asks us to put aside our prejudices and look beyond our differences?
As a voice and dialect coach, I am constantly working with actors to capture and create sounds that are not habitually, genetically, or culturally their own. We as coaches and teachers are constantly asked to help actors use their vocal instrument to capture the essence of people not like themselves. I have taught a Texan to sound like a Scot, an African American to sound like a Norwegian, and an East Asian Indian to sound American. Is there a line that cannot or should not be crossed?
With the help of colleague Dr. Robin Mello, we created an anonymous online survey to capture the pulse of the Theatre Department. We asked people to candidly answer questions about diversity, colorblind casting, and where they believe the line should be drawn when casting a racially specific play. As students, professors, and even community artists began answering the survey, I looked at the history of this discussion.
According to an Actor’s Equity Association study in 1986, over 90% of all professional theatre in the United States was performed with an all-white cast. Discussions, panels, and workshops in reaction to the overwhelmingly underrepresented populations immediately sprang up across the country. Artists and educators debated how to change the situation. In a passionate reaction to colorblind casting playwright August Wilson stated, “We reject any attempt to blot us out, to reinvent history and ignore our presence, we want you to see us. We are black and beautiful. We have an honorable history in the world of men. We do not need colorblind casting.” These words resonated with me as I read about various efforts to close the gap of the underrepresented races and cultures on stage. I began to realize that the conversation had less to do with colorblind casting and more to do with our choices as artists whether or not to address the fact that African-Americans make up 12% of the U.S. population but are only 6% of active members of Actor’s Equity Association. Still worse, Latinos who make up over 12% of the population represent less than 3% of Actor’s Equity Association. The results of our theater survey solidified my thoughts.
Overwhelmingly, the seventy-five students, faculty, staff, and Milwaukee artists that responded to the survey agreed that the performing arts have a responsibility to address issues of cultural diversity. They went further to say that artists have a responsibility to give accurate portrayals of multicultural and diverse viewpoints. The next question was how? This was where the answers really got interesting. According to the survey responses, Whites can portray Latino characters, but not Black characters. An all black cast of The Glass Menagerie is fine, but an all white Raisin in the Sun is offensive (well except maybe to playwright Neil LaBute who argues that colorblind casting should, “cut both ways.”) The candid answers in the survey made for an excellent spark for discussion in the lecture.
I used the initial lecture time to present a PowerPoint presentation of the facts and history that I had uncovered. I then presented the quantitative results of the survey. Finally, I presented some of the wildly opposing views that were typed in response to the survey. I opened the floor to questions and comments. Initially the conversation was polite and easy. However, as we began to crack open our opinions and views things became uncomfortable. Were we beginning to face our biases? Could we possibly be questioning the very process of how we train our actors, how we cast our productions, and how we discuss productions that are cast in a nontraditional way? Cracking voices and flushed faces began to try and explain views and thoughts about race and representation. Two hours later, the conversation continued. In fact, the conversation continued into the classroom, amongst faculty, and in the community.
In the end, we did not come up with solid answers or solutions. However, we asked and, more importantly, discussed important questions. Who are we casting and why? Does the standard of whether or not things are acceptable depend on the color of skin? Does the casting change the “art” of the play? Whose voice are we allowing to tell the story? Whose voice is not being heard? How do these issues play a role in the selection of material for the next season? We did not agree. It was not an easy discussion. But at least that doggone elephant was the center of attention.
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VASTA Fellows Program
Linda de Vries
The Voice And Speech Trainers’ Association
The VASTA Fellows Program
A new program created in response to the VASTA Vision 2014 outreach advocacy goals
VASTA seeks to raise the profile of what we do as an organization, raise standards for practice within the profession and increase public awareness of effective, healthy and creative vocal usage. To that end, VASTA has created this Fellows Program to connect qualified VASTA representatives with institutions and organizations in need of workshops, master classes and symposia. The purpose is to provide expertise in specific areas that may not be available in a given institution or organization.
Institutions are invited to apply to host a VASTA Fellow
- improve the voice and speech skills of your students, staff or clients
- encourage healthy vocal use by your students, staff or clients
- enhance the techniques available to your students, staff or clients
You may apply for the services of a VASTA fellow if you are a not-for-profit educational institution, conservatory, theatre, or organization, whether or not you have a VASTA member on your faculty or staff.
If you are interested in hosting a VASTA Fellow, or team of Fellows, apply to the VASTA Fellows Committee. Application forms are available online through the VASTA web site (http://www.vasta.org ). Send a copy of the application to the Chair of the VASTA Fellows Committee, Linda de Vries, at (email@example.com). The chair will then distribute a copy to each committee member. Please see the list of available programs at the bottom of this brochure.
The VASTA Fellows Committee will then match your institution with the appropriate Fellow, notify the Fellow, and the Fellow will make direct contact with you. All arrangements will then be made between you and the Fellow. A designated member of the VASTA Fellows Committee will monitor the process as necessary.
Responsibilities of the Hosting Institution
Applicant institutions agree to:
- Complete the application process. If approved, the Fellows Committee will put a VASTA Fellow in direct contact with the institution.
- Bear the expense of reasonable round-trip transportation, on-site ground transportation, housing and board of the Fellow during the site visit.
- Request no more than one visit per year.
- Charge admission to the Fellow’s presentation ONLY to recoup costs and with the agreement of the Committee and the Fellow.
- Respond to a brief questionnaire provided by the VASTA Fellows Committee at the conclusion of the visit or program.
You may apply any time up to January 1st or August 1st annually. The Committee will match the Fellows with applying Institutions by February 1 or September 1. Please do not contact the Fellows directly.
A description of the Fellows Program and an application to become a Host Institution are available on the VASTA web site.
A list of VASTA Fellows and programs available appear on the following pages. When the committee connects you with a Fellow, you may request a complete Curriculum Vitae if you wish.
VASTA Fellows Committee:
Linda de Vries (Chair), Claudia Anderson, Debra Hale, Thomas Keating, Kristen Loree
ERIC ARMSTRONG is an Associate Professor in the Theatre Department at York University, Toronto. He has been teaching and giving workshops for over ten years in both the USA and Canada. He holds an MFA in acting from York University, and studied at The Drama Studio in London. His work includes extensive professional dialect coaching for both theatre and film. An active member of VASTA, he has held many positions, including board member, conference planner, and director of technology. His expertise includes speaking voice production and pedagogy, classical text, phonetics, and dialects.
MICHA ESPINOSA is Director of Voice and Speech at Western Michigan University. She holds a BFA degree from Stephens College and an MFA from the University of California, San Diego. With nine years as a workshop presenter, she has taught voice, speech and movement workshops nationally and internationally including: Japan, Canada, Mexico and Chile. She is a member of AFTRA and SAG and has performed in film, television, commercials and regional theatre. She is also a certified yoga instructor with extensive Feldenkrais training. She is an associate teacher of Fitzmaurice Voicework and a trainer for the Fitzmaurice Voicework Teacher Certification Program. She has served as an officer in VASTA since 2000 and has published in the Voice and Speech Review.
SHEILA GORDON is a professional actor and Assistant Professor of Acting and Voice at St. Edward’s University. She holds a BFA in acting from New York University and an MFA from Carnegie Mellon University-Moscow Art Theatre. She is a member of AEA, SAG, VASTA and ATME, is a certified teacher of the Pilates System and will be a Guild Certified practitioner of the Feldenkrais Technique in November, 2007. She has 20 years experience as a workshop presenter and has published articles in The Voice and Speech Review and The Moon City Review.
JULIA GUICHARD is an Assistant Professor at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio where she teaches acting, voice, speech, script analysis and Alexander Technique and serves as vocal coach for the department of theatre. She holds a BFA in Acting from the DePaul University/Goodman School of Drama and an MFA in Acting from Pennsylvania State University. Julia is a certified teacher of the Alexander Technique, holding certificates from The Performance School and Alexander Technique International. She has taught master classes and workshops at regional theatres and universities across the country for five years. Julia has also published several articles on performance pedagogy in The Voice and Speech Review, Theatre Topics and Multimedia Educational Resources for Learning and Teaching Online, as well as served as an Associate Editor of IDEA and Production Editor of The Voice and Speech Review.
ANTONIO OCAMPO-GUZMAN is an actor, director, author and teacher with extensive professional experience in his native Colombia, as well as in the US, Mexico and Europe. He holds a BFA (equivalent) from the Teatro Libre Acting School in Bogotá. Colombia, and an MFA in Directing from York University in Toronto. With 12 years’ experience as a workshop presenter, he is adapting the popular Linklater Practice (Freeing the Natural Voice) into Spanish and offers workshops and symposia on the issues of the professional training of Latino actors across the US. He has served on the faculties of Emerson College, FSU and ASU, and currently teaches at Northeastern University in Boston, MA.
BRIAN E. PETTY , M.A., CCC-SLP, is a speech pathologist at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, specializing in disorders of the professional and singing voice. He holds a Bachelor of Music in vocal performance from Oklahoma State University and dual Master of Arts degrees from The Ohio State University in vocal pedagogy and speech and hearing science. He has nine years’ experience as a workshop presenter, is a frequent lecturer on professional voice disorders, and has performed with choirs and symphonies nationwide.
PAUL SCHIERHORN is an actor (AEA member), director and teacher with nineteen years experience as a workshop presenter. He holds an MFA in Acting from Yale University School of Drama and has received an Antoinette Perry (TONY) award nomination, a Mortarboard Award for Excellence in Teaching, a Storer Boone Award, and OBIE award, and the Oliver Thorndike Award from Yale University. He is an Associate Professor at Tulane University currently on leave to serve as Professor and Director of the BFA Musical Theatre Program at Mars Hill College in North Carolina.
MIRIAM VAN MERSBERGEN, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, is a speech pathologist at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, specializing in disorders of the professional and singing voice. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Music and Communication Arts (double major) from Calvin College, an MA in Speech Language Pathology and Vocology from the University of Iowa, and a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota with a research emphasis on voice and emotion. She is a member of the American Psychological Association, the Society for Psychophysiological Research and the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS). She has seven years’ experience as a workshop presenter and has authored multiple articles for the Journal of Voice and the Journal of Speech and Hearing Science.
SHERRI K. ZELAZNY, MA, CCC-SLP, is a speech pathologist at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, where she is Senior Clinical Speech Language Pathologist. She holds a BS in Speech Pathology and Audiology from Ithaca College and an MA from New York University. She is certified in the Lee Silverman Voice Treatment® for Parkinson Disease. She has 15 years as a workshop presenter and has authored articles for ASHA, VASTA and LSHSS.
- Alexander Technique and the Voice. Understand how to release your voice from an efficient body. This master class introduces the principles of the Alexander Technique and its application to voice and acting; it is appropriate for theatre performers and musicians. Duration: Half day.
- Beyond Journaling: Integrating Writing in Performance Classes. Integrate the performance class and writing across the curriculum. Using the principles of the Writing Across the Curriculum Movement, this master class explores the potential of writing, both formal and informal, to help students integrate critical thinking and artistic practice; it presents and discusses techniques for designing and assessing student writing; participants create or revise a new writing assignment for one course; the sessions may be one-on-one or in groups. Duration: Half-day.
- Designing a Course from the Ground Up. Learn to improve your syllabi. This master class introduces faculty to the basic building blocks of course design: constructing a syllabus, developing teaching goals and student learning outcomes, and identifying effective tools to achieve and assess student learning; the sessions may be one-on-one or in groups. Duration: Half-day.
- Potential Hazards to Voice Health in the Theatre: Protect your voice while satisfying the director and the designers. This master class will define the vocal hazards that actors and singers confront in today’s theatre and provide guidelines for maintaining effective vocal hygiene; it is conducted by a speech-language pathologist. Duration: Several hours.
- The Latino Actor. Increase your understanding of your Latino identity in relation to the Eurocentric industry and training. This master class addresses the linguistic and cultural identity of Latino actors; it allows student actors to discover or reclaim their bilingual cultural selves through discussion among peers; it explores the actors’ relationship to language, linguistic history and identity; it develops an increased understanding of the entertainment industry and its relationship to Latino communities; it helps actors to discern which training and professional experiences are respectful of their heritage. Duration: Two to four hours. Participants: Speakers of English, Spanish and Spanglish; all levels are welcome.
- To Tech or Not to Tech. Learn to integrate technology into the performance classroom. This master class provides information on a variety of technologies for delivering course content and supplementing in-class teaching: online learning objects, wikis, webquests, content management systems, and more; its focus is not on learning specific software, but on understanding the potential for using technology effectively in the performance classroom to help students learn; the sessions may be one on one or in groups. Duration: Half-day.
- Vocal Health of Young Performers: Nurture art while maintaining balance in development. This master class, conducted by a speech-language pathologist who is also a singing teacher, will address the vocal needs and abilities of the developing performer and highlight problems that young performers can face; techniques to avoid vocal stress or strain will also be covered. Duration: Half-day.
- Alexander Technique and the Voice. Release your voice from an efficient body. This workshop introduces the principles of the Alexander Technique and its application to voice and acting; the participants are introduced to a series of exercises; they are then invited to perform text from monologues or scenes and receive “hands on” instruction in applying Alexander Technique to performance; it is appropriate for theatre performers and musicians. Duration: Half-day or longer. Limit: Fifteen participants.
- An Introduction to First Folio Technique. Understand the First Folio as a blueprint for acting Shakespeare. Based upon the methods of Neil Freeman and Patrick Tucker, this workshop introduces student and actors to the exploration of Shakespeare text through his original printing, the First Folio; it explores the demands of the text as informed by the punctuation, orthography (spelling), poetry and argument of the text, as made evident through the way the text is printed in the Folio; it serves as a great investigation for those new to Shakespeare; it informs actors’ choices and emboldens them to embrace the musicality and muscularity of the language while exploring the balance of their emotion and intellect. Duration: Full-day.
- Dialects 101: It’s not the nine eggs you catch that they remember . . . it’s the one you drop. This workshop serves as a tie-in to a production involving a dialect at the host institution; the workshop leader trains the host institution in the use of videoconferencing via Internet for listening and consultation in the early stages of rehearsal and then arrives on-site for a few days late in the rehearsal period. Duration: several days. Equipment: a computer, a webcam, Skype or iChat A/V software.
- Dialects through Play. Deepen your approach to dialect study. This workshop introduces students and actors to core concepts of dialect acquisition through exploration, song and play; it includes vowel sounds that are outside the awareness of the participants, variations in articulation styles, resonance and placement; it can be taught either as an introduction to dialects or as the study of a single dialect in depth, depending upon length of time; participates receive handouts and CDs of the dialects studied. Duration: Full day or three days.
- Learn the Entire IPA: Bring the world’s dialects to the tip of your tongue. This workshop teaches the sounds and symbols of the International Phonetic Alphabet; participants explore the full range of human articulation, and begin to experiment with the process of connecting those actions and sounds with the symbols devised by the International Phonetic Association, and used by linguists and performers around the world; in a playful yet precise investigation, it explores the sounds and what's required to go beyond the familiar into the foreign and somewhat alien sounds of the world's languages; participants will receive a workbook, CDs and access to web-based materials to supplement the experience. Duration: Full day or three days.
- Learn the IPA for the Sounds of English: Bring the dialects of English to the tip of your tongue. This workshop teaches the English sounds and symbols of the International Phonetic Alphabet; participants explore and begin to experiment with the process of connecting those actions and sounds with the symbols devised by the International Phonetic Association, and used by linguists and performers around the world; in a playful yet precise investigation, it explores the sounds and what's required to go beyond the familiar into the foreign and somewhat alien sounds of the dialects of English; participants will receive a workbook, CDs and access to web-based materials to supplement the experience. Duration: Full day or three days.
- Shakespeare's Heightened Text. Learn to connect voice and movement when acting Shakespeare. This interactive workshop encourages students and actors to connect voice and movement, bringing the text alive in the body; participants are introduced to verse scansion, rhetorical structure and First Folio clues in order to understand the technical demands of heightened text as the foundation for artistic choices; it can provide either introductory or advanced work with Shakespeare’s texts; it may be adapted for large or small groups. Duration: Full-day.
- The Art of the Voiceover: You can learn to give voice to objects, ideas and people through mass media . This workshop explores the basics of lending your voice to a variety of media using hands-on digital recording with “real-world” copy; it provides tips on how to develop an effective demonstration tape or CD; it acquaints you with new markets for voiceover work: retail, political, narration, podcasts, blogs, streaming web audio, videogames and more. Duration: Half- to full-day. Equipment: a computer, a webcam, Skype or iChat A/V software.
- The Rule of Four : If you can capture and hold a child’s attention with your voice, you can capture and hold anybody’s attention. This workshop explores free, truthful, vivid techniques for reading aloud that captivate children; it transfers these principles to more complex text by moving back and forth between simple children’s stories and adult text. Duration: several hours.
- Equipment: a computer, a webcam, Skype or iChat A/V software.
- The Voice is a Process, not an Organ:You will take a holistic tour of breath, vibration, resonation . . . and freedom. This workshop explores the basics of the “whole-body” voice that incorporates freeing the body, breath, intellect and emotions into a powerful package of communication; it draws upon Alexander and Linklater techniques; it uses pre-recorded video and audio, on-the-spot video and audio and more. Duration: Two Days. Equipment: a computer, a webcam, Skype or iChat A/V software.
- Touching Voice. Awaken your body, voice and creative impulses through trust and release. This workshop introduces participants to the world of creative impulse through voice and movement; it begins with Transformational Movement and Voice Lessons (inspired by the movement work of Moshe Feldenkrais and Anat Baniel); these awareness building lessons help individuals to move beyond habitual movement, breathing and voice production patterns, preparing participants to partner with one another in "Touching Voice," a respectful, dance-like method of shaping and releasing vocal expression and text (inspired by the work of Sergei Ostrenko); partners learn a method of gentle physical contact/movement which affects listening, rhythm, tempo and emotional connection to speech; this intensely transformative process creates dynamic outcomes in releasing habitual speech patterns and finding organic connections to text. Duration: Full-Day.
- Voice and Breath. Learn core voice and breath concepts. This workshop explores core breath and voice concepts from the Iris Warren-Kristin Linklater tradition; it is suitable for programs without significant voice training in their curriculum; it challenges young actors to dig into the core of their work through an exploration of breath in the core, ease of sounding, resonance and articulation; it can be adapted to fit the needs of just about any group, and its level of instruction adjusted in response to the kind of work that participants have been exposed to in the past. Duration: Half-day or full-day.
- Voice/Voz Workshop. Discover or reclaim your Latino linguistic heritage in acting.. This workshop trains Latino/a actors in the vocal techniques of Catharine Fitzmaurice and Kristin Linklater; it includes practical application and opportunity to work in English and Spanish; it allows student actors to discover or reclaim their bilingual cultural selves through practice among peers; it explores the actors’ relationship to language, linguistic history and identity. Duration: Two to four hours. Limit: Sixteen (16) participants. Equipment: A large, open space. Participants: Speakers of English, Spanish and Spanglish; all levels are welcome.
- When Breath Energy Stops: You will address the physiology of breathing, respiratory problems, and emotion. This workshop will identify breathing problems observed in performers and common breathing disorders, with a focus on technique and treatment; it is conducted by a speech language pathologist who is also a singing teacher. Duration: half-day.
- Diagnosis and management of Professional Voice Disorders: .The science of the voice and the art of the voice are necessary partners. This symposium will bring together speech-language pathologists, speech and dialect coaches, and singing teachers within the host institution to explore the relationship and potential cooperation between medical voice professionals and aesthetic voice professionals; it will be led by a team of three speech-language pathologists. Duration: Full-day.
- Identity Politics and the Training of Latino Actors. Increase your understanding of speech training, bicultural identity and professional outlook for Latino actors. This Symposium, guided by two Latino theatre professionals, leads faculty, administrators and students in a roundtable discussion that addresses the challenging questions of linguistic identity and speech training, bicultural identity and physical awareness, and professional outlook. Duration: One to four hours.
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BETSY ALLEN, MA (Hons) (London, U.K.) currently lives and works as a teaching artist. Her teaching is a fusion of Fitzmaurice Voicework, extended vocal technique, developmental movement, Pilates and creative song compostion. Betsy’s study to become a certified teacher of The Roy Hart Theatre Work, under the auspices of Jonathan Hart Makwaia, has spanned over a decade. She has fused this body of movement and extended voice work with the Fitzmaurice Voicework to create a physical and joyful approach to voice training. She is currently a voice tutor at The Arts Educational School in West London. Visit www.fitzmauricevoice.com for workshops.
GERALDINE COOK (VCA, Melbourne, Australia) is part of an interdisciplinary team researching rehabilitation techniques for young adults with cochlear implants and hearing aids. The purpose of the research is to investigate the effect of voice training techniques for actors on young adults who use hearing aid technologies. One of the outcomes of the project was a performance by seven young people - all cochlear implant users - entitled Wish 3 More Wishes. A documentary film of the training materials is being developed for Cochlear Ltd., Sydney, by Ivanka Sokol and Geraldine Cook. For further information, see www.australianvoiceassociation.com.au .
BEN EEDLE (Bavaria, Germany) works in a small Theatre Akademie called Athanor, founded ten years ago. The school is based in a building that was the stables of the longest castle in Europe. Although the beautiful town of Burghausen once controlled salt imports from Austria, it is known these days for an extensive and surreal chemical plant called Wacker that looks like something from a science fiction movie. Ben is the only Voice presence in a culture that doesn’t really see voice as central to acting but things are slowly improving. It has been a challenging two years for him.
LEITH MCPHERSON (Australia) is Lecturer in Voice for the Acting and Music Theatre Departments at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts. She is running a series of workshops in Sydney in December as part of her MA Creative Arts studies. Her topic, Shakespeare’s Verse and the Training Actor will be explored through the comparative use of different approaches to heightened text work. Current and graduate students from the WAAPA Acting Course will apply the work of John Barton, Cicely Berry, Patrick Tucker and others, and discuss the most effective ways to engage the audience and the verse.
LIZ MILLS (South Africa). January: RADA Breath conference; inspirational start to the year - wonderful to meet old and new colleagues. Liz shared some of her work with students at Central School of Speech and Drama in a stimulating exchange. She continues to develop her research into voice as material at the University of Cape Town. May: Liz was approached to apply her research to Voices Made Night, a production of stories by Mozambican writer Mia Cuto directed by Magnet Theatre’s Mark Fleishman. Her research satisfyingly shapes the content of UCT’s senior voice programme, has travelled to other SA universities via graduates and inspired the creation of an MA in Theatre Practice (Voice).
LISE OLSON (U.K.) is the new Course Director of the Graduate Diploma in Acting at the Birmingham School of Acting in the U.K. She has just finished directing Major Barbara for the Crescent Theatre and is currently vocal coach+dialects for the Royal Exchange Theatre’s production of The Conversation. She then goes on to direct Two Gentlemen of Verona, a new theatre in education musical and Ariel Dorfman’s Widows
KIRSTIE O’SULLIVAN (New Zealand) is a recent graduate of the Voice Studies course at NIDA (2006). While completing her studies there, Kirstie undertook a three-week teaching internship at the Theatre Training and Research Programme (Singapore) and taught Broadcast Voice at Charles Sturt University (Australia). Kirstie returned to NZ in 2007 to take up the position of Head of Voice at Unitec’s School of Performing & Screen Arts. She juggles this with working as a professional actor and voice artist and has recently formed BOLD Communication, which specialises in media and communication coaching, voice and speech training and corporate presentation skills.
LISSA TYLER RENAUD. SPRING: Visiting Professor, national theatre conservatory of Taiwan: taught voice and acting (BFA/MFA); developed a performance from a PhD seminar, featuring sound/vocal scores from the Italian Futurists; served as dramaturge/advisor for MFA directing students, creating a full evening of Scenes Without Speech (Noel Coward to Beckett), performed only with breath. JUNE: a joint Chinese-English recital with Taiwan actress Wei-Hua Chiang, for which Renaud sponsored Yu-Chen Lin’s historic first translations of Gertrude Stein in the Chinese-speaking world. AUGUST: recital in San Francisco for the worldwide 100 th anniversary events for Stein. OCTOBER: speech melody workshop, National University of Singapore.
ERIC ARMSTRONG (York University) is enjoying his sabbatical doing theatre and film/tv coaching. He worked on Mike Myers' The Love Guru, and has worked on 4 episodes of The Border, which will air on CBC. He coached Sherlock Holmes for Geva Theatre/Cleveland Playhouse and Mary Stuart for SoulPepper. He's pleased to be working with York alumni Mark Ingram, Jeffrey Simlett and Olivia Olsen on a research seminar into Physicalizing Meter. Also, he is writing his weekly voice training resource, < voiceguy.ca>. Finally, he received a grant to get a KAY/Pentax VisiPitch system, which he is trying to learn how to use!
HEATHER CHETWYND (Voice to Word Consulting Inc.) does training in English in the Toronto area with a focus on pronunciation for internationally educated professionals. ( www.voice2word.ca) ( firstname.lastname@example.org)
Mark Ingram(Toronto Film School) continues to have a busy year, teaching voice and acting, as well as coordinating the Acting Program, at the Toronto Film School. He also did a guest stint up at York University, teaching “Acting Shakespeare.” This past summer he shifted from Assistant Editor to Editor for the VASTA Voice newsletter. He’s also recently done some more voice work on some MOWs. And to keep the personal life busy too, he’s just bought and sold houses and is moving within the month.
DAWN McCAUGHERTY (Universtiy of Calgary) is currently coaching Wertenbaker’s adaptations of Oedipus Rex and Antigone at the university. In August she presented the culmination of her research work in dialect and gesture at the VASTA Conference in Denver, particularly enjoying the drive across our beautiful continent. In January, she will be performing the role of Mrs. Soames in Our Town for Theatre Calgary.
BETTY MOULTON (University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB Canada) is currently coaching a new adaptation of Antigone and “researching the most effective way to deliver a teaching enhancement program to professors and sessionals for whom English is a second language” at the University. She is also beginning her investigation of "The training needs in voice, speech and text for mid-career actors" by travelling to Montreal, Toronto and NYC to interview those who trained in the U of A’s professional actor training program.
ME, VT, NH, MA, CT, PA, RI, NJ, DE, MD, D.C.
JANET MADELLE FEINDEL (Associate Professor, Voice/Alexander Technique, School of Drama, Carnegie Mellon University) recently coached Outside Inn, a co-production between Rampe Theatre in Stuttgart, Germany, and the University of Pittsburgh Equity company. The play had two versions, English and German. Janet also led a workshop in Gottinghen, Germany in voice and the Alexander. Her book The Thought Propels The Sound is being published by Plural Publishing spring 2008. She recently participated on a panel on “Voice and Speech Training” with The Pacific Voice and Speech Conference at UCLA, where she also lead a workshop and then gave a master class for the graduate acting students.
LYNN KREMER directed My Life with Albertine, a musical/opera, based on the Albertine sections of Marcel Proust’s Remembrance of Things Past composed by Ricky Ian Gordon with libretto by Richard Nelson. Kremer’s production is the first staging of this little known gem since it was first performed Off-Broadway by Playwrights Horizon in association with AT&T: On Stage in 2003.
BARRY KUR (Penn State University School of Theatre) Directed at Penn State, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. Voice/Speech/Text coached As You Like It, for guest director, Tom Markus. Hosting and Coordinating the "Annual Lessac Institute Conference" at Penn State, January 3-6. Will lead two Lessac Institute 2008 summer workshops: "Stage Dialect Workshop", June 8-13 at University of Mary Washington, Fredericksburg, VA and with Nancy Krebs, "The Lessac Teacher Training Workshop", June 28-July 3 at DePauw University, Greencastle, IN. Celebrating 25 years at Penn State.
MARYA LOWRY (Brandeis U.) played the title role in Macbeth in an all-female (sold out and extended) performance, Oct.-Nov. for Actors' Shakespeare Project, Boston <actorsshakespeareproject.org>. Through DYS and Incarcerated Youth at Play, she co-developed a workshop of Macbeth with incarcerated girls, a program now in its third year. In July, Marya returned to Greece to teach for the International Festival of Making Theatre in Athens. Principally, after 18 years as full-time faculty in the MFA program at Brandeis, this fall Marya took the leap to part-time to make space for other interests, including acting and prison work - which includes making theatre with incarcerated minors and spiritual mentoring in women's prison facilities in Massachusetts - and long walks in the woods.
REBEKAH MAGGOR (Director, Program in Speaking and Learning, Derek Bok Center, Harvard University) This past spring Maggor had a reading of her play Two Days at Home Three Days in Prison at the New York Theater Workshop. At the recent VASTA conference in Denver she presented on "Teaching Speaking in a Pluralistic Society: Oral Communication in the Harvard College Curriculum." < www.bokcenter.harvard.edu > Maggor will perform her one-woman play Shakespeare’s Actresses at Boston’s Huntington Theatre Company in January with Dudley Knight as Voice and Text Director. < www.huntingtontheatre.org >
NATALIE MCMANUS (George Mason University/Designated Linklater Teacher) is the Theatre Department's Voice and Speech Professor. Her company, Puck's Pals, LLC (Shakespeare workshops), continues to add more middle schools each year. Natalie returned to the University of Pittsburgh to lead a workshop on voice and presentation skills with the Epidemiology Dept. doctoral candidates and hopes to add more of these workshops to her schedule. This fall she played God, and she is currently in rehearsal as Mary in The Memory of Water. The movie, Past Perfect (soccer mom/Justine), made its film debut at the Dances with Films festival in LA. <email@example.com>
DOUG MERTZ recently appeared as Antipholus of Ephesus in The Comedy of Errors at the Pittsburgh Public Theater. Directed by Ted Pappas, the cast featured local Pittsburgh actors in 14 of 16 roles - a new Public Theater record. In addition, Doug was recently promoted to lecturer in the Theatre Arts Department at the University of Pittsburgh where he has taught for the past 6 years. This semester he is overseeing the MFA and acting programs at Pitt while the woman who usually does so is on sabbatical.
RUTH ROOTBERG gave a workshop for high school choral conductors during a
state-wide high school choral festival sponsored by the Massachusetts Choral Director Association.
KAREN RYKER (University of Connecticut-Storrs) is currently acting in Pentecost at Connecticut Repertory Theatre (opens Nov. 30). We’re delighted to have guest Dudley Knight working as “language wrangler” for the production, and also performing in it. She recently coached Arabian Nights and will travel to Dublin over Thanksgiving to audition 50 opera singers for her fall ’08 project: directing The Magic Flute at Dublin Institute of Technology. Should be fun.
ELIZABETH VAN DEN BERG (Associate Professor, Theatre Arts, McDaniel College) was at the helm of Theatre on the Hill in Westminster, MD over the summer as Producing Artistic Director, where she also coached dialects for Oliver! In August she became a tenured member of the faculty at McDaniel College, and was promoted to Associate Professor. During the fall she directed and coached dialects for Playboy of the Western World at McDaniel, and has been coaching The Fall of the House of Usher for Synetic Theatre and Shining City at the Studio Theatre, in Washington, D.C.
SUSAN WILDER just played Ariadne in Berkeley Rep's Heartbreak House, directed by Les Waters. Before that she played Flora in Humble Boy at People's Light & Theatre Company, and Vivien Leigh in Orson's Shadow at Philadelphia Theatre Company. Her English accent is getting a pretty good workout!
Angie Balsamo (Millikin University, NCVS, SUNY Stony Brook) is finishing up grad studies in Dramaturgy at SUNY Stony Brook and getting ready to start an internship in New York next semester. She attended the Summer Vocology Intensive at the National Center for Voice and Speech this past summer and is now a certified Vocologist. Currently she is working as a dialect coach and dramaturg on Under Milk Wood and freelance vocal and dialect coaching for bobrauschenbergamerica. She is also dramaturging an original adaptation of Orestes, teaching Theatre 101 and Honors Public Speaking.
Kohli Calhoun is dialect coaching her first Off-Broadway show. Harvest with Alchemy Theatre Company of Manhattan goes up on Theatre Row beginning in November.
Kate (Wilson) Maré recently coached NYTW's The Misanthrope, Roundabout's Pygmalion (voice coach to Claire Danes), and Conor McPherson's The Seafarer. At Juilliard, she coached Buried Child, Getting Out, Ghosts, and The House of Blue Leaves. She has coached for the television series New Amsterdam and Cashmere Mafia and coached Joseph Fiennes for the film Against the Current and Nicholas Cage for The Wrestler.
Joan Melton is retiring as Head of the Voice/Movement program at Cal State Fullerton. She has published a new book: Singing in Musical Theatre: The Training of Singers and Actors (Allworth 2007), and is doing ground breaking research in London using ultrasound imaging. She and physiotherapist Jane Grey are documenting the specifics of abdominal muscle activity for a variety of vocal actions. Joan is now based in New York City, coaches for New York Classical Theatre, and teaches the integrative voice/movement work she has developed over the past ten years.
Evan Mueller (New York University) continues to teach voice & speech as well as acting in the Department of Music & Performing Arts at the Steinhardt School at New York University. Over the summer, he was lucky enough to direct Christopher Durang's Miss Witherspoon with Amphibian Stage Productions in Fort Worth Texas, and later performed in Neil LaBute's This is How it Goes. He was named Best Actor by the Fort Worth Weekly Newspaper (Reader's Choice awards).
Lucille Schutmaat-Rubin , Ph.D. (Professionally Speaking, NYC) recently coached lead actress in Eurydice for vocal endurance, another in Roller Derby for vocal misuse, a film director for speech-confidence, and helped clients from law, investment and financial firms improve their interviewing, presentation, articulation, accent modification and voice quality skills. Other clients included teachers, event planners, students applying to college, and presenters at the "Care of the Professional Voice Symposium." She received the Distinguished Alumni Award for Contributions to the Industry from Western Michigan University. Personal highlight: Riding in a horse carriage with my daughter on her wedding day. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Krista Scott (VASTA Treasurer) is teaching the fall 2007 semester in the BFA Performance program of Syracuse University's Drama Department and will be heading to the University of Connecticut in January. This past summer, she performed the role of Violet in A Marriage Minuet at the Kitchen Theatre.
Kara Tsiaperas returned to New York City this spring after teaching at the Oxford School of Drama in the UK. She is currently teaching voice and speech at Marymount Manhattan and AMDA. This year she took over from Micha Espinosa as Officer of International Resources for VASTA.
AL, AR, LA, MS, OK, TX, TN, KY
Cassidy Elms (University of Oklahoma, M.A. Student) has been assistant dialect coach for Lend Me A Tenor, Man And Superman, The Scarlet Pimpernel, and A Christmas Carol throughout this fall semester. She is a first year graduate student at the University of Oklahoma where she is studying with Rena Cook.
Jim Johnson has been coaching Arsenic and Old Lace at the Alley Theatre, The Importance of Being Earnest and Jacob Marley's Christmas Carol at Unity Theatre, and Arcadia at the University of Houston. In addition, Jim has been developing the dialect-training website www.AccentHelp.com and will be continuing to create more downloads for the site along with VASTA members Kate DeVore and Michelle Lopez.
Gregory Lush is teaching voice and speech at KD Studios and Collin College in Dallas. He is currently playing Henry Higgins in Pygmalion at Theatre 3 following successful runs as Mitch in Tuesdays With Morrie at the Labyrinth Theatre and Berowne in Love’s Labours Lost at the Shakespeare Festival of Dallas.
Vivian Majkowski spent June in New York City in the first of the two parts of the Fitzmaurice Method certification process. She finished the summer season as the voice/dialect coach for TheatreWork’s Hamlet and Antonio’s Revenge in Colorado. Then in August she relocated to take the job as professor of voice and speech at the Savannah College of Art and Design. Vivian coached M. Wainstein’s Lend Me a Tenor and S. Ott’s Proof this fall and looks forward to working on Ms. Ott’s Bartlett adaptation of Oliver Twist and M. Tymchshyn’s Lie of the Mind in the winter quarter.
Tracey Moore has taken a new position as Director of Music Theatre at Western Kentucky University. Her book, ACTING THE SONG: PERFORMANCE SKILLS FOR THE MUSIC THEATRE will be published in February by Allworth Press, and an article has been accepted by Dramatics Magazine. She is performing the mezzo-soprano solo in a Beethoven Mass this month, and will direct the inaugural work of a new music theatre development series this spring at WKU.
Cornelia Patterson , MFA Theatre Arts Adjunct Professor at El Paso Community College, is directing a production of a modernized version of Everyman and a cutting from The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer adapted by Mike Poulton by arrangement of Nick Hern Books, November 9, 10, 16 and 17. In September she was vocal coach for The Shakespeare Festival in El Paso, Texas. In August, she presented a workshop on "Finding the Music in your Speaking Voice" based on the Arthur Lessac Kinesensic Methodology.
Paul Schierhorn has taken a year’s leave of absence from Tulane’s Department of Theatre and Dance in New Orleans and (along with wife Maria and son Will) has relocated to Mars Hill College just above Asheville, NC where heads the B.F.A. Musical Theatre Program. Still teaching voice and speech and directing plays (he staged the musical Working this fall), he is delighted to be working with Julie Fortney and Cynthia Perkins, specialists in Estill Voice Training. At their first meeting, Julie said of Estill: “It is a wonderful tool. It does not have to be regarded as the ONLY tool.”
Ashley Smith teaches voice and speech at SMU-Meadows School of the Arts in Dallas. He recently served as dialect coach for Dallas Theater Center’s production of Pride and Prejudice. In April he served as dialect coach for Victory Gardens Theatre’s production of My Children! My Africa! in Chicago. He is currently working toward certification in Roy Hart voice work.
Clark Stevens is in his fourth year as Director of Theatre at Winston Churchill High School in San Antonio, Texas. He is currently playing the Ghost in a futuristic Hamlet with his company of gifted/talented students. Spring directing includes: The Music Man and DA by Hugh Leonard. Clark is hosting unified auditions for his senior students and will welcome Ken Washington from the Guthrie Program again this year. Graduating seniors from the Churchill program are currently attending: Juilliard, North Carolina, Cal Arts, Rutgers, BU and U.T.
Matthew Tomlanovich (Oklahoma State University) is halfway through his Fitzmaurice training and looking forward to the second half. He recently created with VOX and Dallas Shakespeare a voice-centered version of The Rape of Lucrece. As the vocal consultant for The Coaching Company he is working with national and affiliate news anchors and reporters as well as voice/dialect coaching various productions.
Sally Vahle had a very fulfilling year acclimating to her new tenure track position in acting, voice and speech at UNT and performing in two successful productions: Allison Moore’s End Times, at Kitchen Dog Theater, and Pride and Catherine Sheehy’s adaptation of Pride and Prejudice at the Dallas Theatre Center. She was also busy working as a dialect, voice and text coach for media and stage—most recently as voice and dialect coach for A Christmas Carol at the Dallas Theater Center. Sally is focusing her research on identifying and defining the most effective approaches for actor training in the 21 st century.
Mj Vandivier is opening in Ring Around the Moon at St. Edwards University in Austin. Madam Desmortes, cries for vocal range and a true understanding of the instrument and it has been interesting for her to work with young college students asking questions about the voice. Her hope is to inspire them to investigate vocal technique. She is a certified Lessac voice/body trainer and teaches and acts locally. Having had throat surgery in the late 70's caused by improper vocal usage, she will always be grateful to have discovered Lessac’s work. She feels it truly saved her voice.
OH, MI, IN, WI, IL
Michael J. Barnes (Wayne State University) just completed directing Uncommon Women and Others for WSU's Bonstelle theatre. In addition, he did the voice coaching for The Complete Works of Shakespeare: Abridged, dialect supervision for The Lusty and Comical History of Tom Jones, and is currently coaching Biloxi Blues for the Hilberry Theatre Company. He has also been named the Acting Head of the BFA Acting program at Wayne State.
Elizabeth Carlin-Metz, associate professor of theatre, Knox College, and artistic director of Vitalist Theatre has received a 2007 Chicago After Dark Award for Outstanding Direction, for Bertold Brecht's Mother Courage and Her Children, adapted by David Hare. Out of more than 2,000 productions in Chicago during the 2006-07 theatre season, the award stated: "The profundity and current relevance of Mother Courage was matched only by its demanding scope. This Herculean challenge was met with impeccable success by Carlin-Metz as she compiled a topnotch ensemble and a marvelous design team to pull off this complex triumph."
TaneraMarshall (University of Illinois at Chicago) was dialect coach for Rachel McAdams in The Lucky Ones, due out this winter. In Chicago she did voice and dialect work for Elmina’s Kitchen at Congo Sq. Theater and the stage premiere of The Cay at Adventure Stage. Conference work included a co-presentation at the Young Adult Literature conference, and in June she completed the Fitzmaurice Teacher Certification Training, Part One, continuing with Part Two in ‘08.
Beth McGee (Associate Professor, Case Western Reserve University) spent January-April 2007 earning her certificate of study (300 class hours, 30 hours private instruction) at the Roy Hart Centre Artistique in Malerargues, France. In fall 2007 she dialect coached A Shayna Maidel and Judgement at Nuremberg in Cleveland.
D'Arcy Smith (Wright State University) continues his journey towards tenure as the Voice and Speech Professor in Wright State's Acting and Musical Theatre Department. He just finished coaching West Side Story, Lost in Yonkers, A Little Night Music and Park Your Car in Harvard Yard. D'Arcy participated in Richard Armstrong's Advanced and Beginner Voice workshops this August held in Banff, Alberta. This summer he also studied Alba Emoting with Rocco Dal Vera, Roxanne Rix and Nancy Loitz. He looks forward to organizing another Mid-Western Voice Conference similar to the one held at Wright State University in March 2007.
MN, IA, MO, ND, SD, NE, KS, MT, WY, CO, NM, ID, UT, NV, AZ
TONY BERNAL is pursuing his M.A. in Theatre History/ Dramatic Literature at University of Missouri-Kansas City. His thesis discusses the Pansy Act (1930’s entertainment that stereotyped gay men) and the evolution of female impersonation to what we know today as drag. Tony performed in The Happy Elf at Coterie Theatre, (including a workshop with Harry Connick Jr). Voice/ speech specialist credits include, All In the Timing and The Trojan Women for UMKC Theatre Department and The Tally Plays and Absurd Person Singular for Actors Theatre of Kansas City. Tony will soon direct The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told at UMKC.
NANCY E. HARRIS (Vocologist, www.TheVoiceBuilder.com) performed in Opera Colorado’s chorus in La Traviata and Elixir of Love, and in the solo quartet /chorus of Abduction from the Seraglio. She ran master classes for a private singing studio and The National Pastoral Musicians. Adjudicated for NATS and CSMTA. Spoke at the CSMTA Conference. Will be performing in Fiddler on the Roof (grandmother) at Town Hall Arts Center, and Opera Colorado’s The Flying Dutchman and Nixon in China. She is the event planner (and occasional singer) for her husband’s coffeehouse; is treasurer and webmaster for DAMTA; and Outreach Chair for CSMTA.
KRISTEN LOREE now holds the position of Assistant Professor at the University of New Mexico. After 14 years of adjunct teaching she is delighted to attend meetings and have real conversations about theatre pedagogy. She is currently finishing a grant to take her Voice for Actors class into the local elementary schools and read Dr. Seuss stories with as many voices as there are characters. Her one woman show VIXIN will be presented at the Experimental Performance Festival in Phoenix AZ Feb '08.
PAUL MEIER (University of Kansas) continues his work with the International Dialects of English Archive (IDEA), at http://web.ku.edu/idea/; apply to become an associate editor. His publications and services are available online through Paul Meier Dialect Services, at www.paulmeier.com. The latest edition of Accents and Dialects for Stage and Screen , the dialect instruction textbook of choice, is now available in stores and through his website. He directed fellow VASTAns Dudley Knight, Phil Hubbard, and Elizabeth Wiley in the recently-released edition of Rosetta Stone’s American-English language acquisition software, and directed and was one of the four voices for the British-English edition.
Elizabeth Nash. PhD. AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL REMINISCENCES OF AFRICAN-AMERICAN CLASSICAL SINGERS, 1853-PRESENT: INTRODUCING THEIR SPIRITUAL HERITAGE INTO THE CONCERT REPERTOIRE. Lewiston, NY: The Edwin Mellen Press, 2007.
WV, VA, NC, SC, GA, FL
Cynthia Barrett (freelance, Atlanta, Ga.) Most recently played Ruby in The Chase at Theatrical Outfit, Meg in Crimes of the Heart at Springer Opera House and participated in 3 new play readings in Brave New Works at Theatre Emory. She has backed off of production coaching to concentrate on private clients, but she did coach Loot for Georgia Shakespeare and Sleuth for the Alliance this fall. She has also (finally!) launched her own website www.atlantavoicecoaching.com. It still needs a ton of work, but she is glad to have it started.
Marcia Mary Cook: (Univ. of the South) is teaching Intro. To Theatre to undergrads and Speech to seminarians at the School of Theology. She is also doing individual coaching . As actor/director, she has been involved in two brand new plays. Late summer/fall, she directed Aunt Lillian’s Deed by Sharon Herbers. This fall she worked with playwright Beth Lincks as Sala in her new play, Letters to Sala about a survivor of a Nazi labor camp, who, 45 years after WWII, gives her daughter the letters she managed to hide from the guards. She’ll be directing Charlie’s AunTour local public highschool.
Rinda Frye (Acting Chair, Theatre Arts Dept., University of Louisville.) She is directing Angels in America part 1, following the visit of Tony Kushner who spoke on campus as part of the “Celebration of the Life of the Mind” for the 100th anniversary of the College of Arts and Sciences. In September, she was voice and dialect coach for Dracula at Actors Theatre of Louisville; in October she was dialect coach for The Secret Gardenat Stage One, an Equity children's theatre in Louisville; and she is currently voice and dialect coach for A Christmas Carolat Actors' Theatre of Louisville.
Marina GilmanMM, MA, CCC-SLP (Voice Movement Integration and EmoryVoice Center) presented a workshop on VASTA day “Float the Hyoid - Release the Tongue”. This workshop is an outgrowth of her research on the impact of manipulation of the hyoid on vocal quality and ease of vocal production. Her July Integrated Voice Workshop “Reducing Tongue, Jaw, And Neck Tension The Feldenkrais Way”combined attention to the hyoid with Feldenkrais lessons to release tension in the jaw, neck and shoulder girdle. Her upcoming workshop Saturday February 2, 2008 “Dynamic Breathing” focuses on releasing the breath through postural changes.
DAYDRIE HAGUE (Auburn University) most recently directed Deadwood Dickor the Game of Gold and will be dialect coaching A Shayna Maidel and Little Shop of Horrors this spring. She is currently writing a script for a National Science Foundation grant project focusing on women in Math Science and Engineering and is coaching WSFA TV anchors in Montgomery.
Debra Hale (Florida State University) received tenure and has been promoted to Associate Professor of Performance. She is also now Head of Performance. This past summer she traveled to Thailand to study Chi Nei Tsang, an ancient method of internal organ massage and voice. She coached a world premiere, The Deception at the La Jolla Playhouse this summer, which was a co-production with the Theatre de la Jeune Lune. This fall at FSU she has coached Into the Woods and The Birds.
CHRISTINE MORRIS (The University of North Carolina at Greensboro) enjoyed a week of teaching voice and polyphonic singing at Shake Rag Alley Center for Living Arts in beautiful Mineral Point, Wisconsin back in August. This fall she directed Sweeney Todd at UNCG, where she is preparing to direct Love’s Fire in February. She is also resident voice and dialect coach at Triad Stage in downtown Greensboro this season.
JANET B. RODGERS (Virginia Commonwealth University) most recently coached Theatre VCU's production of Volume of Smoke, written by Clay Chapman. This spring on sabbatical she will be living Greece for four months while co-writing Archetypes in Performance with Frankie Armstrong. In late March she will be teaching a workshop on the " OxyRhythm Exercises" at The Giving Voice Festival in Aberyswyth, Wales.
BONNIE RAPHAEL (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) has coached three productions this fall: When the Bulbul Stopped Singing, a one-person account by a Palestinian journalist of the ongoing troubles with the Israelis over shared territory; a production of Romeo and Juliet directed by Davis McCallum in a fast-moving and very physical manner; and an entertaining production of Crimes of the Heart. Playmakers Repertory Company's Christmas show this year will be an adaptation of The Little Prince. PRC's transformation under the very capable direction of Joe Haj has been both exciting and demanding.
Erica Tobolski(University of South Carolina) coached dialects for Major Barbara at the Clarence Brown Theatre and was voice and dialect coach for Oh, What a Lovely War at Theatre South Carolina. She worked with several teachers from India on improving their American speech as they begin teaching in South Carolina school districts.
LAURA WAYTH (University of Miami) is teaching voice and acting in the University of Miami BFA and BA theatre programs.
ELIZABETH WILEY (College of William & Mary): Awarded University Chair for Teaching Excellence (2005-2008). Dialect workshop for Virginia Renaissance Festival, Spring 2007; attended the "Spring Faculty Symposium" at Accademia dell'Arte in Arezzo, Italy in May 2007; company member and dialect coach for Virginia Shakespeare Festival, Summer 2007; directing The Scams of Scapin for William & Mary in February 2008. Liz was pleased to have worked with Paul Meier on the 2007 version of Rosetta Stone language learning software for US English.
WA, OR, CA, AK, HI
Rafael Lopez-Barrantes , (CalArts, Theatre School, Voice) After 15 years teaching voice and gesture at the Department of Theatre Studies Duke University, Rafael Lopez-Barrantes (former Roy Hart Theatre member for twenty years) holds currently a full time position at the California Institute of the Arts, CalArts,California, teaching Roy Hart Theatre based extended vocal range techniques. He is vocal coach for the cast members of Las Meninas by Lynn Nottage, opening November 1st at CalArts. email@example.com 661-253-7840 (W)
ROBERT BARTON (University of Oregon) Robert will publish three books in early '08: Theatre in Your Life, a multi cultural introduction to theatre text (co-authored with Annie Mc Gregor), Life Themes, an anthology of plays offered as a companion volume, and the 5th edition of Acting: Onstage and Off, which will feature new material on coining lines and on memorization.
DAVID NEVELL (Head of Voice/Movement, California State University, Fullerton) recently served as Voice/Dialect Coach on the new musical, I Married Wyatt Earp at CSUF; Donald Margulies' world premiere, SHIPWRECKED!, at South Coast Repertory; Twelfth Night at Toi Whakaari: New Zealand Drama School; and The Constant Wife at Pasadena Playhouse. While in New Zealand, David taught two “Fitzmaurice Voicework” weekend intensives in Auckland and Wellington. David continues to serve as Associate Editor of the International Dialects of English Archive (IDEA), performs and teaches as a founding member of The Gravity Project, and works as an actor, teacher, facilitator and producer. For more info: www.davidnevell.com
We have attempted to get all the updates possible – our apologies to anyone who feels left out.
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©2008, Voice and Speech Trainers Association
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