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Voice

Our voice pedagogy is founded on the principle that voice is self, it invites students to connect more deeply with themselves in breath and body in order to connect more deeply to the outside world with vibration and range.

OUR VOICE PEDAGOGY

Drawing from a unique combination of Vinyasa yoga, Linklater Voicework, Thai Massage, Lessac Voicework, Dialect training, and Artistic Exercises, our voice pedagogy develops a creative habit that not only caters to the artist's performance skills, but serves the artist outside of the rehearsal hall. This work reinforces the resilience, stamina, resourcefulness, connection, initiative, positivity and health required to maintain a life in the arts.

In addition to exploring the entire Linklater Progression, students practice yoga regularly to develop a deeper relationship with breath, body and self.

COURSES

Actor's Instrument: A first-year introduction to the voice and the body for the actor, rooted in developing body awareness, breath awareness and cultivating presence.

Seminal Projects: Introductions and Book Report.

Vocal Prod 1: An introductory professional voice course designed to develop expanded body-breath awareness, and the ability to identify and release tension in the body that obstructs the natural expression of the self. The students must be willing and curious about herself, open to taking risks, open to the unknown and open to failure. To learn the fundamental mechanics of the voice, the breathing mechanism, and the skeleton to effectively release a healthy, sustainable sound that is both authentic and connected to the deepest self.

Seminal Projects: Voice Poem & Curiosity Project

Vocal Prod 2: A more advanced professional-training voice course designed to build on the practice of Voice 1. The course challenges the student to transcend the work of Voice 1 to develop a subtler understanding of body and breath. This relationship, augmented by channel work, breath power, resonators, vowels and articulation, is then cultivated through sound and movement, generation of original work, and exploration of heightened text. The student will more fully immerse herself in the fabric of the ensemble while concurrently activating her own autonomy. She will cultivate generosity, empathy and vulnerability in an effort to not only free her voice, but free herself through her voice.

Seminal Projects: Voice Song & Voice Manifesto

Voice Training & Dialects: This course in stage dialects is intended to develop the foundation of clear and authentic dialects for stage performance. Students will learn the common system of the International Phonetic Alphabet along with a familiarity with the musculature and structure of the oral cavity and how this can be manipulated to produce authentic sound. They will apply these techniques over the study of several key dialects frequently used onstage.

TEACHING PHILOSOPHY

Kate Brennan, Assistant Professor of Theatre | Head of Voice

Kate Brennan

As a teacher, I hold my students to a high artistic standard while providing a safe environment in which to take risks and explore. I’m interested in helping students discover connection - to their voices, to the text, to their deepest selves. As an artist I am constantly creating, generating, and reinventing, - questioning, challenging, and absorbing. I challenge my students to do the same. While I am interested in great acting, and mastery of text, voice and singing, I am more interested in cultivating self-sufficient artists, who are courageous enough to say what they need to say to a world that doesn’t want to listen.

Kris Kuss, Visiting Assistant Professor of Voice and Acting

Artists involved at every stage of the theatrical process should be empowered to share their voice and to explore with a sense of freedom and playfulness. This is key to creating theatre that is effective, entertaining, and honest. As an instructor, director, actor, and lifelong student of the theatrical process, I believe in the importance of providing a safe and encouraging atmosphere for my students. The classroom and rehearsal space are a laboratory where students should feel free to experiment and explore their impulses. I encourage them to take ownership of their craft, making it their goal to be present, aware, and always looking for ways to improve their artistry.

STUDENT TESTIMONIALS

"This class has made me a MUCH bolder actor. Before, I was very hesitant to do something out of the ordinary with my work, but now I’ve realized that the extraordinary work is the work that matters most."

-Joseph Derby, BFA Acting Class of 2022

"Vocal Prod challenged and inspired me in ways I wasn't expecting. The entire curriculum is truly based on discovery instead of 'getting it right,' which is something I think more people need in their lives and education."

-Olivia Story, BFA Acting Class of 2022