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2010/1 Module Catalogue
 Module Code: MUTM002 Module Title: VOICE & THE ACTOR
Module Provider: Guildford School of Acting Short Name: MUTM002
Level: M Module Co-ordinator: FENDER T Ms (GSA)
Number of credits: 30 Number of ECTS credits: 15
Module Availability

Autumn and Spring Terms

Assessment Pattern
Unit(s) of Assessment
Weighting Towards Module Mark (%)
Acting: Continuous classroom assessment of practice
Voice: Student Working Journal and classroom assessment of vocal practice
summative assessment of classroom exercises
Sonnet presentation in RP 40%
Accent and 17th century character presentation 40%   
Student Working Voice Journal 20%
Qualifying Condition(s) 
A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Module Overview

This module is designed to appreciate and explore the vocal and physical demands placed on the performer in any given space. It is founded upon a commitment to the integration of the physical and vocal techniques necessary for work in the theatre and for recorded media.  In Voice, designated texts (sonnets, poetry, political speeches and accent monologue other than own) will be explored and performed. The classes are practical and are heavily biased towards learning and training through ‘doing, reflecting, understanding and adapting’.  Relevant vocal anatomy and physiology, as well as phonetics, communication psychology and the use of the whole body, underscore the work. 
During this module the various acting classes work to create solid psycho-physical, imaginative and technical foundations. The work on Text focuses on the basics of Stanislavsky, looking at how the actor can use organic processes to convert words on a page into playable actions and objectives, and how these are affected by the given circumstances. Classes in Improvisation are designed to explore spontaneity, creativity, complicity and releasing the imagination. Acting Studies and animal studies explore the actor’s sensory relationship to the environment and resulting use of the body and mind; progressing to the physical process of first inhabiting an animal body and essence developing into a human character.


Students will be expected to attend warm-up sessions and to arrive appropriately prepared for physical and theoretical work
At points students will be asked to read/ prepare key texts, scenes or speeches, drawing from non-musical as well as musical theatre.

Module Aims
• to examine the factors indicative of and conducive to effective vocal practice
• To develop students’ awareness of the demands placed on the voice and body by a variety of texts.
• To enhance the students’ understanding of the creative, physiological and emotional contribution of the voice to performance. 
• To broaden the students sense of the potential for the actor inherent in text
• To explore through a series of organic processes how the actor might release that potential
• To offer these processes in a way that allows the development of a structured rehearsal process, exploring the three threads of text, character and world
• To engage with the concept of ‘being in action’
• To explore the potential for spontaneity, creativity and play, and to understand these skills within the context of the rehearsal room
• To discover the sensory and imaginative possibilities within the self
Learning Outcomes

• a centred physicality with core stability and ease of alignment
• an ability to occupy space with a fully energised presence and body confidence
• an ability to adapt and take on other forms and qualities of movement, styles and rhythms
• A secure and systematic personal technique in voice
• The ability to project the voice safely and effectively in a range of performance spaces
• To enable the student to produce and perform a variety of accents including Received Pronunciation.
• the ability to integrate creative and effective voice and speech techniques as elements of the acting process in a range of rehearsal and performance contexts
• the ability to convert text into a set of actions, objectives – the ‘what’ and the ‘why’
• the ability to play these action and objectives within a set of given circumstances, which influences the ‘how’
• the ability to extract character from text, working from facts and statements from the text, converting these into conjectures about the character, and exploring an embodiment of these conjectures
• how to develop the above into a physical and imaginative departure point for characterisation, and how to further progress these ideas through a series of etudes
• The ability to respond organically and in the moment to external and internal stimuli
• An objective self-awareness of strengths and weaknesses of expression

Module Content

Movement for Actors begins from the premise that nothing happens in the body that has not first arisen in the mind.  At the start of the year each part of the anatomy is visited by an exercise entailing extension and release, each instruction having its rationale explained and discussed.  As understanding and practice develop, elements from the Scottish Country Dance repertoire are introduced, to promote progressive acknowledgement of dance as a language of relationship rather than the exclusive province of display.  These principles are continued in classes such as historical and social dance. 

Animal Studies takes the actor through a journey from close observation of an animal to a physical and imaginative embodiment of the animal. The essentialised animal is then developed into a human character.

The Actor and the Text offers the actors a set of organic rehearsal strategies and techniques that are, in part, based on Stanislavsky’s System of Physical Actions. The emphasis within the strand is placed on releasing the actor’s spontaneity of how  they might play a given moment within a scene, based on an understanding of the ‘what’, the ‘why’ and how they might be influenced by the given circumstance. The actor is encouraged to engage with process, as opposed to seeking results, and are given a number of ways of working with text that explore key concepts such as actions, objectives, beats. They are asked to work on character through the Four Character Lists, looking at how character work begins with the facts from the text and moves through conjecture and impression into embodiment of the character and improvisation. Texts for this strand of the course have included non-musical theatre texts such as The Crucible, A Midsummer Night’s Dream as well as A Little Night Music.  

Voice work is delivered via three separate classes; Primitive Voice, Voice and Text, and Speech and Accent. 
 From the outset students are required to begin the process of understanding their own habitual voice use, and to challenge and develop their vocal capability.  The target is Optimum Vocal Function (OVF). This requires that the speaker allows his/her voice to function naturally and effectively in a wide range of everyday and professional situations. Additionally students must also learn how to alter the balance of OVF to satisfy a range of professional challenges in varied performance environments.

 OVF implies:
- correct physical alignment
- appreciation of relaxation and tension
- correct breathing
- breath support
- correct vocal onset (beginning to voice)
- correct phonation (turning breath into voiced sound)
- use of pitch
- balance of vocal tract resonance
- use of body resonance
- dynamic articulation
- safe & effective projection
- balance of breathing & phonatory mechanisms in order to avoid habitually pitching the voice too high or too low
- emotional connection to voice and the psychological freedom to use it
- vocal variety and dynamics according to play/character, socio-historical context and performance criteria.

Primitive Voice explores, develops and brings together all elements of the voice.  Initially work tends to focus on posture and breathing.  Later work explores and begins to train the mind, body, imagination and emotion in the practice of making sound, establishing resonance and focussing the voice.  Further work explores range and expression while integrating muscular clear articulation.  Breathing underpins all work in the module so that the voice is full connected. 

Speech and Accent sets out to explore, awareness of speech, speech sound and speech physicality.  It is delivered via practical exercises, recordings, written materials and analysis of one’s own and other people’s voices.  Students learn about phonetics and are required to understand the relationships between phonetic notation, speech sounds and speech physicality.

Voice and Text classes enable the actor to communicate from a characters’ perspective, responding to the way in which an author manipulates character and story through text form and structure.  Students will be required to select, learn, experience and speak texts such as satirical prose from letters or essay, or sonnets, for training and assessment purposes.  Developing the ability to respond flexibility and expressively to varying text forms is a key requirement of the course.

Individual voice and speech tutorials are provided for each student (2 per term) In these sessions work is particularly tailored to individual needs and can cover any of the work outlined above.  Records are kept to help build a profile of each student, their application and work
 Students will be asked to establish a daily regime of private practical voice and speech work.

Methods of Teaching/Learning
Group workshops and seminars
Individual tutorials
Lectures and master classes
Selected Texts/Journals

Berry, Cicely, The Actor and the Text, (London: Harrap, 1987)
Lecoq, Jaques, The Moving Body, trans David Bradby (New York:  Routledge, 2001)
Merlin, Bella The Complete Stanislavski Toolkit (London: Nick Hern Books 2007)
Mamet, David, True and False (London: Faber and Faber 1998)
Rodenburg, Patsy, The Right to Speak, (London: Methuen Drama, 1992)
Hodge, Alison, ed. Twentieth Century Actor Training (London: Routledge, 2000)

Berry, Cicely, Voice and the Actor, (London : Virgin, 2000)
Boal, A. Games for Actors and Non-Actors (London: Routledge, 1997)
Bruder, Melissa, Lee Michael Cohn et al. A Practical Handbook for the Actor (Vinatage/Random House: 1986)
Donnellan, D. The Actor and the Target (London: Nick Hern, 2005)
Hagen, Ute, with Haskel Frankel, Respect for Acting (London Macmillan, 1973)
Honey, John. Does Accent Matter? The Pygmalion Factor. 2nd ed. London: Faber and Faber
Newlove, J, Laban for Actors and Dancers
Houseman, Barbara. Finding Your Voice: A Complete Voice Training Manual for Actors
Linklater, Kristin, Freeing the Natural Voice, (London: Nick Hern, 2002.)
Kiernan, Pauline. Filthy Shakespeare (quercus)
Marshall, Lorna The Body Speaks (London: Methuen 2002)
McCallion, The Voice Book (London: Faber and Faber, 1989)
Mitter, Shomit, Systems of Rehearsal (London: Routledge 1992)
Ochten and Hill. Shakespeare's Insults. Main Sail
Oida, Yoshi, and Lorna Marshall. The Invisible Actor. London: Methuen, 1997
Rodenburg, Patsy, The Need for Words (London: Methuen Drama, 1993)
Rodenburg, Patsy, The Actor Speaks (London : Methuen , 1997)
Stanislavski, Constantine, An Actor Prepares (London: Methuen, 1980
Turner, Clifford, Voice and Speech in the Theatre 4th ed. (London: Black , 1993)
Wangh, S. An Acrobat of the Heart: A Physical Approach to Acting inspired by the work of Jerzy Grotowski (New York:Vintage, 2000)

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