1st Edition

Training Actors' Voices Towards an Intercultural/Interdisciplinary Approach

By Tara McAllister-Viel Copyright 2019
    228 Pages
    by Routledge

    228 Pages
    by Routledge

    Contemporary actor training in the US and UK has become increasingly multicultural and multilinguistic. Border-crossing, cross-cultural exchange in contemporary theatre practices, and the rise of the intercultural actor has meant that actor training today has been shaped by multiple modes of training and differing worldviews. How might mainstream Anglo-American voice training for actors address the needs of students who bring multiple worldviews into the training studio? When several vocal training traditions are learned simultaneously, how does this shift the way actors think, talk, and perform? How does this change the way actors understand what a voice is? What it can/should do? How it can/should do it?

    Using adaptations of a traditional Korean vocal art, p’ansori, with adaptations of the "natural" or "free" voice approach, Tara McAllister-Viel offers an alternative approach to training actors’ voices by (re)considering the materials of training: breath, sound, "presence," and text. This work contributes to ongoing discussions about the future of voice pedagogy in theatre, for those practitioners and scholars interested in performance studies, ethnomusicology, voice studies, and intercultural theories and practices.



    1. Conversations and Methodologies: Embodiment, Interculturalism and Practice-as-Research

    2. What is the ‘natural/free’ voice approach?

    3. What is sŏngŭm [성음] in p’ansori [판소리]?

    4. The Role of Breath in training actors’ voices

    5. The Role of "Presence" in Training Actors’ Voices

    6. Text/Vocal Text: the Role of Voice/Sound and Text



    Tara McAllister-Viel is Head of Voice and Speech at East 15 Acting School, UK.

    "Based on years of experience as a professional voice teacher, director, and researcher, this is a timely, essential, and vital reconsideration of voice training from intercultural and interdisciplinary perspectives."

    - Phillip Zarrilli, Artistic Director, The Llanarth Group; Emeritus Professor, Exeter University

    "McAllister-Viel offers a rich example of how differing cultures of voice training may be productively "interwoven" in a conservatory setting. She has also created a long-needed conversation between the practical work of teaching voice skills and more theoretical explorations of the field. McAllister-Viel’s valuable work models a shared vocabulary that will allow more productive conversations and collaborations between theorists and practitioners, thus leading to a richer learning experience for students."

    - Erika Bailey, Voice and Speech Review


    "Little has been written about an approach to developing an ‘intercultural voice’, of ways actors can and should engage with different cultural vocalities and vocalisms, and not sim-ply accents. Training Actors’Voices: Towards an Intercultural/Interdisciplinary Approach is thus a timely intervention in ways of critically examining the intercultural body and voice. […] The book sits uniquely between an academic critique, a practitioner’s handbook, and a personal recount. […] One can certainly appreciate the importance and urgency of the issues that the author has presented, many of which she has researched and expounded on. The book then marks an important beginning for new conversations about intercultural approaches to voice and actor training today."

    - Marcus Cheng Chye Tan, Theatre, Dance and Performance Training journal, 10.3, 2019