Poetic Text in Contemporary Voice Training: A Repositioning

Boston, Jane (2014) Poetic Text in Contemporary Voice Training: A Repositioning. Voice and Speech Review, 8 (2). pp. 131-148. ISSN 2326-8271


The article examines the practice of verse text as a key element in spoken voice work in UK conservatoire actor training. It lays out the context for a historical debate that challenges practitioner essentialism and re-positions voice practice in the light of the adoption of a range of critical and reflective approaches. It suggests that the imbrication of a number of critical frames within the practice renders the work more transparent than was previously the case and, thereby, offers a new model of studio practice. The article draws on sources such as neuro-science, literary studies and poetics in triangulation with practice- led case studies from an auto-ethnographic voice practitioner perspective. Previously undocumented conservatoire voice practice is also signalled in the work of two voice coaches, Elizabeth Pursey and Betty Mulcahy. The former is representative of a long tradition of voice practice in the mainstream UK acting conservatoires and the latter is a professional verse reader with a practice that adopts similar values. Their work is situated alongside my own verse speaking practice and in combination, it provides a context for framing existing voice traditions with suggestion about new studio frameworks. Conclusions reached include the notion that transparent concepts of authorship and listener receptivity will enhance studio work and that research-led reflection on voice and verse practice will foster an enhanced perception of the auditory message in live performance more widely.


Accepted Version - PDF (Journal Article)

Export and Share

Add to AnyAdd to TwitterAdd to FacebookAdd to LinkedinAdd to PinterestAdd to Email