1st Semester, 1st Year, Voice and Speech Class

Teacher/Coach: Jan Gist

Fall, 2011: September 6 - December 7

Tuesdays 1:00-2:25,   Wednesdays 2:30-4:30,   Thursdays 1:00-2:25


This class work is based on the premise that Voice work is Acting work.  One does not exist without the other.  Choices for expressiveness of the voice are made in order to express text, character, era, region, intention, etc.  In classes and rehearsals here, every aspect of voice is going to be developed with constant awareness of purpose, which is:

to enable the actor to serve (to vocalize and embody) the play and the director’s concept, with the actor’s own imagination, in order to give the audience an experience of depth and power.


To that end, the first semester will contain:


Exercises to:

         1-Open the body and mind so they can function naturally, freely, powerfully

         2-Enlarge breath capacity and endurance

         3-Open, balance, and enlarge resonation

         4-Release the articulators of speech, and develop flexibility and precision


Practice and performance with drills and text to:

         1-Apply breath, tone, and articulation to the ideas of the text

         2-Explore how to follow the lead of the text, so it can literally inspire the voice

         3-Experience the unity of voice work and acting


Study of:

         1-Anatomy involved in voice and speech

         2-Vocal Hygiene, in order to attain and maintain vocal health

         3-The International Phonetic Alphabet:

                  symbols for the vowels, diphthongs and consonants of American  speech, both “Standard” and “General”


Written explorations of:

         1-Personal vocal habits and goals due Thursday Sept. 22

         2-Your own daily vocal exercises in a particular journal form

                           due Oct. 4, Oct. 27,  and Dec. 1

         3-Phonetic symbols in transcribed text and class tests as assigned

To Contact Jan Gist

University of San Diego:

E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Office Phone: (619) 260-7757

The Old Globe Theatre:

E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Guidance on How to Develop Your Voice & Speech 

1. Learn how you learn.

2. Translate what you're taught into what can work for you to become your own teacher.

3. Drill your skills with curiosity and imagination.

4. Bridge your skills into the vital, expressive journey as it is sculpted by the script, and envisioned by the director.

5. Embody "Stage Presence" by owning the time, owning the place, and welcoming your audience into you specifically crafted time and place.