1st Semester, 2nd Year,  MFA Voice & Speech Class


Teacher/Coach:  Jan Gist

Fall, 2011:  September 7 - December 7

Wednesdays and Fridays, 1:00 - 2:25 -- Studio Theatre, USD


This semester will continue the first year’s development of voice and speech skills.  Breath support, tone placement, free release, articulation clarity, and

expressiveness, will all continue to be explored and developed.  In addition, we will evolve our approach, based on your personal experience and insight gained from last year and this summer’s production work.


Specifically, this class will briefly review last year’s study of “Standard English” vs. “Standard American Stage Speech” vs. “General American Speech” and then develop vocal variety and expressiveness through the “Four Components of Voice”.


September 7 & 8:

1. Comparing Standard English, Standard American, General American speech

         - review of the I.P.A. symbols of all three dialects

         - drill of the phonetic differences in articulation


2.  Vocal Variety in the Four Components of Voice

         - Quality (tone placement)

         - Force (volume and emphasis)

         - Time (speed, phrasing, and pausing)

         - Pitch (range and glides)

         - Application of these skills to text: Shakespeare and contemporary.


Voice work is Acting work.  One does not exist without the other.  Vocal choices arise from the inspiration and guidance of the text, the character’s era, region, intention, etc. and the actor’s imagination-impulse.


Vocal choices for a script are born from the context of the play. The actor’s job is to develop the vocal/physical instrument and imagination so the script comes alive through the actor on stage and out to the audience.

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:

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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.