NOTED THEATRE director and teacher Max Hafler, of Core Theatre College, is giving a weekend course of voice training on Saturday June 15 and Sunday 16, entitled The Imaginative Voice.
The course is to help participants develop their vocal skills with exercises in breath, diction, and pitch and to explore their voice using exercises based on the Michael Chekhov technique. The exercises aim to enrich the tone and ‘colour’ of a participant’s voice.
“They’re suitable for actors who would like to do some work on their voices,” Hafler explains. “There is going to be some basic voice work. We are going to work on poetic speech as well so we’ll work on poetry, classical speeches, or something they might have brought along themselves. The course will also be useful for people who use their voices in a public or work context, such as teachers.”
The Imaginative Voice takes place at the Blue Teapot Theatre, Munster Avenue. The fee is €75.
Core autumn classes
Core Theatre College is also accepting application for their autumn modules of classes.
In a change from previous years, this year’s course has been split into two modules and students can apply for one or both. Each block will consist of nine training hours per week for five weeks.
“We decided to split it into two modules because we found the 10-week course was a massive commitment for people, especially if they were working or in college.” Hafler tells me. “So we’re doing it in two five-week blocks. The first one is Voice & the Body and a lot of it will be voice training with me and LeCoq with Judith Higgins. Also, Judith Wolf will be doing production classes. The second block is acting technique only. I’ll be teaching the Chekhov Technique, a pysho-physical technique focusing on imagination and body and Sarah O’Toole will teach Stanislavski.
“We wanted to keep the idea that this is a foundation course for people who have aspirations to do something in theatre. It’s very important such people train in a practical way, it’s not enough just to read it and understand it. It requires commitment and time and you have to know it in your body. You can’t do that just by reading up about it. Once they’ve experienced this kind of training people realise the truth of that.”
Judith Higgins outlines her LeCoq classes.
“I’ve been working with Max for the last few years and we’ve found our different styles complement each other,” she says. “My main aim is getting the students to use the body so we don’t use much text in the classes. There will be things like analysis of movement, becoming aware of the body and its possibilities in space and performance. We’ll also focus on things LeCoq’s ideas on the use of elements, things like colour, materials, objects, all of which relate back to the body as each element is explored through movement.”
Judith Wolf’s Production Design classes round off the first module.
“I give people the business side of theatre; funding, grants, how to start things up,” she explains. “I’ll also talk to them on set design – a lot of people don’t realise how important it is, even if it is just a table and chair onstage it’s still significant how they’re positioned and lit - there is a lot of meaning in lighting. Also we look at things like head shots and finding an agent. We will also include guidancse on how to prepare for auditions.”
The Voice & The Body module runs from September 17 to October 17. The Acting Techniques Module runs from November 5 to December 5. The fee for each module is €300. Payments can be made in instalments but need to be paid two weeks before the module starts. The cost is €500 for those who wish to attend both modules.