Document Type

Thesis

Date of Degree

Spring 2016

Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)

Degree In

Speech Pathology and Audiology

First Advisor

Patricia Zebrowski

Abstract

The vocal demands placed on actors are higher than those of the typical speaker. Actors' livelihood is predicated on their ability to consistently perform at peak levels, many times in conditions that are not optimal for vocal efficiency (e.g. theaters with poor acoustics). Further, many actors perform after spending the day at a second job to ensure they have a sufficient income to support themselves. Despite challenges, the hallmark of the strong actor is to strive for peak performance. To do so, many actors implement some form of theatre voice training.

One popular method is Fitzmaurice Voicework®. Fitzmaurice Voicework® is comprised of two phases: Destructuring and Restructuring. Destructuring is based in decreasing tension through relaxation and tremoring. Restructuring focuses on maximizing voice function with the least amount of effort needed. This study specifically looked at the effect of Fitzmaurice Voicework® training on the voice, as it has little more than anecdotal evidence to support its effect. Six graduate student actors enrolled in a theatre voice course based on Fitzmaurice Voicework® completed pre and post training measures examining the changes in maximum phonation time, average loudness and loudness range, fundamental frequency and frequency range, jitter, shimmer, and noise to harmonic ratio, and perceptual measures of vocal quality (e.g. strain, breathiness, and roughness) on the CAPE-V.

Despite no statistically significant findings due to the small sample size and noted variability between individual subjects, trends of more efficient performance post training were present for individuals without a history of voice problems.

Public Abstract

The vocal demands placed on actors are higher than those of the typical speaker. Actors’ livelihood is predicated on their ability to consistently perform at peak levels, many times in conditions that are not optimal for vocal efficiency (e.g. theaters with poor acoustics). Further, many actors perform after spending the day at a second job to ensure they have a sufficient income to support themselves. Despite challenges, the hallmark of the strong actor is to strive for peak performance. To do so, many actors implement some form of theatre voice training.

One popular method is Fitzmaurice Voicework®. Fitzmaurice Voicework® is comprised of two phases: Destructuring and Restructuring. Destructuring is based in decreasing tension through relaxation and tremoring. Restructuring focuses on maximizing voice function with the least amount of effort needed. This study specifically looked at the effect of Fitzmaurice Voicework® training on the voice, as it has little more than anecdotal evidence to support its effect. Six graduate student actors enrolled in a theatre voice course based on Fitzmaurice Voicework® completed pre and post training measures examining the changes in how long the individuals could sustain a note on one breath, average loudness and loudness range, average pitch and pitch, and vocal quality (e.g. strain, breathiness, and roughness), as well as several other measures common in scientific voice analysis.

Despite no mathematically significant changes being present and noted variability between individual subjects, trends of more efficient performance post training were present for individuals without a history of voice problems.

Keywords

publicabstract, Actors, Fitzmaurice Voicework, Theatre, Vocal Outcomes, Voice Training

Pages

ix, 60 pages

Bibliography

Includes bibliographical references (pages 51-54).

Copyright

Copyright 2016 Brock Irvin Meadath

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