The details
East 15 Acting School
East15 (Loughton) Campus
Full Year
Postgraduate: Level 7
Thursday 03 October 2024
Friday 27 June 2025
31 March 2021


Requisites for this module



Key module for

MA W41012 Acting,
MFA W41020 Acting

Module description

Voices and Choices
This element looks at the nature of accents and dialects with specific work on articulation and an examination and development of the equipment at work.
Phonetics are introduced in the context of a practical environment alongside Received Pronunciation as both a `neutral` and character-based accent and as the beginnings of dialect exploration. In term two NSEA (New Standard English Accent) receives greater focus in connection with character and text work. Support is given to dialect work required in the Advanced Research Project.

Physical Voice
Aims to explore the relationship between posture, breath and voice with a practical focus on understanding and releasing the accumulation of habitual tensions in the body, moving into developing spine and rib flexibility and discovery of the physically and emotionally centred impulse for breath and support for sound.

Exploratory Voice
Aims to develop the students' experience of their own voice through exploring the inter-relationship between impulse, breath, voice, experience and emotion beyond the limitations of linguistic expression, and by exploring the resonant potential of the voice and the connections between resonance, emotional expression and vocal characterisation. In term two resonant articulation and resonant placement are key areas of development. Students begin to apply Laban to voice work to further stretch the voice beyond the confines of the habitual, and to explore and develop the musicality of expressive language, through pitch range, resonant balance, pace, volume, rhythm and cadence. Playing psychological actions through physical vocal actions are developed. In term 3 voices in spaces are explored with a special focus of speaking outside.

Text Work
Shakespearean speeches and sonnets are studied, exploring the writers' use of expressive language, sounds and rhythms in text and developing the student's ability to connect to that language and make it their own.
Practical voice work is applied to these texts, developing the students' ability to express passion through the use of released and energised body and voice. Students explore the connections between breath and thought, rhythm and emotion, word energy and articulation and relate these elements to character. In the second term students continue to explore and develop the energy of the breath, articulation and thoughts, the flexibility of resonance and range, and the sheer intellectual and emotional power of linguistic expression through further work on the classic texts with the aim to achieve vocal integration into acting. In term 3 full vocal expression through contemporary text is explored.

Module aims

Term One

1. the anatomy of voice and speech in relation to your own body
2. the use of physical release, flexibility and good alignment
3. an emotionally and physically centred impulse for breath and sound
4. a constricted and a free throat
5. muscularity and resonance in articulated sound
6. maintaining technical focus during performance
7. vocal responsiveness to physical and psychological impulses
8. awareness of character voice
9. exercises for vocal development
10. ability to explore the voice freely
11. connecting to an audience through voice and language
12. the phonetic consonants and monophthongs of NSEA
13. the anatomy of articulation and the placement of consonants within the mouth

Term Two

14. continued development in physical release, flexibility and good alignment
15. the vocal demands of performance
16. vocal responsiveness to physical and psychological impulses
17. full pitch and resonant range in connection with character and emotion
18. specific vocal choices
19. progression in the acquirement of Received Pronunciation as a workable accent
20. specific areas of development for own vocal production
21. identification of a free and a constricted throat
22. increased development of muscularity and resonance in articulated sound
23. the three resonant qualities of voice (head, heart and pelvis)

Term Three

By the third term students are considered to be performers and actors, having a good sense of their own vocal presence and dynamic speech. Vocal support will develop the student’s ability to work with accents and dialects, develop the student work on scenes, and further reinforce the importance of a personal programme and approach to healthy vocal practice and warming and stretching the voice. Increased emphasis will be placed on integration of vocal skills into the final productions work. In term three, the relationship between the actor and the space is also developed by finding appropriate vocal warm ups for different spaces and scenes from contemporary plays are preformed outside.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of this module students will have demonstrated an ability to:
1. use the voice appropriately for character and text.
2. use the voice in a manner appropriate to the space.
3. warm and stretch the voice in an appropriate manner for performance and auditions.
4. use full pitch and resonant range in connection with character and emotion.
5. take active responsibility for areas of personal development.

Module information

No additional information available.

Learning and teaching methods

Practical Classes Tutorials Independent Study Personal Development Journal


This module does not appear to have a published bibliography for this year.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting
Practical   Voice    60% 
Practical   Articulation    40% 

Additional coursework information

Assessment and feedback are continuous. The module will be summatively assessed and a final mark awarded at the end of Term Three. The assessment criteria are shown on the sample report forms below. Practical Voice is weighted 0.60 and Articulation is weighted 0.40 in the final module mark. Compliance with Professional Code of Conduct

Exam format definitions

  • Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
  • In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary, for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.

Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Ms Christina Gutekunst, email: cgutek@essex.ac.uk.
Christina Gutekunst, Voice Tutors
For further information please email cgutek



External examiner

Prof Anthony Dean
University of Winchester
Emeritus Professor
Available via Moodle
No lecture recording information available for this module.


Further information
East 15 Acting School

* Please note: due to differing publication schedules, items marked with an asterisk (*) base their information upon the previous academic year.

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