Students Staff

30 November 2018

New research posts at East 15: Dr Tara McAllister-Viel

Filed under: Latest news — Heather Leathley @ 1:27 pm

New research centred posts have been created at the East 15 Acting School, as part of a team led by Director of Research and Head of Creative Producing Professor Rosie Klich.

Rosie said: “Our new research staff champion both practice-as-research and more traditional research methods. Key areas of research in the school currently include vocal training and movement training for actors and immersive, participatory and feminist performance. As our East 15 research team develops we are keen to continue building relationships with departments across the university and work with industry partners to produce interdisciplinary, public-facing projects that promote socially engaged, conceptually challenging, and highly experimental arts research.

We meet team member  Dr Tara McAllister-Viel, Head of Voice and Speech, based at the Southend Campus.

Tara, what does your role involve?

Dr Tara McAllister-Viel

I am responsible for curriculum design and development on the Southend campus of East 15 for all voice and speech classes within all specialist acting courses and Cert He strands. I supervise a team of voice and speech staff, visiting lecturers and teaching placements as well as teach voice classes within the BA (Hons) specialist acting courses. I liaise with NHS and private ENT [ears, nose, throat] specialists, Speech Therapists and Speech and Language Pathologists on students’ behalf.

My research area is theorising voice training practices that address multicultural/multilingual classrooms and developing alternative pedagogical approaches.

What did you do before joining East 15?

I led the voice programmes on two of the three undergraduate acting training courses at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. More recently, I returned to East 15  after a year away completing a fully-funded Research Fellowship at the International Research Centre, Freie University-Berlin, Germany. I was the first voice theorist/practitioner to be invited to the IRC, which investigates ways of interweaving performance cultures within the arts.

Are you working on any particular projects?

I just had a book released:  Training Actors’ Voices: Towards an Intercultural/Interdisciplinary Appproach. London: Routledge, 2019. This is part of Routledge’s Voice Studies series.

I will also have several book chapters published soon:

“The Role of ‘Presence’ in Training Actors’ Voices,” in Intercultural Acting and Actor Training, (ed) Kapur, A., Sasitharan, T., Zarrilli, P. London: Routledge, forthcoming publication 2019.

“Transmitting voice pedagogy through different embodiment traditions: Interweaving Korean p’ansori and Western voice training modes in contemporary acting conservatoires,” in Theatrical Speech-Acts. (ed) Fischer-Lichte, Erika; Jost, Torsten.  London: Routledge, forthcoming publication 2019.

“The use of touch in training actors’ voices,” in Somatic Voices in Performance Research and Beyond, (ed) Kapadocha, C. London: Routledge, forthcoming publication 2020.

I am also developing a grant proposal to fund an international practice-as-research project with colleagues in Cape Town, South Africa,  which aims to create ways of theorising a notion of “cultural voice” (Brown, 2000) through verbatim theatre practices and vocal techniques.

What are you looking forward to most in your enhanced role?

Up until now, I have been on a teaching-only contract, so the majority of my research and writing has been on my own time without institutional support. I’m really looking forward to meeting other researchers, exchanging ideas, and accessing the support systems in place for researchers at University of Essex.

What do you enjoy most about working at East 15?

I have been with East 15 since leaving Central in 2011. I have found the students to be extremely focused, talented and hard working.  I really enjoy teaching and pastoral care support . Now that I have an official research component attached to my role, I’m looking forward to increasing the integration between research and practice in my classrooms and within the overall voice and speech curriculum, particularly addressing the many cultural perspectives my students bring with them that enriches training environments.

Meet fellow researcher Dr Christina Kapadocha and Professor Rosie Klich.



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