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May 21: Carnegie Mellon Professor Authors Guide To Voice for Theatre Directors and Professionals


Eric Sloss                          

Carnegie Mellon Professor Authors Guide
To Voice for Theatre Directors and Professionals

PITTSBURGH—Janet Madelle Feindel, associate professor of voice at Carnegie Mellon University's School of Drama, will release her book "Thought Propels the Sound," a guide to voice and speech for theatre directors and other professionals interested in voice, May 23. "Thought Propels the Sound," published by Plural Publishing, will be available at various international bookstores.  
"This book is both practical and insightful. It is practical in that it deals with all the technical aspects of voice and text work that the actor needs to discover and to use when rehearsing a play. It is insightful in that it clearly identifies the ways by which the director can help the actor free their imagination in order to illuminate the text as fully as possible," said Cicely Berry, officer of the Order of the British Empire and director of voice for the Royal Shakespeare Company, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK.   
Feindel is a master trainer in voice and speech and is certified in the work of professional trainers Kristin Linklater, Catherine Fitzmaurice and F. Matthias Alexander. Alexander was an actor who continually lost his voice and developed his technique, which involved "psycho-physical re-education" in the early 20th century, working with such luminaries as George Bernard Shaw and Aldous Huxley. The book presents Feindel's innovative approach to voice training, synthesizing traditional methods with her own methods called "Vox Explora" and "Resonex."
"Thought Propels the Sound" provides holistic instruction on voice and speech production including anatomy, and discusses ways to integrate these principles into the rehearsal process and guide directors to work effectively with voice and speech and Alexander coaches.    
"A basic understanding of voice and vocal health is essential for a director, just as an understanding of music is for a conductor or dance is for a choreographer. The book is also useful for actors, voice/speech and Alexander coaches, speech pathologists, politicians, public speakers and anyone interested in the human voice," Feindel said. The book contains a section on vocal anatomy written by University of Pittsburgh speech pathologist Dr. Katherine Verdolini and post-doctoral student Aaron Ziegler.
The Berkman Faculty Development Fund and the Dean's Office in the College of Fine Arts at Carnegie Mellon provided funds to assist in editing and early research. The Berkman Faculty Development Fund, supported by a gift in the memory of Sybiel Altman Berkman (A '31), is a small grants program in support of professional development. Full-time faculty in lecturer, research, tenure and librarian or archivist tracks are eligible. The Berkman program was established to help support projects that would otherwise be difficult to fund.
Feindel has many years of experience training actors and musical theatre performers in Carnegie Mellon's School of Drama, and coaching professionally for such theatre companies as the Shaw Festival, the Canadian Stage Company, Ark Theatre (LA), the Pittsburgh Public Theatre and the Theatre of a New Audience in New York City. She has coached Megan Follows, F. Murray Abraham, Martha Henry and Brian Bedford, among many others. Feindel, who teaches regularly in Germany, has served as an educator of the F.M. Alexander Technique at international venues, including the Care of the Professional Voice Symposium, Choice for Voice — sponsored by the British Voice Foundation — and The International Congress. She is currently a visiting professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, acting as voice and speech and Alexander curriculum consultant. She coached at the Birmingham Conservatory for Classical Theatre at Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Canada, where she received a Tyrone Guthrie Award for the book's initial research. Feindel holds a master's degree in fine arts from Carnegie Mellon's School of Drama.
For more information on the book, please visit