2017 Faculty

David Smukler, one of the most senior voice teachers in the Canadian Theatre lead the Voice Teacher Diploma course at York University's Graduate Theatre Program for over twenty-five years. He has combined his extensive coaching and teaching experiences in stage, screen and lyrical theatre in four countries with extensive research in physical, spiritual and emotional practices that illuminate the performer's challenges.

Judith Koltai was born in Hungary. In 1956, she fled to Sweden. There, while a refugee working and raising a young child, she also trained and worked as an actor and completed the major part of a master’s degree in French Literature. She immigrated to Canada in 1964, and is a citizen of Canada, Sweden, and the European Union. She then acquired her advanced degrees in Theatre and Developmental Drama and Counselling Psychology. As her understanding and practice of AUTHENTIC MOVEMENT deepened, Judith embarked on forging her own way and methodology. Her work with actors lead to her pioneering approach in the application in the AUTHENTIC MOVEMENT to the creative and performing arts, specifically to voice, text, writing, and the initiation of original work.

Gayle Murphy is an Associate Professor of Voice in the Theatre Program at the University of British Columbia. She has also taught at the Vancouver Playhouse Acting School, Langara College’s Studio 58, and SFU’s School for the Contemporary Arts. She voice coaches actors for stage, television and film; and has led voice workshops in Bangkok, Toronto, Winnipeg, Montreal and in Vancouver

Formerly the director of the Shakespeare Theatre Company’s MFA program, the Academy for Classical Acting, Gary Logan is currently the Associate Professor of Speech and Dialects for the Carnegie Mellon University School of Drama. He is also the author of The Eloquent Shakespeare (University of Chicago Press). Gary has been the Voice, Text, and Dialect coach for nearly 150 professional productions nationally and internationally, including the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Stratford Festival of Canada. Regionally, Gary’s credits include multiple productions at the Shakespeare Theatre Company, Studio Theatre, the Kennedy Center, Signature Theatre, Everyman, Ford’s, the Folger, and Arena Stage. Nationally, he has worked for several seasons at the Chautauqua Theatre Company and the Denver Center Theatre Company. Gary has an MFA in acting from A.C.T. in San Francisco.

Cindy Block studied Acting at the Herbert Berghof (HB) Studio in New York, and York University in Toronto. She is a veteran actor of the Canadian stage, having played over 40 professional roles and was co-founder of P.I.E. Theatre in Vancouver, B.C. As a performer, she has participated in the development of many new Canadian works; and at the heart of her artistic journey is a deep belief in the potential for theatre and storytelling to support vibrant and difficult dialogue, helping us to recognize both our differences and our universal experiences.

Gerry Trentham is Founder and Artistic Director of Pounds Per Square Inch Performance (lbs/sq”) the charitable arts organization that produces Canada’s National Voice Intensive (CNVI). Over 20 years ago Gerry created lbs/sq” to foster research into contemporary arts creation and performance and be a home to house over 30 of his award winning performance productions. Through lbs/sq" and through his over 20 years of association with the Voice Intensive, Gerry encourages artists to hone their artistic craft and achieve excellence in performance through access to varied classical and contemporary training/mentorship methodologies that reflect, ignite, and respect a trans-disciplinary, cultural/environmental consciousness and illicit art work that challenges and enriches our local and global community.

Dawn McCaugherty is an Associate Professor in the Department of Drama at the University of Calgary, and specializes in Directing, Acting and Voice and Text for the Theatre. She has served as director, actor or voice/dialect coach for more than sixty productions throughout Canada, the U.S. and Britain.

Brad Gibson is a voice, speech and movement teacher in Vancouver, BC. He currently teaches Movement and Voice at Studio 58 - Langara College and Voice at the Vancouver Institute of Media Arts. He is part of the core faculty for Canada’s National Voice Intensive. Brad has taught and coached Voice and Speech throughout S.E. Asia and works as a professional Voice and Dialect coach for theatre, film and TV in Vancouver. As a member of VASTA (The Voice and Speech Trainers Association) Brad is currently the Bibliographer for VASTA's research website. Current research and pedagogical interests include recent research in neurobiology and application to actor's process and structure in studio training. Brad has also been developing an embodied voice and movement practice modeled on Taoist practices, I Ching principles, neurobiological research, body systems, and qigong.

Diane Roberts is the founder of the Arrivals Legacy Project and has been the lead workshop facilitator for the past 13 years. The roots of storytelling and multi-disciplinary art forms (mixing of ritual song, dance, storytelling, live art and theatre) drive her arts practice. Her working methodology draws out and establishes a common vocabulary amongst diverse Indigenous and Intercultural artists, our ways of working and our sense of ourselves as artists in a global society. Her process strives to elicit naturalized character rhythms & gestures and connects them to character motivation, intentions and actions.

Other Core Faculty Members

Originally from Edmonton, Lisa completed two years at University of Alberta before moving to Vancouver where she was accepted into the BFA acting program at UBC. After graduating in 1990, Lisa began a successful career as an actor in theatre, film and television in Vancouver, as well as becoming one of Canada’s most in demand animation and commercial voice over artists.

Ian Raffel heads the Voice Department in the Acting for Film and Television program at the Vancouver Film School, where he teaches both Voice and Speech classes. In addition, Ian serves on the Faculty of Studio 58, Langara College’s nationally recognized acting program. Since coming to Vancouver in 1980, Ian has taught in the Theatre Program in the School for the Contemporary Arts at Simon Fraser University. Additionally, he has also taught in The Film-Theatre School founded by Anthony Holland and at the Vancouver Playhouse Acting School. Ian joined the faculty of the National Voice Intensive in 1988. He teaches Speech, basic rhetoric and text work.

Dale Genge is the head of voice for Studio 58, Western Canada’s professional conservatory theatre-training program in Vancouver, Canada, where she has taught for 35 years. She is a founding faculty member of The Canada’s National Voice Intensive and for the last five years she has been on faculty of Banff Centre Writing Studio. She has also taught for the Marion Woodman Foundation in Switzerland. Her teaching is deeply influenced by the voice and text work of David Smukler, Kristin Linklater, Richard Armstrong and Patsy Rodenburg. She has studied with Jungian Analyst Marion Woodman, incorporating voice and poetry into Carl Jung’s understanding of the symbolic imagination through the body.

Matthew is thrilled to be back as an Assoicate for a second year. Matthew has taught Acting, Voice, and Movement at York University, as well as Tap, Musical Theater, and Yoga workshops at prestigious institutions: The Juilliard School, Circle in the Square Theater School, and The Stratford Festival. NYC choreography credits include: SOUL KITCHEN (Choreographer, Joe’s Pub), HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL (Associate, Paper Mill Playhouse), NYE WITH PHISH (Associate, Madison Square Garden) and FIENDS (Associate, Busch Gardens). As a performer, Matthew was the Swing and Dance Captain in the 2012 TONY nominated Broadway revival of JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR. Matthew is a certified yoga instructor and holds a M.F.A. in Performance and Theatre from York University.

Born and raised in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Bob is an actor as well as a voice & text teacher & coach. He has spent ten seasons with his hometown Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan Festival where his favourite roles include Banquo, Laertes, Silvius and his award-nominated turn as Dromio of Syracuse. In 2008 he first travelled to Lenox, Massachusetts to train with Shakespeare & Company and has been back steadily to either perform or teach ever since. In 2015 Bob received his MFA in Acting and Voice Teacher Diploma, studying with David Smukler at York University. That same year brought Bob to London, UK as part of the International Actors’ Fellowship at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. His class, Shakespeare with Bob, is happening currently in Toronto. Previously with Canada’s National Voice Intensive as a participant in 2013 and Associate Teacher in 2014, Bob is proud to be returning as an Associate Teacher in 2017.

Tanya Elchuk teaches Voice and Speech at Simon Fraser University and the Vancouver Film School. She holds an M.F.A. in Theatre and a Voice Teaching Diploma from York University, where she studied with David Smukler, and received a S.S.H.R.C. Canada Graduate Scholarship for her research on neuroscience and acting. As an artist, Tanya has written and performed original work throughout Canada and the United States.