David Smukler, one of the most senior voice teachers in Canada, is on the faculty of York University's Department of Theatre where he supervises the Voice Teacher Diploma in the MFA Acting Program. He is the Founder and Director of the Canada’s National Voice Intensive and teaches professional classes at Equity Showcase Theatre in Toronto.
He began his professional training at Carnegie Institute of Technology and was later sent by Edith Skinner to Teachers College, Columbia University to do an M.A. in the Teaching of Voice and Speech. Subsequently, on a Rockefeller Brothers Grant, he was a member of the first group to study voice production according to the principles of Iris Warren under Kristin Linklater.
Following his apprenticeships at the Tyrone Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis and the Stratford Ontario Shakespeare Festival, he served as senior voice coach to the Stratford Festival for nine seasons. He was part of the original faculty of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and of Shakespeare & Company, and taught at many English drama schools, including LAMDA, The Toneelschool in Amsterdam and at Carnegie-Mellon. He was then invited to establish the MFA program in Theatre at York University in Toronto, where he has taught ever since. He has conducted classes at Canada’s National Theatre School, the Native Theatre School, The Centre for Indigenous Theatre, Simon Fraser University, The University of Calgary and other training institutions across Canada.
His experience as voice coach spans Canada, England, the Netherlands, and the United States in the entire range of theatre, from classical theatre and opera, musical theatre, film, television, radio, to contemporary and experimental theatre and music. David is in demand as a coach in North America, and has worked with such companies as: Stratford Ontario Shakespeare Festival (nine seasons), Alberta Theatre Projects, Canadian Stage Company, The Royal Alex, The National Arts Centre (Canada); the Tyrone Guthrie and the Open Theatre (United States), the Royal Court and the English Opera Group (England); as well as the Apple, Centrum and Globe theatre companies (The Netherlands).
Over the years, David’s exploration of the voice-body inter-relationship has led him to various examinations including yoga (Iyrengar), Tai Chi and study with Tadashi Suzuki. He published articles in the VASTA (Voice and Speech Trainers Association) Newsletter and “Theatrum”, most noted an article comparing Japanese and Canadian voice training. As the professional actor’s life in Canada makes enormous demands on Canadian, American, and other cultural voices and dialects, he has authored a book for Canadian actor training:Speaking North American Naturally, which is used in the Voice Intensive. In conjunction with david Ferry’s CD, he prepared a handbook for working with Canadian Dialects.
M.A. Teachers College, Columbia University
Designated Linklater Voice Teacher