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National Centre for Circus Arts

Image: Bertil Nilsson


Bristol Old Vic Theatre School

07/12/2016 - 07/12/2016

Staff Seminar: How vocal pedagogy might be more culturally responsive

CDD | Drama | Research and Knowledge Exchange

Internal Staff Seminar
Wednesday 7 December, 5.00 – 7.00pm, RADA Studios

Carol Fairlamb, Head of Voice at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, will be presenting on her research into how vocal pedagogy might be more culturally responsive, reflecting the experiences of BAME students within UK conservatoire actor training. This staff development seminar follows a recent presentation at the 2016 Theatre and Performance Research Association (TaPRA).

Carol will present a summary of the research undertaken for her MA dissertation. The research is a personal reflection in response to interviews with BAME students. It explores how ‘dysconscious racism’ may be a factor in teaching and how awareness of this possibility has changed Carol’s practice as a voice teacher.

The presentation (around 20 minutes) will be followed by a Q&A, drinks and networking.

This seminar is open to all CDD staff, but may be of particular interest to those interested in developing research. Places are limited so please RSVP to Emma Swift:

Speaker biography

Carol Fairlamb graduated from Roehampton Institute with a degree in Drama and Contemporary Dance in 1990, where she majored in directing. From there she founded and ran a theatre company in Wandsworth, London specializing in new writing for the local community. It was during this period that she became interested in voice work. Having taken classes with Patsy Rodenburg and Trish Bailie she decided to train as a voice coach, and in 1995 graduated from The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama with a Post-Graduate Diploma in Voice Studies.

Over the next twelve years Carol worked as a freelance voice coach, primarily for drama schools including: The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, Questors Theatre School, ALRA, Oxford School of Speech and Drama, Drama Centre, Italia Conti, LAMDA and ArtsEd. She also coached extensively in the corporate sector training Senior Executives. This work took her all over the world including Thailand, Japan, the USA, France and Switzerland.

In 2007 she was Resident Voice Coach for Sydney Theatre Company initially under Robyn Nevin and then Cate Blanchett. During this period she worked with Philip Seymour Hoffman, Hugo Weaving, and British director Edward Dick and movement director Jane Gibson.

Having returned to the UK in 2008 she coached on various productions allowing her to renew her working relationship with directors she had worked with in Sydney. This included a season at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre.

Carol then took the decision to focus her work on actor training. In 2008 she gained a Post-Graduate Certificate in Education from the Institute of Education, London and took up a full-time teaching post at ArtsEd which she continued until her move to Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.

She has recently completed a MA in Voice Studies focusing on student ethnic diversity and its positive impact on voice teaching.

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