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Since the original publication of this classic text, thousands of actors have used it to develop and refine their voice and speech. Training begins with listening. Machlin describes acoustics and the way the body functions to produce hearing and speech. She discusses helpful equipment and then proceeds to deal with such important elements as relaxation, phonetics, articulation, resonance, pitch, rate of speech, and stress. In addition, there are warm-up exercises, chapters on such specialized problems as speech in Shakespeare and the use of dialects, on reading aloud, sight reading, auditioning and actual performance. The poetry provided for the exercises supplies practice material similar to today's theatre speech, in its vivid, colloquial, personal style.
Evangeline Machlin trained such actors as Steve McQueen, Lee Grant, Suzanne Pleshette, Joanne Woodward and Faye Dunaway. Dr. Machlin was formerly Director of Speech studies at the Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre and Lecturer in Speech at Columbia University.