Voice 1

Voice I is the first Voice and Speech Class of four, 12-week semesters dedicated to the voice and speech development necessary for any serious actor, and is based on the brilliant vocal training created by the world’s foremost voice teacher Kristin Linklater.

We are all born with a two to three octave speaking voice that freely expresses the full gamut of human emotion. As we go through life, we acquire habitual vocal patterns molded by family, peers, and social influences that can shape the things we express and our pattern of expression. The socialized voice is perfectly serviceable for day-to-day transactions. It will get you your coffee in the morning, it will allow you to talk about sports, and it can even share information about what you are feeling, given the “appropriate” time and place.

The actor however, has greater expressive demands, which require a voice that is capable of fulfilling a deeper desire to communicate with freedom, clarity, and ease. The actor cannot afford to have a voice that is limited by habit, conditioned by cultural norms, or trapped by fear. Else he or she risks playing characters whom are similarly held hostage by those same blocks.

Work in this class follows the Linklater approach to voice, wherein the actor nurtures an ongoing curiosity about their vocal instrument, which is inseparable from the person behind it. The work begins with identifying and releasing physical tension that can inhibit a spontaneous connection to the voice. Through physical release, the breath moves deeper into the body. When this happens, the voice follows, and with it a deeper personal connection.

Voice and Speech Class - Liz Eckert in Voice 1 Class at the Studio

Voice and Speech Class Maggie Flanigan Studio – Voice Class 1

Special attention in Voice I is paid to common areas of tension that can act as censors to authentic communication: the tongue, the jaw, the soft palate, and the throat. This allows the student to isolate resonating chambers in the body, which strengthens the corresponding parts of the speaking voice. By the end of the course, students will have a full physical/vocal warm-up to use in preparation for rehearsals, auditions, and performance, invaluable for working actors who know how important it is to keep their instrument in excellent shape.

Liz Eckert( Voice 1: )

Liz studied voice with Kristin Linklater for three years at Columbia University's MFA acting program. Struck by the effectiveness of the Linklater voice method's elegant scaffolding as a guide for greater expressive freedom, she dedicated four years to a rigorous and comprehensive Designated Linklater Teacher training program. Liz also draws from her acting and movement work with Andrei Serban, Niky Wolcz, and Anne Bogart. She continues to learn every time she is in the room with her students.


  • "It was amazing how my work in Voice 1 aided me in acting class. The two went hand in hand. I was able to become aware all unnecessary habits and tension that would stifle my emotional life from being expressed through my voice."

    Dwaynne Walker-Dixon

  • "I found voice and speech class to be the most important obstacle in my time at Maggie Flanigan Studio. Once I enrolled in Voice and Speech, my work changed exponentially. It helped ground me. In my opinion, it's essential you take this class!"

    Scott Brieden

  • “The Voice 1 class , taught by Liz Eckert, brought a lot of attention to the parts of my body that I have been straining for most of my life. Liz is extremely helpful and pushes you to work your hardest.”

    Julia Caldwell