Voice: A Performance of Sound

Chapter

Abstract

As an aural phenomenon and a form of sound, voice does many things beyond carrying linguistic meaning. To explore the capacity of voice in theatre this chapter focuses on Gatz by Elevator Repair Service, an eight-hour long production of F Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby staged in a drab basement office in downtown New York. The visual world of the book springs from its interior as it is read aloud in its entirety, no other words are added. Though Fitzgerald’s text forms the script, it is the performer’s voice that calls all aspects of this production into play. Drawing on the theories of Mladen Dolar’s ‘object voice’, this chapter asks what is a performed voice and what can it bring forth and do in theatre—how does it perform, as a thing in and of itself? And where does the voice go, who is it for? This chapter also considers its destination—the ear of another—because the relation between voice and ear is particularly potent in sonic-led theatre practices; it has political potential which can be harnessed by their re-staging.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Royal Central School of Speech and DramaLondonUK

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