January Intensive at Marymount Manhattan College
Vocal Transformation

In this non-credit intensive you will develop skills in analyzing resonance, articulation, intonation patterns, and phonetic shifts through a variety of explorations and exercises. You will apply these skills to a vocal transformation project where you will study someone’s voice, oral posture, and patterns of speech, then both improvise and perform a monologue as that person.

  • To play outside your comfort zone to explore your vocal potential and capabilities in a healthful and informed way.
  • To fine tune your visual and auditory analytical skills in order to observe vocal phenomena in someone else and use descriptive anatomical and physiological language to explain what is happening in their (and your) vocal tract.
  • To fine tune your kinesthetic skills by manipulating your own vocal tract, with heightened awareness and control, through improvisation and performance
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Tuesday January 17th to Thursday January 19th, from 7pm-10pm

One-to-one tutorials on Friday January 20th between 7pm-10pm (individual time slots assigned)

Tuesday January 24th to Thursday January 26th from 7pm-10pm


Marymount Manhattan College, 221 E 71st St (between 2nd and 3rd Avenues); Nugent 459

About Melissa

Melissa Kollwitz earned her MFA in Voice Studies from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama (CSSD) in London, and BA in Theatre Performance from Marymount Manhattan College (MMC). She is an Associate Teacher of Fitzmaurice Voicework (FV).

Melissa is a Visiting Assistant Professor at Marymount Manhattan College (MMC) in NYC where she teaches Voice & Speech. She has previously taught at New York Conservatory for the Dramatic Arts, New York Film Academy, and New World School of the Arts in Miami, FL. She has also had the honor of interning with Pamela Prather at the Yale School of Drama for one year, working with the MFA Acting students in their Speech class.

Her research-based MFA dissertation was about how tremoring/destructuring can reduce performance anxiety, which she presented in its early stages at the VASTA Conference in Montreal. Her MA dissertation was on the relationship between destructuring and text exploration, which was accepted for presentation at the International Song, Stage & Screen Conference at the University of Winchester in England.

Melissa is an advocate for service and professional development. She serves on the board for the Center for Teaching Innovation and Excellence at MMC, and is a member of the Faculty Development Committee. She mentors students/aspiring voice teachers in independent studies about Voice & Speech as an academic discipline, offers free FV sessions available to all MMC students during midterm and finals time as a tool for release and relaxation, and coaches students in preparation for graduate school auditions. She cares greatly for her students and their well-being.


I worked with Melissa over a year ago at the Young Vic, tackling a dialect that wasn’t only foreign to the actors but also new territory for Melissa herself given that it was a period accent that had no pre- existing resources for us to draw upon. Undeterred by this, Melissa went on to compile a detailed work sheet, a ‘Bronx’ warm-up and a CD with some superb clips for us to take home. Aside from these great little extras, her presence in the rehearsal room was extremely reassuring and she always warmed us up and prepared us thoroughly for the day.

The rehearsal room can be a repetitive and tiring environment, but Melissa was always focused on the task in hand, keeping an eagle eye on any slip up s before providing us with bespoke and original exercises to remedy these problems at the end of the session. She was a vital part of our process and will doubtless become an invaluable asset to many companies throughout her career.

Robert Lonsdale
Professional Actor - Broadway and West End

“Melissa utilizes an endless supply of warmth and curiosity to accurately pinpoint how people are misusing their voices. She cuts right to the heart of the matter and is quick to design a practical program of exercises that works for each individual.”

Rory Ledbetter
Assistant Professor of Voice and Acting, The University of Mississippi

“Melissa Kollwitz is an exceptional voice teacher. She combines an understanding of the human condition with an intellectual rigor that never ceases to explore the subtleties of voice and spoken text.”

Rebecca Root
MA Voice Studies, Central School of Speech and Drama

“Professor Kollwitz gives her students her all. She is fair, honest and infinitely caring. She does her homework before she expects you to do yours. Her style of teaching is the perfect balance between discipline & freedom. She imposes nothing, but patiently suggests and advises, paving your way to deep, personal life-changing discoveries.”

Corina Ramirez
BFA Acting ’11, New World School of the Arts

“Ms. Kollwitz is on a quest. She has drive, intelligence, and talent. She does all with inspiration. Ms. Kollwitz approaches all her work with the utmost professionalism. She arrives calmly and early, bringing an air of well-prepared nurturing. When we have time to discuss or debrief she is full of the latest practices from NYC and London, and meshes well with my ideas. Students of all classes and ethnicities feel immediately her respect and care.”

Thom Delventhal
Associate Professor, Central Connecticut State University

“Melissa Kollwitz is an amazing performer, teacher, and musician. Her creative energies light up a room and captivate the true heart and passion of performing. Her skills as an actor and as a singer, combined with her dedication and drive for her craft, make it a privilege to work with her. In short, she is a woman who embodies success.”

Matthew Tracey
MFA Vocal Performance NYU, Actor, Educator