Matt Koenig - Resident Artist

PCPA (since 2015): Beast, Beauty and the Beast; Caleb, The Whipping Man; Edward Ferrars, Sense and Sensibility; Tom, The Glass Menagerie; Richmond, Richard III; Black Stache, Peter and the Starcatcher; Freddy Eynsford-Hill, My Fair Lady; Trip Wyeth, Other Desert Cities; Cinderella, Man of La Mancha, Lend Me a Tenor the Musical, Newsies

Other Theatres: Utah Shakespeare Festival, Oregon Cabaret Theatre, New Swan Shakespeare Festival, Palace Theatre, Summer Repertory Theatre, Florida Studio Theatre, Cider Mill Playhouse

Film: Boiling Pot

Teaches: Voice & Speech 2

Training: MFA UC Irvine

Teaching Philosophy

Breathing is life. Inspiration is breathing. Literally. Inspiration means “drawing breath in/inhalation”. It can also be defined as "an immediate influence of God or a god” and, my personal favorite, “to inflame.” Breath stirs up the deepest parts of our soul and moves us. A wave of feeling (positive or negative) comes rushing into us as we breathe in the smell of a loved one or we see violence in the media or when one unknowingly enters a surprise party.

We are re-learning how to breathe with ease. It is imperative to consciously spend time and effort trying to understand where we hold our tensions and release them. We walk around with this (sometimes) impenetrable armor in our everyday lives, and rightly so. I’m looking to help unlock and break down the habitual physical restraints that prevent us from fully experiencing life on stage. They aren’t helpful. And breathing is the starting point for my training.

Drawing primarily on the work of Catherine Fitzmaurice with a sampling of Kristin Linklater’s technique, we will explore the relationship between breath and self. From breath to vibration. We start off with the vertical connection-how does my own voice/breath work? Once that connection has been secured more soundly, we move to the horizontal connection; how do I connect with another living human being? In the end, this is, though an investigation into our own physical and vocal lives, all about finding the most vibrant and truthful life on stage with our scene partners and audience. And we can never forget that.

The speech and dialect training draws from the Knight-Thompson Speechwork method, an approach that “places emphasis on developing the speaker’s detailed awareness of—and deep engagement with—the precise physical actions which make up speech.” I want to get your mind and ears curious as to what you are truly hearing. I want you to raise your own kinesthetic awareness and recognize what YOU do with your own voice and speech patterns and THEN understand how to alter them with each new accent. This is a class of self awareness. And it can be vulnerable. And that’s what I think is so exciting.