Associate Professor, Voice
MA – Trinity Repertory Conservatory/Rhode Island College
BA – Bard College
Professor Hitt works as a voice and dialect coach, actress, singer, and writer. For the past 30 years she has performed in and collaboratively created new theatre, musicals, and opera, in San Francisco (Theater Artaud/Whoopi Goldberg Productions), New York (St. Clement’s and Gene Frankel Theaters), Chicago (Ars Nova, Live Bait, CityLit), and Providence (Trinity Rep and Perishable). Her original work includes performing nationally and internationally in her one-woman music theatre piece, Dust Singing into Light: A Vision of Hildegard of Bingen.
Laura has been on faculty, coached, and/or lectured about The Speaking and Singing Voice, Body and Creative Vision, at numerous conferences of the Voice and Speech Trainer’s Association (VASTA), at the Boston Conservatory, Brown University, Providence College, Wheaton College, Western Michigan University, and Rhode Island College. Prior to her move to WVU, she maintained private voice/performance studios in Boston, and Providence, RI, and taught voice/speech and music theatre performance full-time at the Boston Conservatory. In addition to teaching at WVU, Laura continues to teach and attend workshops internationally, nationally and in the mid-Atlantic region.
Laura has worked as a dialect, voice/text or performance coach with theatre, medical and business professionals, and on numerous theatre and music productions in New York City, Boston, Providence, and West Virginia. In addition to coaching countless WVU productions, her credits include the critically acclaimed 2003 off-Broadway adaptation of Samuel Beckett’s work, And Then We Go On (directed by Peter Wallace) and in the 2004 New York City Fringe Festival production of Statements … by Athol Fugard (directed by Peter Wallace). Other credits include: Zeitgeist Stage Company’s Eliot Norton Award-winning Boston production of Joe Penhall’s Blue/orange (directed by David Miller), Boston Theatre Works, Tony Kushner’s Homebody/Kabul (directed by Jason Southerland), Zeigeist Stage Company’s Flesh & Blood by Peter Gaitens (directed by David Miller), Greenbrier Valley Theatre and the WVU Division of Theatre and Dance, The Tempest (directed by Cathey Sawyer), Neil Bartlett’s new adaptation of Oliver Twist (directed by Neil Bartlett), co-produced and performed at the American Repertory Theatre in Cambridge, Mass.; Theatre for a New Audience, New York City; and Berkeley Repertory Theatre in Berkeley, CA, Zeitgeist Stage Company’s production of Robert Shenkkan’s The Kentucky Cycle, (directed by David Miller), Small Earth, Big Sky’s production of Tom Stoppard’s India Ink (Sarah Friedberg-Krohn) and Greenbrier Valley Theatre’s, Macbeth (directed by Cathey Sawyer).
Laura has published peer-reviewed articles related to voice, language, neuroscience and auditory perception in the Voice and Speech Review and the Journal of Neuroscience. She now serves as an Associate Editor of the Voice and Speech Review, with focus on the area of Pedagogy and Coaching. Her publication credits also include Book Editor of Great Speeches in History: Human Rights (Greenhaven/Gale, 2002), and has edited psychiatric and neuroscience articles that have been published internationally.
Laura has studied acting, voice, movement & dance for years, before and after she attended university. These include a number of places, most significantly, Herbert Berghof Studio (HB) in New York City, American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco, Cranbrook Academy in Bloomsfield, MI, and Perry Mansfield in Steamboat Springs, CO. She holds a BA in History & Literature with Honors from Bard College and a Master’s of Acting and Directing from Trinity Repertory Conservatory/Rhode Island College (this program is now Brown University’s MFA Theatre Consortium). Her training includes extensive work in several approaches to the speaking and singing voice, acting, and movement. Voice/text study includes work with Catherine Fitzmaurice, Kristen Linklater, Timothy Douglas, Richard Armstrong (and other Roy Hart teachers), Nancy Houfek, Alice Hermes, Richard E.T. White, and Olympia Dukakis. She also studied classical voice with Jo Rodenburg (Britten-Pears School) in Chicago, IL. Laura is an Associate Teacher of Fitzmaurice Voicework, a Certified massage therapist, and a Certified Reiki I/II practitioner.
Be sure to check out Prof. Hitt’s blog: Breathe To Create