Obituaries

World-Renowned Vocal Coach Kristin Linklater Passes Away at 84

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World-Renowned Vocal Coach Kristin Linklater Passes Away at 84

BroadwayWorld is saddened to report that Kristin Linklater, world-renowned vocal coach and mother of Broadway veteran Hamish Linklater, passed away earlier this month in her Orkney home. She was 84 years old.

Born in Edinburgh, Linklater trained with Michael MacOwan and Iris Warren at LAMDA. During the 1960s, she relocated to the United States and worked with the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, Minnesota and the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Ontario, Canada. Between 1964-78, she worked as a vocal coach for acting companies led by Robert Whitehead, Harold Clurman, Elia Kazan, and Joseph Chaikin, among others.

Educated at St Leonards School and Downe House School, she was a founding member in 1973 of Shakespeare & Company which was for many years in residence on the former estate of Edith Wharton in Lenox, Massachusetts. Linklater and several British-trained American actors founded the acting troupe of the same name, Shakespeare & Company. She served as co-director, with Tina Packer. She left in the mid-1990s to develop her own approach to voice for actors, influenced by her teachers at LAMDA as well as the Alexander Technique.

Linklater trained many well-known actors, including Sir Patrick Stewart, Donald Sutherland, Alfre Woodard, Mary Tyler Moore, Bill Murray, Angela Bassett, Courtney Vance, Sigourney Weaver, Sam Rockwell and Bernadette Peters. Linklater was a teacher and head of the Acting program at Emerson College from 1990-96.

In 2013, Linklater opened a purpose-built voice training centre in Quoyloo, Orkney, Scotland, to train and coach students in voice technique.

On June 6, 2020, the family and friends of Kristin announced on Facebook: "The family and friends of Kristin Linklater are sad to announce her death at the age of 84 at Housegarth, Quoyloo, Orkney in the early hours of Friday 5th June. An inspirational writer, teacher of voice and Shakespeare, she helped a generation of performers, artists and people from all walks of life, to free their natural voice."

Photo Credit: Jennifer Broski


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