UNH Fulbright scholar going to Croatia to launch program
Deborah Kinghorn is an associate professor of theater and dance and has been a UNH faculty member since 2000. She teaches voice, movement and acting in holistic fashion, modeled after her mentor, Arthur Lessac, who died last year. Lessac created a kinesic approach to developing voice and body strength, power and expressiveness that is now named for him.
At the time of his death, Lessac was collaborating with stage and film actor Rade Serbedjia to create a new voice, movement and acting program at the University of Rijeka. Just before he died, he selected Kinghorn to continue his work at the university and to help launch the postdoctoral program.
Kinghorn helped form, and was the first president of, the Lessac Training and Research Institute.
In her upcoming Fulbright semester, Kinghorn and her students in Croatia will create a play focusing on the long-term effects of war on women titled, “Acting, Media, and Culture.”
Kinghorn said Lessac’s work began in the theater, but expanded to other fields, including sports, where he taught runners to be more efficient, and to physical and voice therapy, where victims of stroke relearned how to use facial muscles.
“His work in South Africa with the indigenous tribes, the British, and the Afrikaaners demonstrated the effectiveness of kinesics to help those who have suffered because of war or repression to regain their individual voices, their cultural voice, and eventually their potential as a society,” Kinghorn said. “How proud he would be to see this program at the University of Rijeka, in Croatia, come to fruition. I am humbled and honored to have been asked to spearhead the undertaking.”
Kinghorn received her bachelor’s degree in theater from the State University of New York at Fredonia, and a master’s degree in fine arts in theater, with an emphasis on acting, from Trinity University through the Dallas Theatre Center. She is a member of the Voice and Speech Trainers Association.
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