The sound, shape, pitch, rhythm, posture, and meaning of human speech fascinates Mary McDonald-Lewis. Capturing where the sound originates – in the mask? The gut? From the heart or the head? – how it is biomechanically produced – this is her quotidian odyssey. MaryMac finds deep and abiding poetry in how speech communicates. How it obfuscates; how it liberates or enslaves with its secrets and lies and wonderful, terrible truths. She loves how it unites and divides us; isolates, identifies, betrays and saves us; how the sounds of humans speaking, as their voices harmonize or their words clash like warring tribes, are all a part of a code we must crack to understand one another.
The decoding process is at once a storyteller’s journey and a scientist’s quest, demanding a rigorous academic understanding of speech production, and an artist’s hunger to take in the tongues of the characters in the tale, and speak for them.
Contemplating this, crafting tools for acquiring new speech, and coaching this speech is MaryMac’s passion. She has done this in film and television, and in plays too many to mention. Her work encompasses hundreds of accents and dialects and dozens of languages, including dialects of disability and fanciful languages existing solely within the world of the film, television show or play, such as the “Grimmish” she coaches for NBC’s Grimm.
Mary McDonald-Lewis holds her MFA in Theater Arts from the University of Portland. She is also an internationally-known voice actor, a stage and on-camera actor, director, and mother to the marvelous Madeline.
She is delighted beyond measure to serve Artists Repertory Theatre as its first resident Voice and Text Director, and looks ahead with joy.