Anita “Jo” Lenhart
The Department of Theatre & Dance
The University of Memphis
Memphis, TN 38152
Associate Professor and Head of B.F.A. in Performance at The University of Memphis’ Department of theatre & Dance
B.F.A. in Musical Theatre, Eastern Kentucky University
M.F.A. in Theatre, Directing, Florida State University
Voice and Body Training; Acting Training; Professional Singer and Actress; Professional Stage Director; Bikram Yoga Teacher; Certified Kundalini Yoga Instructor, Level I
Experience with the Lessac Work
I met Arthur Lessac in 1997 and he invited me to stay with him for six weeks to train personally. I applied and won a research grant to do just that, and I have never looked back! I was invited to be part of the symposium in White Horse to discuss the founding of The Lessac Institute. I have since earned Certification as a Lessac Voice and Body Trainer and maintain that certification. I have been teaching the work daily since 1998 at The University of Memphis. I use the work in my professional acting and singing career.
The Lessac work has opened for me countless artistic opportunities in my professional acting and singing career. The work has not only kept my voice and body young and alive; it has helped me to attain a level of virtuosity in both vocal and physical expression in the last two decades that I could never have imagined before Lessac Training. Prior to the Lessac work I was a successful professional singer and actress, working in opera and musical theatre.I was, as well, a tenured voice and acting trainer at the university level. I had studied and work-shopped with “big names” and was enjoying what, I thought, was a satisfying career. Still, a sense of ease, aliveness, playfulness and vulnerable expression eluded me in my performance work. Consistency in vocal production and vocal health also seemed to be elusive. With Lessac training, not only were these issues addressed, but doors were opened in my own innate creativity and expressive which had remained locked for so many years. I am now in the prime of my performance career and it, along with my teaching, gets more interesting every year. The Lessac work offers a way to experiment and explore within one’s inner landscape, to mine that environment for pure authentic “gold” and then to express what one finds there in our art form. The Lessac work offers us the chance at a long interesting and optimized artistic life, not just for performance artists, but for people in any walk of life who wish to communicate effectively, healthfully and expressively.