Unboundaried Voice – from Laughter to Lament

Facilitated By: Marya Lowry

October 17th - 20th, 2024

Lamentation encompasses an expansive variety of physical and vocal expressions, including grief, complaint, rage, sorrow songs, styles of Irish keening, Finnish crying songs, the Blues, and communal and solo expressions of them all.

In our private lives or in our art forms, we often search in vain for the forms and freedom to give voice to the full heights and depths of our lived experience. Unboundaried Voice invites you to discover your personal voice of exultation, praise, and joy; of protest, resistance, and challenge; of yearning, sorrow, and grief; of devotion, hope and healing discovered, shared and weaved together in a welcoming community.

Grounded in solid vocal technique and supported by the “extended” vocal practice of the Roy Hart Voice Centre, Unboundaried Voice explores the deep humanity and rich expressiveness of ecstatic voice and ritual lamentation practices. We will celebrate the vast array of emotional and vocal colors expressed in lamentation practices around the globe and provide pathways for participants to deepen personal connections to themselves, their passions, and the ability to express them freely and artfully.

Our process: 
– shed our workday bodies with streams of laughter, soft breaths, hoots and
howls, groans and shrieks, sultry yawns and soft sighs to gentle the autonomic
nervous system
– connect breath and voice to a physically grounded, imaginatively connected body
– rediscover the joys of socially silenced sounds within the context of improvisations
– reimagine your voice both as a literal and metaphorical instrument of self-expression and
– integrate styles of vocal production employed in non-western cultures
– sound together in an atmosphere of curiosity and play
– learn how to recenter your body and emotions after a strong emotional experience
– listening: resources and samples of lament practices from different cultures

Who is this Retreat for?

–actors, singers, professional voice users wanting to expand their vocal vocabulary
–those engaged in therapeutic work
–voice, acting teacher and directors
–anyone eager to expand their vocal expressiveness
–those curious about the power and beauty of lamentation and grief expressions

All are welcome.
You do not need to be an experienced singer.
Participants should be 18+.
Please wear relaxed, workout-type clothing.

© Ivan Midderigh

Sample Schedule:

Arrivals between 12-1.30 (BYO lunch)
WildHeart Orientation 1.30-2.30
Gathering: 2.30- 5.30
Dinner 7-8

Morning Gathering: 9-12
Lunch 1.15-2
Afternoon Gathering: 3-6
Dinner 7.15-8

Morning Gathering: 9-12
Lunch 1.15-2
Afternoon Gathering: 3-6
Dinner 7.15-8

Morning Gathering: 9-12
Lunch 1.15-2
Departures on final day between 2-4pm after lunch clean

Evenings are an open space for reflection, rest, or social gathering.
Marya will be available to talk about the work.

Weather permitting, evening bonfire with song sharing.

I howl and chirp and wail in gratitude…

Looking back at 2023, your workshop was the highlight of my year!

The experience was truly transformative–exactly what I needed at this moment in my life. Your guidance and care and insight and brilliance throughout the week were amazing. I can’t thank you enough.

In my culture men are taught not to cry, but now I can, and I will, and I want to explore it for my life and my work…

…the memory of our workshop lingers, and it will for years as a north star. The confirmation that something bigger connects us all together, a sense of deep humanity and fraternity. Merci beaucoup.

(this was) a truly sacred and intimate experience that I will cherish.

Now I know that we can create rituals ourselves that honor our celebrations and our losses.

I really appreciated the movement from Laughter to Lamentation. The chorus of laughs, hoots, giggles, etc., really opened me up in a joyful way. Community was created then and there, for deep sounds and sharing to emerge.

…how you isolated the various feelings and sounds of lament – bringing it all together in small group work was brilliant.

With lamentations I am always a happier person!

About Marya  Lowry

Marya is an international teaching-artist with over 40 years teaching and acting professionally. She has taught actors, singers, teachers, on-air journalists and public speakers in the UK, France, Greece, Cyprus, Italy, Poland, Netherlands, and across the U.S. She is a founding member and resident actor with the award-winning Actors’ Shakespeare Project in Boston and Professor Emerita at Brandeis University, and a certified Roy Hart Centre Voice Teacher. Marya’s teaching practice highlights an approach to voice that is deeply influenced by France-based Roy Hart Voice Center’s extended vocal range methodologies and non-western vocal practices applied to traditional Anglo-American voice training. Based in solid research of vocal lamentation practices around the globe, she pioneered its inclusion into theatre voice training and is the creator of Unboundaried Voice – from Laughter to Lament for theatre research, performance, and personal and professional use.

Marya creates a positive environment where each individual is seen, heard and respected. She fashions a festive space for personal research and growth, where surprises, delights and deep joy can emerge within the community.

Marya’s Unboundaried Voice and Lament workshops include Yale, Brown, DePaul, Naropa, California/Fullerton Universities, Portland Experimental Theatre Ensemble, OR, the International Festival of Making Theatre, Athens, Greece, Roy Hart Centre, France, Amsterdam, NL, and the Centre for Performance Research, Wales, UK. Vocal Coaching for theatre includes Broadway, Off-Broadway, and Shakespeare Festivals. Marya is a spiritual mentor to incarcerated women since 2002.


Retreat Location

WildHeart is located on 46+ beautiful acres in the Hudson Valley. Retreatants will have the option to stay in a single room, double room, dorm, or camping in either our main retreat center or in private two-bedroom cabins. All options have access to shared kitchens and bathrooms. Daily events will take place in the studio, shared common spaces, and outdoors. Retreatants are welcome to enjoy the lawns, walk in the forest, and swim and boat in the lake during their stay! More info about directions and transportation options HERE.

A note on food

We are able to accommodate most diets. We serve meat and dairy daily, and always have vegan and gluten-free options available. If you send us your dietary preferences in advance, we will do our best to make sure there is good food for you at each meal! All living accommodations have access to a full kitchen (separate from the main/commercial kitchen). We will provide breakfast groceries for you to prepare and eat on your own. Lunches and dinners are communal shared meals (participants usually help with prep or clean). Drinks include: coffee and tea, dairy and non-dairy milk, lemon and lime juice for water, red and white wine.


WildHeart is body-positive anti-racist queer magic.
By offering a variety of housing options, and two free BIPOC spots, we hope to make this retreat financially accessible to all! Beyond that, please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you need financial assistance to attend: contact@wildheartcenter.art
These prices are all inclusive! You receive all retreat content and facilitation, housing, food and drinks, and access to the land, lake, and studio spaces.

$719 Single-occupancy (private room in a shared house)
$599 Double-occupancy bedroom (per person)
$509 Dorm (for a bed in our spacious 5 person dorm)
$509 Camping (bring your own tent and equipment)
$479 Commuter (meals included)
$950 Support Price (for those who can pay extra to help us build the dream!)
Early Bird Price- $50 discount before Aug 15th

BIPOC spots
We are offering 2 free spots for BIPOC folx. Please email contact@wildheartcenter.art to get the registration code for one of these spots.

Refund policy
In advance of 2 weeks – full refund (less processing fee)
Within 2 weeks – no refund

Covid policy
To protect the group, please don’t come if you have any symptoms of illness or had contact in the last 3 days with anyone who has COVID

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Find out about WildHeart happenings!