Donna Soto-Morettini

Donna SotoMorettini

Dr Donna Soto-Morettini

Senior Lecturer

Biography

I began as a performer at the age of 15, and for many years worked throughout the western United States, Canada and Japan as a singer and an actress. I came to the UK in 1984 to complete a DPhil in British Political Drama at Oxford University, and I have been training actors in the UK for more than two decades. In 1990 I became Head of Acting at the Central School of Speech and Drama in London, and moved on from there in 1994 to become the founding Head of Acting & Dance at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts. From 2001-7 I served as Director of Drama, Head of Musical Theatre, and Director of International Development for the Royal Scottish Conservatoire.

In 2005 I wrote and presented a 4 part-series for BBC Radio Scotland, called Singing School, and in 2007 I began working again in the industry. In that time I’ve worked extensively in television both as a casting director and performance coach. My credits include: How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria (BBC: Casting Director, 2006); Any Dream Will Do (BBC: Casting Director, 2007), I’d Do Anything (BBC: Casting Director, Performance and Vocal Coach, 2008), Over The Rainbow (Talkback Thames: Casting Director, Vocal and Performance Coach, 2010) Popstar to Operastar (Performance and Vocal Coach, 2011); The Dare (Zodiak Media for BBC: Casting, Performance and Vocal Coach, 2011), Superstar (Casting Director and Performance coach, 2012), and as a Casting Director for BBC & ITV's The Voice from 2011 - 2017.

I live in Edinburgh where I work as a writer, a freelance performance coach and director and as a Senior Lecturer at Edinburgh Napier University. Along with books, I’ve published many journal articles, and presented workshops and master classes on performing, auditioning and singing in various places throughout the UK, Europe and the United States.

Esteem

Advisory panels and expert committees or witness

  • BAFTA Jury member, Best Actor/Best Actress, Scottish Film, 2005
  • Selection Panel, Board of Governors, National Theatre of Scotland
  • Grand Jury member Global Search for New Musicals, Cardiff International Festival of Musical Theatre, January 2005

 

Editorial Activity

  • Assistant Editor, Theatre Journal, John Hopkins Press, 1980 – 1983

 

External Examining/Validations

  • External Examiner, Birmingham School of Acting (2002 - 2007)
  • External Examiner, New Lanarkshire College (2012 – 2015)

 

Fellowships and Awards

  • Regents Fellowship, UCI, 1981, 1982
  • U.C.Irvine, Distinguished Alumni Award, 1999
  • U.C.Irvine, Theatre Guild Award in Acting, 1982

 

Invited Speaker

  • “Non-Traditional Casting and Actor Training”, conference organiser, panel chair at presenter, CSSD, 1994
  • “Memories and Aspirtions: Scotland’s State of the Nation Trilogy” FIRT/IFTR, Amsterdam, Summer 2002
  • “Out of Apathy” conference, Panel Chair: Aesthetics and the New Left: Lindsay Anderson and Trevor Griffiths, Oxford, 1987
  • “Reading Silence”, Chair and presenter, Conference “Hands up for China, ICA London, 1989
  • “Rethinking Voice Training”, published conference proceedings, CSSD, 1995
  • “Rude Scottish Drama and the ‘Psychosomatics of the Zeitgeist’” In-yer-face, University of Western England, Bristol, September 2002
  • “Teaching Vocal Style”, published conference proceedings Interactive 2000, Liverpool, 2000
  • “The Cognitive Architecture of Performance”, PSI conference, Utrecht, April 2011
  • “Disturbing the Spirits of the Past”, Brussels and Liverpool John Moores, Summer 2000
  • “Twenty Years of Feminism” Conference organiser in association with Routledge Press, ICA London,1989
  • “Constructing National Identities: The New National Theatre of Scotland”, Conference, Trinity College, Dublin, March 2005
  • “Gunter Grass and Bertolt Brecht” Presentation for the School of Criticism and Theory, UC Irvine, 1983
  • “Howard Brenton in Conversation” ICA Video library, interviewer, presenter, 1988
  • “Georg Lukacs reconsidered”, Oxford English Ltd., Oxford, 1988
  • “Framing the Imaginary: Michael Frayn’s Democracy” – IFTR congress, St Petersburg, May 2004

 

Reviewing

  • Theatre Journal, Feminist Review and Methuen Drama

 

Date


19 results

History on the Cusp of Myth: J.T.Rogers' Oslo

Journal Article
Soto-Morettini, D. (2018)
History on the Cusp of Myth: J.T.Rogers' Oslo. Journal of Contemporary Drama in English, 6(2), 315-330. https://doi.org/10.1515/jcde-2018-0028
J.T. Rogers’ Oslo has had an extraordinary run for new ‘straight’ drama: sell-out performances both in New York and London, and 7 Tony nominations. But what is it? On the face...

Reverse engineering the human: artificial intelligence and acting theory

Book Chapter
Soto-Morettini, D. (2018)
Reverse engineering the human: artificial intelligence and acting theory. In E. Bryon, J. M. Bishop, D. McLaughlin, & J. Kaufman (Eds.), Embodied Cognition, Acting and PerformanceTaylor & Francis (Routledge
In two separate papers, Artificial Intelligence (AI)/Robotics researcher Guy Hoffman takes as a starting point that actors have been in the business of reverse engineering hum...

Reverse engineering the human: artificial intelligence and acting theory

Journal Article
Soto-Morettini, D. (2017)
Reverse engineering the human: artificial intelligence and acting theory. Connection Science, 29(1), 64-76. https://doi.org/10.1080/09540091.2016.1271398
In two separate papers, Artificial Intelligence (AI)/Robotics researcher Guy Hoffman takes as a starting point that actors have been in the business of reverse engineering hum...

Mastering the Shakespeare Audition

Book
Soto-Morettini, D. (2016)
Mastering the Shakespeare Audition. Bloomsbury Publishing
Mastering the Shakespeare Audition is a practical collection of approaches to analysing the structure of Shakespeare's monologue texts, understanding the prosody and metre, an...

Popular singing and style.

Book
Soto-Morettini, D. (2014)
Popular singing and style. Bloomsbury
Popular Singing serves as a practical guide to exploring the singing voice while helping to enhance vocal confidence in a range of popular styles. The book provides effective ...

Mastering the audition: how to perform under pressure.

Book
Soto-Morettini, D. (2011)
Mastering the audition: how to perform under pressure. Methuen

The cognitive architecture of performance.

Presentation / Conference
Soto-Morettini, D. (2011, May)
The cognitive architecture of performance. Paper presented at PSI Conference #18, Utrecht, Netherland

The Philosophical Actor: A Practical Meditation for Practicing Theatre Artists.

Book
Soto-Morettini, D. (2009)
The Philosophical Actor: A Practical Meditation for Practicing Theatre Artists. Intellect Ltd
There have been many books published on acting, actor training, and practical theories for preparing for a role, but none of these books have ever looked philosophically at th...

Popular Singing: a practical guide to Pop, Rock, Blues, Jazz, Country and Gospel.

Book
Soto-Morettini, D. (2006)
Popular Singing: a practical guide to Pop, Rock, Blues, Jazz, Country and Gospel. A & C Black
Donna Soto-Morettini is one of the top performance coaches in the industry and has worked as casting director and performance coach for the hit BBC reality casting shows, I'd ...

Trouble in the house: David Hare'sStuff Happens

Journal Article
Soto-Morettini, D. (2005)
Trouble in the house: David Hare'sStuff Happens. Contemporary Theatre Review, 15(3), 309-319. doi:10.1080/10267160500217640
No abstract available.