Lincoln County News | Newcastle, ME
Thursday, August 27, 2015 Serving Maine and Lincoln County for over a century. Volume 140 Issue 35


home : obituaries : obituaries August 27, 2015

5/15/2013 8:21:00 AM
Robert Lee Parks
Nov. 16, 1922 - April 30, 2013

Robert Lee Parks, of Bristol, Professor Emeritus at Carnegie-Mellon University, passed away on April 30, with his loving cat at his side, at Cove's Edge Nursing Home. He was born Nov. 16, 1922.

Robert was responsible for many of the stars of screen and stage where he taught for the last 23 years before he retired and moved to Maine where he summered.

He spent more than 35 years teaching voice and speech at Carnegie-Mellon University (CMU) which was also his alma mater. In the field of speech, he was the pupil and later, associate, for many years of Edith Warman Skinner, acknowledged pioneer in speech standards for the classical stage. He also studied speech with Margaret Prendergast MacLean, of the Actors Studio West and classical text with legendary Stratford, England, theatre director, B. Iden Payne.

Before devoting his full attention to teaching, Robert spent over 10 years as actor-singer, director, and producer. He served in WWII in the U.S. Army in Germany for two and one-half years as coordinator, director, and performer in shows designed for fellow servicemen. He returned to Pittsburgh after the war to perform at the Pittsburgh Playhouse and Civic Light Opera and on local radio stations.

In his teaching and in retirement, he continued to develop techniques for voco-physical training of actors and integrating skills of voice, speech, movement and acting. The program called "Dynamics," which he created with colleague, Jewel Walker, at CMU, was a foundation for students in the Carnegie actor training and for the University of Wisconsin and University of Delaware Graduate Professional Theatre Training programs.

As a consultant, he succeeded Edith Skinner in conferring master teacher certification in her workshop held at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Professional Theatre Training Program.

He conducted workshops for speech educators with VASTA and at the Pittsburgh Playhouse and was a private coach for many professional performers. He was the first voice trainer for the American Conservatory Theater.

An accomplished radio artist, Robert Parks' voice was heard as narrator for many years at the Pittsburgh Planetarium. He composed, performed, and toured in "Meet Will Shakespeare," produced by The Theatre School Ld., which premiered at The Milwaukee Public Museum on Shakespeare's 425th birthday in 1989.

He is survived by colleagues, friends and many working actors.

There will be no services.

Donations may be made to the Lincoln County Animal Shelter, 27 Atlantic Hwy., PO Box 7, Edgecomb, ME 04556 in the name of "Salome," his cat and fellow performer.

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