MFA Actors Studio Drama School - New School for Social Research
Advanced Certificate - Adult Learning & Program Design - CUNY School of Professional Studies
Certified Practitioner, Lessac Training & Research Institute
Certificate of Drama, British American Drama Association, Balliol College, Oxford
BA University of Virginia
Elton Beckett specializes in voice and speech for effective communication in performance and business. Prior to his John Jay appointment, he was a principal in Vocal Solutions, LLC, a speech and media consultancy providing business professionals with speech and media preparation. He has been a member of the faculty in the Department of Speech and Theater at Long Island University – Brooklyn campus, the Collaborative Arts Project (CAP21), a studio of Tisch School of the Arts at NYU and at Theater for the Handicapped. A designated Practitioner of the Lessac Voice and Body Work by the Lessac Training and Research Institute, current interests include African-American identity in early American theater literature and performance, preservation and codification of African-American dialect in performance as well as adaptation of the Lessac Voice and Speech training to facilitate English Language Learners. These interests emerge from Beckett’s life experiences as a professional actor, dancer, singer, producer, director, theater administrator, voice trainer and teacher. He was a founding member and performer of both the acclaimed Jomandi Production Company in Atlanta and New Perspectives Theater in NYC. Beckett has performed extensively in television, commercials, voice-over and on stage. He is a member of Actors Equity Association (AEA), American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA), Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and the Voice and Speech Trainers Association (VASTA). Beckett teaches African-American theatre history, Voice for the Professional and Public Speaking as Civic Engagement. Beckett is the 2012 recipient of the John Jay College Distinguished Teaching Prize, the 2015 Distinguished Faculty Service to Student Award and the John Jay Black Student Union 2016-2017 Outstanding Dedication Award.