The VASTA Voice

Volume 13, Issue 4

December 2018

Table of Contents:

A Message from the President

Michael J Barnes

BarnesGreetings VASTA members: 

I hope that the end of everyone’s year is progressing nicely.  Here in the US, I am writing this right before our Thanksgiving holiday. It makes me think about how thankful I am for all the people in VASTA that have come before me.  This organization has provided so much for me as my career has progressed.  I do not think I could even begin to list all the people who provided me with greater knowledge, guidance, and informal mentorship.  

As we move toward our end-of-year Board meeting, I am happy to say that we are moving toward a next step for the organization to better help you, our members.  At our annual conference in Seattle, Betty spoke to everyone about our re-examining the organization of our committees and officers.  As a part of that, we recognized that the organization would benefit greatly by obtaining the services of an association manager.  The committee that was examining our organization changed their focus to become a search committee—under the leadership of new Board member, Antonio Ocampo-Guzman—to begin the search for a person to serve as an association manager on a part-time basis.  I am happy to say that the committee identified an excellent person to fill the job who has agreed to join us as Association Manager, Nancy Bos.  Nancy felt like the ideal person to work with VASTA.  She is a singer and vocal teacher who has an accomplished background in management as well—having worked with NATS as their VP of Membership and as a Northwest Regional Governor, a treasurer for a club in the National Federation of Music Clubs, and managed her own studio, along with other accomplishments.  We are happy that she will be joining us at the board meeting before beginning work when we start our new fiscal year in January.  

As we continue, there are a few shifts in the organization. Chaslee Schweitzer, who has been serving as Treasurer for the past year is phasing out as we transition to our new association manager. Indira Pensado, of Mexico, is taking over the Global Communications Group—replacing Daron Oram who has joined the Board of Directors. Our BizCorp committee has officially changed their name to BizCore, wanting to maintain their focus of the business of voice coaching but make certain that they are not solely focused on corporate work. I’m also happy to say that Jeremy Sortore has moved into our HR position, replacing our first HR person, Cynthia Bassham.  If you would like to be more involved with the organization, I would encourage you to contact him at

This is our third year of a program founded by the board that we call our Early Career Leadership Initiative.  This is a program that brings two members who are early in their career and their membership with VASTA to come to be a part of the Board of Directors’ meetings. This lets them see what the board is doing and how it functions and also allows them to contribute new ideas to the Board. It has been tremendously successful. So far, each person who has been a part of the program has continued to work with the organization in some capacity. This year’s Early Career Leaders are Joe Hetterly and Ann Marie Pollard.  They are moving into the positions previously held by Jennifer Innes and Jeremy Sortore.  

If you have not seen the call for proposals for our conference, next summer, in Orlando, you can find more information and submit a proposal at this link: If you have any questions, please feel free to let the Conference Planning committee know by clicking on this link: Next year’s conference was driven by our BizCore Committee and is being led by Kendra Kingsbury. Their theme for the conference is “Connectors, Communicators, and Culture."

Lastly, I would like to invite all members to stay in touch with me.  If you have any thoughts or suggestions for the organization, please send me a note at

Breathe and be well, 



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Letter from the Editor

Lauren Murphy Yeoman 

Hey there, VASTA!

This is the last issue of 2018, and the last issue of my term as Editor of The VASTA Voice! I have so enjoyed these two years of working on this newsletter. My brilliant co-pilot Hollace Starr will be stepping into the Editor role after serving as the Associate Editor this past year! 

We are on the lookout for a new Associate Editor to replace Hollace as she replaces me. If interested, please email me at

In this issue you'll find a VASTA MD column on "The Importance of Sleep," as well as many exciting Committee updates, including a voice trainers conference in Honduras. 

As always, if you have an idea for an article, or even possibly a new column for the newsletter, please email me your suggestions at

Kind regards and best wishes for the rest of your 2018,

Lauren Murphy Yeoman 

Editor, The VASTA Voice

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Yolanda D. Heman-Ackah, MD

The Importance of Sleep

The best training, diet and performance schedule will not compensate for insufficient rest, and sleep is the best and only way of getting this rest. The most common misconception is that when we sleep, the body powers itself down for the night.  In actuality, however, when we sleep, the body repairs and restores itself.  Sleep serves many vital functions that affect all parts of our homeostasis and general well-being, including the voice and vocal performance.

Adequate amounts of sleep help with the control of appetite during the day.  When the body is sleep deprived, the body makes more of the hunger hormone (ghrelin) and less of the satiety hormone (leptin) that tells us when we are full. The result is decreased ability to control our appetite and increased caloric intake, resulting in weight gain when we are sleep deprived.  When we sleep, our bodies conserve energy, which also helps our bodies control the amount of food we need to consume during the day, limiting the amount that we eat during the day.

The brain follows cycles during sleep, which last between 90 and 100 minutes each. The two different types of sleep are REM and non-REM sleep. A sleep cycle begins with 4 stages of non-REM sleep followed by REM sleep. Most people experience 4-6 cycles per night.

The stages of sleep typically follow a set pattern and to adequately recover (get a good night of sleep, and grow) one's brain must experience all of these stages.

  • Stage One: Light sleep, the transition between wakefulness and sleep.  This is the shortest period (2-5%) of sleep in the sleep/wake cycle.
  • Stage Two:  Baseline sleep, accounts for 45-60% of sleep.
  • Stages Three & Four: Termed delta sleep, account for up to 40% of sleep time. These are the deepest stages of sleep and the most restorative for the brain.
  • REM Sleep: The most active stage of sleep, accounts for 20-25% of a normal night’s sleep. Breathing, heart rate and brain activity quicken during this stage.

A lack of REM and Stage 3 and 4 sleep is particularly problematic because it is during Stages 3 and 4 that the body and brain are completely at rest and in a restorative state and during REM that memory consolidation is occurring.

During sleep, the body is able to restore organs, bones, and tissue; replenish immune cells; and circulate human growth hormone.   This circulation of growth hormones during sleep encourages tissue growth and can help one recover from injury, including vocal fold swelling and edema, sore muscles (including vocal muscles), ligamentous injuries, and cuts.  The body also makes more white blood cells during sleep, which help the body to fight viruses and bacteria that cause infections and illnesses.  Those who sleep at least 8 hours a night are 3 times less likely to develop a URI than those who sleep 7 hours or less.

During wakeful hours, we all learn and absorb thousands of things a day, including new information, new songs or lines, new dance routines, etc.  During stage 3 and 4 sleep, the brain consolidates this information and organizes it into a format that is easy for the memory to draw upon during the day. So, when learning something new (such as a new part), the brain tends to remember it better the next day after a good night’s sleep than it does the day that the information is obtained.

Sleep allows the brain to relax, which allows for a better mood the next day as well as increased energy levels and improved creativity.  A restless night often predisposes to crankiness the following day.  Studies have shown that those who sleep 7-9 hours nightly have less symptoms of depression than those who don’t, and in the long run, adequate sleep helps to protect mental health.

In addition to allowing the brain to relax during stage 3 and 4 sleep, the heart rate also slows and blood pressure decreases, which give the heart a break and help to preserve cardiac health.  Stress hormones are downregulated during sleep, which helps to decrease inflammation that in turn helps to limit heart disease and diabetes.

Many of us have several demands during the day that make getting a good night’s sleep difficult at times.  To help facilitate getting the best night’s sleep as possible, it is important to follow the following recommendations:

  • Avoid oversleeping.  Oversleeping tends to set the body’s natural sleep wake cycle to a different cycle, which will make it harder to fall asleep the following night.
  • Take a warm bath at bedtime to help soothe and relax the body. Avoid taking a shower at bedtime, showers tend to trigger alertness.
  • Exercise during the day, it will help to tire the body out so that sleep comes faster at night.  Avoid exercising within 3 hours of bedtime, it will stimulate alertness.
  • Avoid caffeine and tyrosine rich foods (i.e.  chicken, turkey, fish, milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, cheese, peanuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, soy products, lima beans, avocados, and bananas) at night, they tend to stimulate the brain and cause hyperactivity and wakefulness.
  • Avoid alcohol and sleeping pills at bedtime.  Both will cause drowsiness, however the sleep that ensues will not go through the normal cycles and will be nonrestorative upon awakening.
  • Keep your room at a comfortable temperature (68 – 70 degrees F). Too cool or too hot environments interfere with sleep.  Similarly, too much or too little humidity can disrupt sleep.  A light fan running or soft music may provide a more relaxing environment.
  • Avoid stress at bedtime.
  • Do not watch TV in bed and avoid the use of LCD lit screens (i.e. smart phones or games) at bedtime.  The presence of the light may increase alertness and interfere with the brains transition to sleep.  If you must use a smart phone at bedtime, set the display to the “night shift” mode so that the display gives off warmer, less blue light.

We should all aim to get 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night. That gives your body the time it needs for sleep to restore itself, rejuvenate, repair, energize, organize thoughts and memories, and take care of its general well-being (which includes vocal health).



Colgan, M.(1993). Optimum Sports Nutrition. Advanced Research Press. USA.
Morin MD, Charles M.(1996). Relief from Insomnia: Getting the Sleep of Your Dreams. New York: Doubleday Main-street Books.
Broughton, Roger, Robert Olgivie(1992). Sleep, arousal and Performance. Birkhauser.
Hobson, J. Allan.(1995). Sleep. W.H. Freeman & Co. New York.

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Committee Chair Updates

Awards and Grants Committee

Committee Chair: Barry Kur










Dorothy Mennen Research/Development Grant

Dorothy Mennen


The VASTA Awards, Scholarships and Grants Committee is pleased to announce that the 2018 Dorothy Mennen Research/Professional Development Grants have been awarded to David Morden and Artemis Preeshl. David is an Assistant Professor at the University of Arizona and Artemis is on the faculty of  the University of West Georgia.  Both recipients will be using the funds toward professional development studies. The Committee wishes to commend all of the applicants for their proposals.  




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Interdisciplinary Engagement Committee

Committee Chair: Colton Weiss

Colton Weiss headshot









Hello from the Engagement Committee…


The committee is pleased to welcome so many new members! As our committee continues to grow, there are still many ways to be engaged.



The committee is currently seeking members to represent VASTA at various KCACTF festivals. Reps are still needed for the following regional locations:


Region VIII - Feb. 12 -16 - Los Angeles Theater Center (L.A.) - covering California, Utah, Arizona, and Nevada

We are covered, but would appreciate back-up support for:

Region I - Jan. 29 to Feb. 2 - Cape Cod Community College (West Barnstable, MA)

Region II - Jan. 15 - 19 - Montclair State (Montclair, NJ)

Region III - Jan. 8 - 13 - Madison College (Madison, WI)

Region IV - Feb. 5 - 9 - USC Upstate & Converse College (Spartanburg, SC)

Region V - Jan. 20 - 26 - SDSU (Sioux Falls, SD)

Region VI - Feb. 25 - 28 - Somewhere in Abilene, TX (Abilene, TX)

Region VII - Feb. 18 - 22 - University of Oregon (Eugene, OR)


If you want to get involved with a KCACTF Region, please contact John Foster (


Engagement Grants

Are you looking for funding to share your teaching, research developments at a conference? The committee is accepting ongoing applications for Interdisciplinary Engagement Grants.  For more details, check out funding resources on the website.


Ongoing Efforts

The committee is continually working to expand VASTA’s impact, and there are multiple efforts underway. If you are interested in assisting with any project and joining the committee, contact us at


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Teaching and Learning Committee

Committee Chair: Diane Robinson

The Teaching & Learning Committee hosted its first VSR Online Book Club meeting on November 19th! Attendees from the US, Canada and Australia engaged in a generous and inspiring hour-long conversation in response to Melissa Agnew's and Kristine Landon-Smith's VSR article, "The whole of humanity: voice and intracultural theatre practice." The VSR Online Book Club promises to provide a great way to deepen your engagement with the VSR and the VASTA community. The next VSR Online Book Club meeting date will be announced soon. If you have read an article in the VSR that inspires you, and would like to host our next discussion, please reach out to Diane Robinson at
Also, the Statement of Teaching Philosophy Support Group, another Teaching & Learning Committee iniatiative, is active again! In this group, we share resources for creating excellent teaching job application materials, post drafts of CVs, Statements of Teaching Philosophy, and other portfolio documents, for constructive writing feedback, and take the time to provide said generous and compassionate feedback. Email Diane at to be provided with the link to our Google Group.
And, a truly exciting Scholarship of Teaching and Learning offering is on the horizon. Keep your eyes and ears on the lookout for an upcoming announcement of an offering that will build your skills as a scholar, researcher, and educator and create a cohort of community. 
The Teaching and Learning Committee's members are committed to engaging in an ongoing inquiry into how we can do better as teachers, trainers, coaches and clinicians; how to best foster the learning of students and clients; and how to inspire and facilitate VASTA member efforts to do the same. 

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Global Communications Group

Committee Chair: Indira Pensado

Indira Pensado









Article submitted by: Oscar Quiroz

Oscar Quiroz

From the Core: First Central American Voice Trainers Conference

The National School of Dramatic Art of Honduras (ENAD) with the support of VASTA, the National University's center for Culture and Art, and the Spanish Cultural Center of Tegucigalpa, organized the first Central American voice trainers gathering in Tegucigalpa, Honduras from August 22nd-24th, 2018. We had participants from the University of Costa Rica, The Justo Rufino Garay School of Theatre from Nicaragua, The Matias University and the National Centre for the Arts from El Salvador, The Universidad Popular and the San Carlos University from Guatemala, and of course, the National School of Dramatic Art of Honduras.

Also, we were fortunate to have with us Tania Gonzalez Jordan, voice professor in the Centro Universitario del Teatro from the National Autonomous University of Mexico and CEUVOZ, and a Designated Linklater Teacher. Tania gave an introductory three-day workshop to all the participants and gave a talk about the Linklater methodology. Her workshop was exclusive for voice trainers. During the afternoons, all participants delivered talks about the vocal education in their different training programs. These were open for the artistic community to attend. The motto for this first conference was: “Desde el Centro”, which can be translated as “from the center” or “from the core”. It is an analogy between the geographical location of Central America and the core of the human body. 


This gathering was the perfect opportunity to exchange ideas and experiences around voice training in the region. It was also a space for establishing alliances and collaborations that would improve theatre education and encourage communication between Central American theatre schools. As an organizer I was impressed to see how young most of the voice teachers are; this makes me think that voice training studies in the region are also very young. The conference also highlighted the numerous challenges that artistic education faces in Central America, and particularly, how abandoned the actor's vocal education has been. Regardless, I am certain that this conference has been a firm step forward on the path to improving vocal education in the region. 

I am deeply grateful for the Awards and Grants Committee, for without VASTA's financial and institutional support this conference would not have been possible. I am sure this conference will help improve VASTA's presence in the region and promote VASTA's membership. I can't wait to start planning the second conference!

Oscar Quiroz

Voice Teacher

Escuela Nacional de Arte Dramático de Honduras

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Business and Corporate Consulting (BizCore) Committee

Committee Chair: Dolly May 







♦Lighthouse Training Session: on 11 Dec @ 8pm GMT.  Sign up here:

       •Business Mindset - Seeing yourself as a business owner



♦We are carrying the current theme of 'Business Ready' over into Qt-1 of 2019. 
♦We are seeking x3 people to host Lighthouse sessions on the theme above in 2019 (Jan, Feb, March). Contact us directly about our Hosting Team for more info.



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Conference and Membership Updates





VASTA's Conference Planning Committee is excited to announce the Request for Proposals for VASTA's Annual Conference in 2019 - “Connectors, Communicators, and Culture."

4-7 August 2019
Orlando, Florida, USA
Embassy Suites Downtown Orlando
Deadline for Submission: Friday, 25 January 2019

Please follow the link for more information and to submit a proposal:

If you have any questions, please feel free to let the Conference Planning committee know by clicking on this link:


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Part of VASTA's mission is to advance the visibility of the voice in the world.

Taking this to heart, VASTA's Interdisciplinary Engagement Committee launched the #MyVoiceCan blog on April 16, 2017 - World Voice Day - to feature people DOING AMAZING WORK with their VOICE to influence industries, communities, and individuals from all over the globe.

How are you using your voice in this world? What can your voice do?

To have your story featured on the #MyVoiceCan blog, please click the link and fill out the form: 

To access it via the website, go to (you do not have to be logged in to have access to this), click on "Resources", then "#MyVoiceCan Campaign," then "Submit for VASTA's #MyVoiceCan blog."


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Voice and Speech Review

Rockford Sansom

Hello, VASTA members,  


The November 2018 (12.3) issue for the Voice and Speech Review (VSR) is available now on the VSR’s Routledge website. (See login instructions below.) This issue has a special section on Australian Voice Training. It’s our first special section since 2011. For those of you who signed up to receive the printed copy, you will receive the journal soon. It will print in early December. Depending on global location, the journal may take 4-10 weeks to reach you. 



We have several important announcements:


1) The VSR is now featured in EBSCO! 

EBSCO is an information service that is featured in most English-speaking libraries around the world. In early 2019, all VSR articles (including past articles) will be included in the EBSCO database services worldwide! This is a monumental accomplishment for the VSR as we increase the journal’s accessibility and renown.


2) VASTA members receive 30% off Routledge online books. Ends 12/31/18

Click here for the website that gives a host of special discounts and the discount code. The offer ends on 12/31/18. 


3) The new call for papers is now available! 


The latest call for papers includes a call for general articles, and there also is a call for abstracts for a Special Issue marking the 20th anniversary of the VSR. The issue will have a Guest Editor (Matthew Hoch), and it will be called Voice Training in 2020: A Vision for the Future. He will consider abstracts through 12/31/18. 


The next deadline for general article drafts is July 1, 2019. However, early submission is greatly encouraged. The 2019 volume is closed. All new submissions are for 2020 consideration. The journal processes articles in the order they are received. 


Click here for the call for papers. 


4) Call for Translators


The journal is looking to create a list of translators who can assist global authors. 

If you are fluent in a language other than English and would like to assist the journal, then please contact the Editor at


Please let me know if you have any questions, would like any further information, or would like to get involved in the VSR


Most sincerely, 


Rockford Sansom, Editor-in-Chief


Sample Articles from November 2018 (12.3) – Available Now  


The Story of the Australian Voice” by Melissa Agnew


 “The Role of the Production Voice Coach in Contemporary Australian Theatre” by Simon Masterton


Finding a Way: More Tales of Dyslexia and Dyspraxia in Psychophysical Actor Training” by Daron Oram


Notes on the 2018 VASTA/PAVA Conference Soma and Science: Bridging the Gap in Interdisciplinary Voice Training” by Kate Glasheen and Jeremy Sortore


 “Performing Arts Training in the Age of #MeToo” by Jennifer Spencer


To Access the VSR Online:

1) Go to the VASTA homepage (

2) Scroll to find “Click Here for VSR Online Access” on the right

3) Login 

4) “Click to Read the VSR Online” 


More Information about the VSR:

About the VSR

Editorial Board 

Call for Papers

Author Guidelines 

Book and Media Review Information

Frequently Asked Questions 

Resources for Authors 

VSR Awards 


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Member News

Hollace Starr

Hollace Starr headshot

Below please find Member News for members with last names/surnames S-Z.

Looking ahead to 2019, member news will be published:

February- Members with last names/surnames beginning with A, B, C, D, E, or F

May- Members with last names/surnames beginning with G, H, I, J, K, or L

September-Members with last names/surnames beginning with M, N, O, P, Q, or R

November-Members with last names/surnames beginning with S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, OR Z

Member News should be emailed to for publishing. Please attach a jpg photo to your email and adhere to the following format for your submission:

Font: Times New Roman, Size 12 Font
YOUR NAME IN ALL CAPS (Location City, State or Country)
Book Titles: italics
Play Titles: italics
Articles: quotation marks
Journals: italics

Please don't hesitate to contact me with any questions, at

Thank you very much!                                                                                          

Hollace Starr                                                                                      

Associate Editor, The VASTA Voice


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ROCKFORD SANSOM, PhD, MFA (Savannah, GA) is a Visiting Assistant Professor at Savannah State University, where he teaches and coaches in both the theatre and music departments. He is the voice and text coach for the Savannah Repertory Theatre. He also serves as a Lead Trainer for CMT London, a London-based communication consulting firm, where he coaches Fortune 500 executives and political figures. He has an article in the current issue of Methods: A Journal of Acting Pedagogy (Pace U Press), and he is the Editor-in-Chief of the Voice and Speech Review (Routledge Press).


JOAN SCHIRLE, MFA (Blue Lake, CA) received the 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association of Movement Theatre Educators (ATME) in August. She was a plenary speaker on Performance at the International Alexander Technique Congress in Chicago in July. Her article “Physical Dramaturgy: Reflections for the Actor, Director, Designer, and Deviser” was published in the 2018 Routledge book, Physical Dramaturgy: Perspectives from the Field (ed. R. Bowditch, J. Casazza, A.Thornton). She is currently developing a chamber opera based on the letters of American painter Morris Graves and was awarded a residency at the Graves Foundation in March. In July '19 she will offer a one week intensive on Teaching Embodied Practice at Dell’Arte International.


LESTER THOMAS SHANE (NYC, NY) was promoted to full-time faculty at Pace University where he coached dialects for Boeing Boeing, Sunday in the Park With George, and Peter and the Starcatcher. Lester spent three months in Brazil as dialect coach on an HBO mini-series, The American Guest. In addition he appeared in the films Green Shoes, and the German Indie, Blah, Blah, New York. His  one man show, Mortal Coil, was presented twice at New York's Open Center.


ADAM J. SMITH (Los Angeles, CA) is in his ninth year on faculty at CalArts School of Theater teaching the Barrantes System of Voice (based on Roy Hart techniques), as well as speech/dialect work. He also taught voice/speech/movement at South Coast Rep's summer acting intensive program. As an actor this year: he recently completed a run of Nightwalk in the Chinese Garden, directed and conceived by Stan Lai (presented in the Huntington Gardens & Library); played Jerry in Betrayal and Iago in Othello in 6th Act's inaugural LA production, An Evening of Betrayal; played Samuel in The New Englanders, by Jeff Augustin at the Ojai Playwrights Conference; and Dexter in a workshop of Nathan Alan Davis' Origin Story at South Coast Rep. On television, he appeared in The Good Doctor (ABC), Jane the Virgin (CW), and The Orville(FOX).


HOLLACE STARR (Los Angeles, CA) has just come off coaching dialects for Kander and Ebb’s Curtains and directing Deanna Jent’s Falling, both at Pepperdine University.  This summer she produced the world premiere of Tom Jacobson’s Mexican Day at Rogue Machine Theatre.  She looks forward to serving as the voice and movement director of a gender swapped production of Taming of the Shrew this spring.


ROS STEEN (UK, Professor Emerita Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and Accredited teacher of Nadine George Voice Work,Voice Studio International) voice directed for four world premieres: Meet Me At Dawn (Edinburgh International Festival/Traverse Theatre, 306 Day (National Theatre of Scotland) Fathers and Sons (Magnetic North Theatre Company) and What Girls Are Made of (Traverse Theatre) winner of a Scotsman Fringe First Award and a Herald Angel award 2018. She was the voice and text specialist for seven further productions including Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour (West End, London/NTS). Having worked with Nadine George and her approach in both the profession and training for over twenty five years she continues to give voice intensives in the technique in London and Scotland as well as masterclasses for the University of Edinburgh, Theatre Royal, Newcastle and the long-running Actors’ Voice Research Workshop series. This year she began to work with visual artists and musicians in addition to actors, performers, writers and voice teachers and is voice specialist for Leeds Playhouse throughout their year-long ensemble season. She is currently writing the programme which will accredit new teachers of Nadine George Voice Work.


AMY STOLLER (New York, NY) continues her tenure as the Mint Theater Company’s resident dialect designer and frequent dramaturge; recent projects include the first New York revival of Hindle Wakes, the American premiere of Conflict, and a revival of Lillian Hellman’s seldom-seen second play, Days to Come. Also in New York, Amy did the dialect design for Little Rock (Audelco Award nominations), and (with dramaturgy) Tennessee Williams’s A Lovely Sunday for Creve Coeur, directed by Austin Pendleton. Her latest screen projects, Anna Deavere Smith’s Notes from the Field (HBO) and Dietland (AMC & Amazon Prime UK), are available on demand.



ERICA TOBOLSKI (University of South Carolina) played the role of Nora in Doll’s House Part 2 for the Aspen Fringe Festival in June 2018. In January of this year she presented a paper at the Lessac Institute conference in Dallas, entitled “Voice in Malaysia: Lessac as Training Paradigm.” In Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, she offered one to three-day Master Classes for theatre educators (“The Voice on Stage: From Craft to Creativity”), actors (“Releasing Your Authentic Voice”) and business professionals (“Branding with Voice”). At the University of South Carolina, she played the role of Rebecca Nurse in The Crucible. She is currently developing a one-woman show based on the life and work of Margaret Sanger.



CATHERINE WEATE, BA DipEd LSDA HonFLAM FRSA (London UK) now has four Real Accent Apps released on iTunes and Google Play: The Real Accent App: USA, The Real Accent App: England, The Real Accent App: Celtic Nations and The Real Accent App: Europe. There are 10 accents per app with 2-4 native speakers per accent, recorded in their original environments. Plus, there are step-by-step breakdowns for each accent, simple-to-use interface for fast problem solving on the rehearsal room floor, innovative RECORD and COMPARE functions to speed up learning, unique AUTOPLAY and LOOP functions for working hands free and no in-app purchases (one purchase, one download). Catherine continues coaching for theatre, film and television as well as travelling the world to record speakers for the Real Accent series. Her most recent trips have been to North Africa and the USA: more releases from these regions will be coming soon. /


COLTON WEISS, ALM (Columbus, OH) completed his masters degree in voice and speech pedagogy at Harvard University / American Repertory Theater Institute this past May.  He currently works as a Research Assistant at The Ohio State University and also started teaching voice, speech, and accent classes with the improv company #Hashtag Comedy Columbus (  His recently published book review, “Care of the Professional Voice: A Guide to Voice Management for Singers, Actors and Professional Voice Users” is available online with the Voice and Speech Review. In the coming year, he plans to continue his Knight-Thompson Speechwork training and research surrounding the use and impact of dialect coaching in musical theatre.



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VASTA Board of Directors & Officers

Board of Directors

Michael J Barnes
2018 - 2020

Betty Moulton
Past President
2018 - 2020

Pamela Prather
President Elect
2018 - 2020





Micha Espinosa

Cynthia DeCure

Daron Oram

Julia Guichard

Kristi Dana

Antonio Ocampo-Guzman





Tamara Meneghini-Stalker  

Rockford Sansom
Editor-in-Chief, The Voice & Speech Review

Kate Glasheen
Reviews Editor, The Voice & Speech Review

Lauren Murphy Yeoman
Editor, The VASTA Voice

Hollace Starr
Associate Editor, The VASTA Voice

Thrasso Petras
Director of Membership Services

Kendra Kingsbury
Director of Annual Conference

Cynthia DeCure
ATHE Conference Planner
Stacey Cabaj
Associate ATHE Conference Planner
Rene Pulliam
ATHE Focus Group Representative

Jeremy Sortore
Human Resources Director

Lynn Watson
Investments Officer

Adriano Cabral
Director of Technology/Web Services 

Kendra Kingsbury
Associate Director of Technololgy

 Joe Hetterly
Early Career Leadership

 Ann Marie Pollard
Early Career Leadership

Yolanda Heman-Ackah




 Associate Officers

Amy Stoller
Editor, VASTA Links Page

Flloyd Kennedy
Editor, Workshop & Events Page

Janet B. Rodgers
VASTA Archivist 

Brad Gibson

Foster Johns
Social Media Content Manager







Committee Chairs

Barry Kur
 Awards and Grants Committee

Cynthia DeCure
 Diversity Committee

Colton Weiss
Interdisciplinary Engagement Committee

Diane Robinson
Teaching and Learning Committee

Indira Pensado
Global Membership Group

Dolly May
Business and Corporate Consulting Group





Contact Information Available at VASTA.ORG


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©2010, Voice and Speech Trainers Association