VASTA Conference 2014

Dates | Key Presenters | Location | Member Presentations | Accomodations

Connecting Community | Identity Cabaret | Registration | Schedule




Welcome to the VASTA 2014 Conference page!  Join us in historic London at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, one of the most influential sources of current voice practices. The theme of Voicing the Future: Reinventing Traditions has been the guiding idea as we have assembled an impressive panel of keynote presenters and various guest artists as we explore the expanding horizons in voice training techniques and strands of research.


Co-conference planners, Rena Cook and Jane Boston, have been working for a year to bring in leading-edge master teachers and practitioners. Based on input from VASTA membership, we have followed two strands of voice practice and research in planning this conference. First, David and Ben Crystal, author of Shakespeare’s Words, will share their pioneering work in Shakespeare's Original Pronunciation. OP has sparked the imaginations of production companies and directors around the world. They will share with us their research and the practical applications.


Patricia Bardi and Jane Boston have been collaborating over the past few years on a project called The Physical Voice in the Moving Body. This has involved an examination of the perceptual awareness that is evoked in body/mind voice work and the ways in which it contributes to the enhancement of individual vocal expressivity.


We are also excited to announce that Kristin Linklater and Catherine Fitzmaurice will be sharing work and thoughts as related to the theme of the conference. Also presenting will be  Leticia Santafé, Christina Shewell, and Rocco Dal Vera. A panel discussion will take place to further the discussion of future strands of research and practical applications as our work continues to grow and evolve into the future. We are also pleased to announce that there will be an opportunity to honor Cicely Berry, who has graciously agreed to attend. In addition to invited presenters, we will host member presentation day and we invite all interested VASTA members to submit a workshop proposal.



Tuesday, August 5 to Saturday, August 9, 2014

Check-In will be from 3:30-5:30pm at Central School. Specific location TBA. Opening reception with refreshments will begin at 6pm and will feature a keynote speaker you won’t want to miss. The conference will conclude on Saturday with a closing performance.


Key Presenters:


David Crystal

David Crystal is the internationally renowned authority on Shakepeare's language, co-authoring the widely used Shakespeare's Words. In addition, he has researched and codified what is now widely accepted to be the Original Pronunciation of Shakespeare's plays.

David Crystal’s authored works are mainly in the field of language, including several Penguin books, but he is perhaps best known for his two encyclopedias for Cambridge University Press, The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language and The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language. Recent books include The Story of English in 100 Words (2011) and Spell it out: the singular story of English spelling (2012). Co-authored books include Words on Words (2000, a dictionary of language quotations compiled with his wife and business-partner, Hilary - Wheatley Medal, 2001) and Shakespeare’s Words (2002) and The Shakespeare Miscellany (2005), the last two in collaboration with his actor son, Ben. A new book with Hilary Crystal, Wordsmiths and Warriors: the English-language Tourist's guide to Britain, was published in September 2013. Other Shakespeare work includes a regular article for the magazine of Shakespeare’s Globe, Around the Globe. Think On My Words, an introduction to Shakespeare’s language, appeared in 2008. All Shakespeare books can be viewed at The Shakespeare Portal. A new version of the glossary went live in 2008: see Shakespeare’s Words.

To read more abou David Crystal, you can go to his website.


Ben Crystal

Ben Crystal is a British actor and writer. He studied English Language and Linguistics at Lancaster University before training at Drama Studio London. He has worked in TV, film and theatre, at the reconstructed Shakespeare’s Globe, London, and is a narrator for RNIB Talking Books, Channel 4 and the BBC.

He co-wrote Shakespeare’s Words (Penguin 2002) and The Shakespeare Miscellany (Penguin 2005) with his father David Crystal, and his first solo book, Shakespeare on Toast – Getting a Taste for the Bard (Icon 2008) was shortlisted for the 2010 Educational Writer of the Year Award.
In 2011, he played Hamlet in the first Original Pronunciation production of the play for 400 years with the Nevada Repertory Company, and in 2012 he was the curator of the first CD of extracts of Shakespeare recorded by professional actors in Original Pronunciation for the British Library. His new series of introductions to the plays, Springboard Shakespeare, was published for Bloomsbury and Arden Shakespeare in June 2013.

His workshops developing fresh approaches to acting Shakespeare are given around the world and can be found

He lives in London and online at, and Tweets from @bencrystal


Patricia Bardi

Patricia Bardi is a dance/voice artist, bodywork specialist, registered somatic movement therapist and licensed health practitioner. She is a native New York currently based in Amsterdam. She is the founder/director of the Certification Program in Vocal Dance and Voice Movement Integration Practice Somatic Training centered in Amsterdam and accredited by ISMETA – International Somatic Movement Education & Therapy Association and KTNO - Kwaliteit en Toetsing Natuurgerichte Opleidingen (Quality & Evaluation of Natural Health Training).

Bardi has toured extensively, teaching and performing at international festivals, universities and theatre schools throughout Europe, North America and India. She has received a London Arts Choreographer Award. She has conducted research on North Indian vocal music. She is a founding member of the School for Body-Mind Centering (USA) and London’s Chisenhale Dance Space. She currently works on Voice Movement Integration (VMI) Somatic Practice.  VMI
Somatic Practice is an accredited certification program for the last 22 years.

Bardi has collaborated with many dancers, actors, musicians and poets including Alex Maguire, Arthur Brooks, Makoto Matsushima, Felicity Provan & Monica Akihary.

She has developed and taught Organ Rebalancing, an advanced natural health practitioner training for professional healthcare practitioners and manual therapists at numerous holistic health institutes including Dr. Rudolf Merkel M.D.’s School for Cranial Sacral Osteopathy in Zurich. She has presented lectures & master classes to professional bodywork practitioners throughout Europe & the USA.

In 1987, Bardi founded the Rocca Project an annual summer program for interdisciplinary performance arts and healing practice in Tuscany, Italy. She has been on the faculty of NYU’s Department of Experimental Theater, the School for New Dance Development and has presented her work on Vocal Dance at the Centre for Performance Research’s ‘Giving Voice Festival’ in Wales. Recently she participated in a Research Event in dialogue with Jane Boston, head of the Voice Masters Program & director of the ICV – International Centre for Voice at Central School of Speech & Drama, London.

For Further Details please contact:
Patricia Bardi
Tel: +31 6 246 17853


Jane Boston

Jane is an internationally active voice specialist, researcher and poet with a particular interest in the contemporary performance of verse. She co-wrote and performed over ten productions with Siren Theatre, a Lesbian feminist company, between 1980 and 1990.

She has subsequently worked extensively as a voice specialist in the actor training conservatoire sector, and as a voice coach within the professional theatre. She was Head of Voice on the Central Acting Programme 1990-1995 and voice specialist and director at Roehampton University and the Poor School. As a senior voice specialist at RADA between 1999-2009, she headed up research for the conservatoire, founded a staff research seminar series, curated an actor trainer’s conference in 2006 and an international practitioners’ conference on Breath in 2007.

She is currently Leader of MA Voice Studies and Head of International Centre for Voice with active professional interests in performing verse and authoring poetry.



Christina Shewell

Christina is a Central School trained voice teacher, and a highly specialised speech and voice pathologist/therapist. She has also worked for many years as a business coach, consultant to singers and as senior university lecturer at University College London in voice and counselling skills. Her interest in the links between neuroscience, voice and psyche has led to continuing work with the Marion Woodman Foundation. As originator of the Voice Skills approach to vocal analysis, training and restoration, Christina teaches internationally to a variety of voice practitioners. Recent engagements include co-teaching with Catherine Fitzmaurice and Tom Burke in New York, and work as invited course leader at Stratford Ontario Shakespeare Festival. Her book, ‘Voice Work: Art and Science in Changing Voices’ addresses the continuum of normal-abnormal voice in spoken voice coaching, singing and voice pathology; it has received unanimously good reviews from all three professional groups.




Leticia Santafé

Leticia Santafé graduated in Arte Dramático por la Real Escuela Superior de Arte Dramático de Madrid (RESAD) in 1997. She was awarded with an ERASMUS scholarship to study in London. From 1998 to 2000 she lived and studied in New York City with a FULBRIGHT award.
In 2003, she was the first person in Spain designated by Kristin Linklater as a Linklater teacher in the USA.
In 2010, she finished her Diploma in Integrative Bodywork and Movement Therapy(IBMT) with Linda Hartley in the UK.
The practice of the disciple of Authentic Movement gives her nurturance and support on her work.
She has worked as an actress in Spain, USA, UK, Germany and Switzerland. In addition to working as an actress, she is also a voice and movement teacher and somatic therapist with groups and private clients in Spanish and English.


Rocco Dal Vera

Rocco is a Professor of Drama specializing in voice and speech.  His book Voice: Onstage and Off, co-authored with Robert Barton, has been nominated as the Best New Theatre Publication by the Association for Theatre in Higher Education and is in use by numerous College and University theatre programs (newest edition due out from Routledge in 2011). His latest book (co-authored with Joe Deer) is Acting in Musical Theatre: a comprehensive course. Together they write a monthly article series on acting in Musical Theatre for Dramatics Magazine.
He is one of a handful of certified trainers in the Alba Emoting method and his research interest is in the voice and emotional extremes. Rocco is also the founding editor of the journal Voice and Speech Review for the Voice and Speech Trainers Association, and has edited the first three books in that series: Standard Speech and other contemporary issues in professional voice and speech training, The Voice in Violence…, and Film, Broadcast and e-Media Coaching….

Mr. Dal Vera received his MFA in voice coaching and training for the theatre from the National Theatre Conservatory at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, and his BFA in musical theatre from United States International University.
His voice can be heard on numerous commercials and he has worked on over 500 films and television shows including LA Law, Hill Street Blues, THIRTY-something, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and The Gods Must Be Crazy. He can currently be seen as co-host and assistant producer of the public television series, Healthward Bound...a lifelong journey, which recently won the prize for Best Series at the American Medical Association's International Film Awards.




Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, London, England
Eton Avenue

The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama is located in Swiss Cottage, a beautiful area of northern London in the borough of Camden. A short distance from the center of London, the school is centered in a thriving arts district including the Hampstead Theatre and the Roundhouse.

Getting there:

By Plane

As there are multiple airports in the London area, the easiest way to figure out how to find transportation from the airport to either the school or to your hotel is to visit this website. Click on your airport by scrolling through the images at the top. Scroll down and they will describe all modes of transportation.


Central is located across from Swiss Cottage Station (Jubilee Line, exit 2), or approximately eight minute walk from Finchley Road Station (Metropolitan Line). For more information about the London Underground, click here. For a walking map from the Finchley Road Station, click here.

By Bus

The following bus routes stop nearby: C11, 13, 31, 46, 82, 113, 187, 268. To learn more about traveling around London by bus, click here.


Central is within a Controlled Parking Zone (CPZ) and parking is limited. There is no parking available at the school.

There are two blue badge disabled parking bays directly outside. For more disabled parking, visit this website and search NW3 3HY under Find a Bay.


Member Presentations

The submissions for Member Presentations has been closed for this conference. Please contact Rena Cook, or Elissa Weinzimmer,, if you have any questions.

To view Member Presention Bios, you can click here.

To view the workshop descriptions, you can click here.



Each participant will arrange for their own accommodation plan. If you are interested in sharing a room with someone, check out the Conference 2014 Google+ Community to connect with people.  For convenience sake, we suggest Best Western Swiss Cottage Hotel which is across the street from Central School.

Best Western Swiss Cottage Hotel
4 Adamson Road
Swiss Cottage

011442077222281 (if calling from the United States)
0207722281 (if calling from the UK)

Gopal Pillai has set up a group code 4113 for the conference bookings. Contact him directly either by phone number above or by email, making bookings.

Room Rates:

Singles x 4 - £94.45 per night
Doubles/Twins x 26 - £109.50 (single occupancy) or £119 (double occupancy)
Triple rooms x 5 - £165 per night
Family Suite x 4 - £145 per night
These rates would include VAT and breakfast.


Other Accommodations in the Area

The Central School of Speech and Drama is about a 15 minute walk or one tube stop away for the Holiday Inn Express London-Swiss Cottage.

152-156 Finchley Road

Swiss Cottage, London

NW3 5HS, United Kingdom

01144 (0) 20 7433 6666

The Palmer’s Lodge is a nice hostel only a few minutes walk away from Central School of Speech and Drama.

40 College Crescent

Swiss Cottage, London

NW3 5LB, United Kingdom

01144 (0) 20 7483 8470

The Thanet Hotel is a B&B around the corner from the British Museum, two train stops away from Central School of Speech and Drama.

                        8 Bedford Place

                        Bloomsbury, London

                        WC1B 5JA, United Kingdom


                        01144 (0) 20 7636 2869


Conference Google+ Community:

An exciting new feature this year is a new Google Community created to help you share information about your conference plans, find a roommate,  search for a presentation collaborator, or arrange a meal with an old friend. If you click on this link you can ask to join the community. You must have a Google account to join, but it's something that is easy to create.


Identity Cabaret:
An exciting new feature of the VASTA 2014 Conference - Voicing the Future: Reinventing Traditions - will be the Identity Cabaret!  This is a performance opportunity for individuals to share a song, a poem, a monologue, or section of a play that celebrates your heritage, culture, background or identity.  It will be hosted by Fran Bennett and organized by Michelle Lopez-Rios. Performances should be no longer than five minutes.  A mic and a piano will be available. This will take place during happy hour, 5-6:30 on an evening of the conference yet to be determined. Contact Michelle at for questions or sign up.


Panel Discussion

A special event is added to the conference! A panel discussion will be held to discuss the conference’s theme— how are we reinventing traditions to suit the changing demands on the profession. The panel will be moderated by Rocco dal Vera. More information will be added soon about the special panel guests.



The schedule is up! Please note that the schedule will constantly change up until the conference. You can access an up-to-date schedule by clicking here.


We are proud to announce that the opening reception will be sponsored by Routledge. Be sure to check out their table at the conference.




Registration officially opens March 1st, 2014. All registrations must be completed online at and will be charged in USD$. Please remember that you must be a current member of VASTA in order to register for the conference. VASTA Members must login in order to fill out the form below.


Registration Fee:

VASTA Member Registration Fee: $250.00 (Before 06/15/14); $300.00 (After 06/15/14)

VASTA Student, Retired, Distinguished Member Registration Fee: $150.00 (Before 06/15/14); $200.00 (After 06/15/14)Student must be enrolled in an academic institution.


If your plans change after you register, please contact VASTA's Treasurer Antonio Ocampo-Guzman. ( After June 15th, you will only receive 50% of your original payment.


After you enter your credit card information you will be directed to a conference questionnaire that will help us streamline the conference offerings that are planned.
In order to register, please be sure to sign in at under the MEMBERSHIP tab. Then click on to the MEMBER PROFILE MANAGEMENT tab. Your rate will automatically be assigned. If you are registering before the early bird cut-off, the discount will automatically be applied.

If you have any trouble registering, or have forgotten your username and/or password, please contact Antonio Ocampo-Guzman at



VASTA or PAVA Member $1.00
Student/Retired/Distinguished Member Price $1.00
Non-Member $1.00
Early Registration Discount $0.00
Early Registration Cutoff 1969-12-31
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