Dynamic Dialogues and Connections

August 8-11, 2016  Chicago, IL

Registration | Dates | Key Presenters | Location | CEUs | Member Presentations | Accomodations | Scholarship

Identity Cabaret | Schedule

Welcome to the VASTA 2016 Conference page! 
The 30th annual international VASTA Conference, titled Dynamic Dialogues and Connections, will be held August 8-11, at The Theatre School, DePaul University, 2350 N. Racine Avenue, Chicago IL  60614. 
A VASTA photographer will take still pictures and videos during the conference for VASTA promotional purposes.

Questions? Email us! 

Claudia Anderson, Conference Director: conference.director@vasta.org

Phil Timberlake, Associate Conference Director: assoc.conf.director@vasta.org


Monday, August 8th to Thursday, August 11th

Plan to arrive early on August 8, in order to check in at your hotel, and then make your way to the conference venue at The Theatre School. Conference registration is 2:00pm-5:00pm in the lobby of The Theatre School. The opening event for the conference is scheduled at 5:00pm in the Fullerton Theatre, adjacent to the lobby.   The opening event begins our dynamic dialogues and connections with a panel of five Chicago theatre artists, addressing The Politics of Race and Identity in Performance. Moderated by Cameron Knight, professor of Shakespeare and Classical Text at The Theatre School, DePaul University, with artists Chuck Smith, Ron O.J. Parson, Sandra Marquez and Coya Paz responding. The panel will inspire and stimulate threads of a discussion that will continue throughout the conference in featured presentations facilitated by E. Patrick Johnson, the Carolos Montezuma Professor of Performance Studies and African American Studies at Northwestern University. 


Key Presenters:

The theme of Dynamic Dialogues and Connections continues with three featured presentations. Scheduled on two days, August 9th and 10th, there will be three different sessions on August 9th, with members divided into groups that rotate to the three 90-minute sessions.  The same groups attend a second session of each presenter on August 10th.
Jeffrey Crockett, head of voice at American Conservatory Theatre and certified Alexander Teacher and practitioner of Middendorf Breathwork, will lead members in exploring transparency, authenticity and intimacy in communication. “The foundation of the work is based in the phenomenon that sensation presence and breath that comes and goes on its own are all three interrelated. The breath becomes a bridge, and is in fact a connecting force, bringing together the parts of the person into a unified whole, and connecting the person to the world outside.”
Greg Eaton and Barbara Hummel, facilitators from the Academy for Leaders, Center for Courage & Renewal, will begin VASTA’s leadership initiative by working with you in smaller groups. In preparation for the sessions, members are encouraged to read A Hidden Wholeness, by Parker J. Palmer. Greg Eaton has decades of experience working with leadership development, change processes and organizational systems in three sectors: university administration, church/not for profit, and business. Barbara Hummel works with executives to become more effective and authentic in their leadership and collaboration efforts. The consistent thread to her professional background is in seeing possibilities: growing organizations from ideas, adapting approaches to meet needs, bringing in new perspectives.
The third rotating session will be connected to the opening night panel on The Politics of Race and Identity in Performance. Several VASTA members and guests, who will serve as respondent/panelists, working to stimulate dialogues, will join E. Patrick Johnson in leading the sessions on The Politics of Race and Identity in Performance: Implications for Voice and Speech Training. Each session will have one or two respondents: Amy Mihyang-Ginther, Cynthia DeCure, Michelle Lopez-Rios, Phyllis Griffin, Jerome Beck and Joy Lanceta are among the respondents, who will help to inspire discussion. 



The conference will be limited to 160 attendees, so you are encouraged to register early. The conference venue is in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago, which is a neighborhood containing some of the DePaul University campus, homes, condos, and restaurants. North of the downtown “loop,” and a short “L” train ride away from Chicago theatres, performance venues, and the ATHE conference hotel, The Palmer House. VASTA conference attendees may elect to stay in or near Lincoln Park, or seek accommodations at one of the Chicago hotels. Parking is available in the Clifton parking garage, on Clifton Avenue, one block from The Theatre School. There is also metered and free parking available on several of the city streets. There are two hotels with special member prices, within 1.2 miles walk from The Theatre School: Days Inn, 644 W. Diversey Parkway, and The Inn at Lincoln Park, 601 W. Diversey Parkway.  There are several restaurants within walking distance of The Theatre School and the hotels. The number of rooms in each hotel is limited; however, there are other hotels nearby: The Willows Hotel, 555 W. Surf, and Chicago Getaway Hostel, 616, West Arlington House. Alternatively, there are other hotels available by train, including the downtown Palmer House Hotel. The Chicago Transit Authority, composed of trains and busses, is an excellent way to get around Chicago. 

1. The Theatre School at DePaul University

2350 N Racine Ave
Chicago, IL 60614


This is the first year VASTA will offer CEUs for ASHA members. Descriptions of sessions will assist those who wish to elect to receive credit in choosing applicable sessions. Member presentations, offered on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, offer workshops, panels, and papers on a wide range of topics. This year, the conference theme has inspired collaborations, new dialogues and connections that promise to be exciting and forge new ground for the profession. 


Member Presentations

The submissions for Member Presentations has been closed for this conference. Please contact Claudia Anderson (conference.director@vasta.org) or Phil Timberlake (assoc.conf.director@vasta.org), if you have any questions.

For a peek at the VASTA Schedule At-A-Glance, please check out this link: http://tinyurl.com/VASTAschedule. Complete information about Member Presentation Bios, Workshop Descriptions, and the full Workshop Schedule will be in the printed program and on our SCHED site.



Each participant will arrange for their own accommodation plan. Please visit our "Conference Hotels" page for suggestions and group rates.

Questions? Contact Phil Timberlake, Associate Conference Director, assoc.conf.director@vasta.org

Identity Cabaret:

Beginning at 6:30pm on Tuesday, August 9 is the Diversity Committee's 3rd annual Identity Cabaret. The Identity Cabaret is an intiative of the Diversity Committee and has been one of the highlights of the conference for the past two years, and is dependent on the talents of VASTA members! Judith Shahn will serve as emcee of the cabaret, and will organize the performers. Judith Shahn has been a member of VASTA for twenty-five years and has participated on panels and led workshops. She is currently retiring from 26 years as a voice, speech and dialects teacher at the University of Washington and hopes to continue her private practice, Vibrant Speaking, where she coaches public speakers and presentation trainers. She is thrilled to MC the Identity Cabaret once again and witness her fellow VASTANS daring greatly up on the stage. If you are interested in performing in the cabaret, please contact Judith Shahn at jshahn@comcast.net.


We look forward to welcoming you to VASTA’s annual Conference, August 8-11.  

This year, we will be using SCHED for managing our conference schedule! With SCHED, you will be able to stay up-to-date with program changes, create/edit your own online profiles, and save the link as a widget on your phone! Access our SCHED here: https://vastaconference2016.sched.org 

NOTE: DO NOT go to the app store to get SCHED. The website link functions like an app and you can sign in from your laptop and/or save the link to the home screen on your phone.

Sched Questions?  Please email james.macon.grant@ttu.edu

The evening of Wednesday, August 10 will be devoted to a special presentation: Workshop with Lessac Kinesthensics with Master Teachers Barry Kur, Nancy Krebs, and Deborah Kinghorn. This workshop is designed to acquaint or reacquaint VASTA members with the sensory learning process devised by Arthur Lessac. These three teachers were appointed master teachers by Arthur Lessac and Sue Ann Park. This workshop will explore the basic body and vocal energy principles and share the evolution of the training that is currently expanding to theatre programs throughout the world.
Letting Legacy Evolve: The morning of Thursday, August 11, VASTA members will be led in song by Old Town School of Folk Music teachers Sue Demel and Bill Brickey, accompanied by John Erickson. Whether it’s scatting, chanting, collaborating, or writing, Sue explodes the preconceived notions of singing. As a founding and current member of folk trio Sons of the Never Wrong, Sue tours nationally, performing original acoustic music. Sue is an ensemble member of gospel/jazz septet Come Sunday, who recently returned from a South American tour. Bill, a lifetime performing artist, has been a captivating influence on artists and audiences in Chicago for years. Also a member of Come Sunday, he infuses soul and funk into the palette of his singer songwriter roots. 



Please remember that you must be a current member of VASTA and logged in to register for the conference at the member rate. Confirm that your member profile is up to date.

Registration Fee:

Non-Member Registration Fee: $330 (Before 05/08/16); $380 (After 05/08/16)

VASTA Member Registration Fee
: $250.00 (Before 05/08/16); $300.00 (After 05/08/16)

VASTA Student, Retired, Distinguished Member Registration Fee: $150.00 (Before 05/08/16); $200.00 (After 05/08/16) Student must be enrolled in an academic institution.


If your plans change after you register, please contact VASTA's Treasurer Artemis Preeshl. (treasurer@vasta.org). After June 15th, you will only receive 50% of your original payment.


To contribute to the new “VASTA Member-Sponsored Conference Scholarship” supporting member attendance at future conferences, indicate the amount you want to give.

Donate Here

VASTA or PAVA Member $300.00
Student/Retired/Distinguished Member Price $200.00
Non-Member $380.00
Early Registration Discount $50.00
Early Registration Cutoff 2016-05-08
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