ATHE 2018: 

Theatres of Revolution: Performance, Pedagogy, and Protest,

Boston, MA: August 1-5

Dear VASTA Members,


ATHE has sent out proposal acceptance letters for the August conference and we are excited for the various workshops and presentations that were submitted. We look forward to seeing all of your work!


The VASTA Debut Panel has been assembled with four new members that will be making there very first presentations for VASTA at ATHE!  We welcome Tootie Larios McCarthy, RRT (Registered Rodenburg Teacher) and owner and private teacher at The Uncommon Voice in the Boston area and she will be giving an overview of the methodology taught by Patsy Rodenburg and an in-depth focus on vocal warm-up.  Next is Designated Linklater Teacher Dianna Cortez making her debut conference appearance and she will share her exploration of applying the Linklater approach into singing with a focus on an embodied warm up using imagery to support the technical work and the technical awareness to support the image leading participants into singing from the heart. Dianna has a background in Classical singing and is a New York City based actor, singer, director and voice/dialect coach.  She is currently an Adjunct Professor of Voice and Speech for the NYU students at The Lee Strasberg Institute, as well as students at Syracuse University/Tepper Program in NYC (B.F.A), Circle in the Square Drama School, PACE University (B.A.-Film/TV/Commercial/Voice Over), The Linklater Center for Voice and Language, and works with clients in her private studio in NYC.  Jennifer Scapetis-Tycer is an Assistant Professor of Voice and Speech at the University of Connecticut and will be sharing an experiential exercise aimed at teaching the basic intonation pattern of a given accent.  It draws on inspiration from other notable accent coaches and asks:  Can well-known songs help us learn the intonation pattern of an accent?  The exercise will involve singing songs chosen for the musical intervals they contain and then linking that patterning to the accent.   Finally, Evan Mueller, Assistant Professor, Voice/Acting at Western Washington University will explore ‘visceral joy’ in using the speech sounds that he explores in voice and speech class.   He believes students are often able to talk about their speech, and use IPA to describe speech, but they don’t easily come to an understanding of how our speech skills play an essential role in truthful acting.  He will share an exercise that he has developed and adapted using the principle of onomatopoeia, and using the simple ‘fun’ of onomatopoeia to help students connect the experience of each sound to the experience of each word, and to further explore the way onomatopoetic speech sounds combine in playful ways to create all the words that build the text.  The authentic discovery and enjoyment of the sounds in language leads to a truthful and vocally rich experience with text, heightened or otherwise.   


I hope I have peaked your interest and that you may decide to come to ATHE this year to see all the wonderful work VASTA members are contributing to the world of theatre in academia and beyond. I also encourage you to think about submitting a proposal and joining VASTA at ATHE  in Orlando 2019. More to come!


All best,

Marie Ramirez Downing

VASTA Focus Group Conference Planner