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VASTA@ATHE 2023 — Call To Action

VASTA@ATHE 2023 — Call To Action

In commitment to ATHE’s Call To Action-oriented sessions, our aim is to transform and mobilize our individual, interpersonal, and institutional practices. We strive to meet the urgent conversations of dismantling the ongoing harm of white supremacy, institutional racism, and anti-Blackness within the voice and speech field. As a call to action, VASTA@ATHE held open forums to hear the questions that were percolating amongst our colleagues in the VASTA Focus Group and adapted our call to meet those interests. Thus, VASTA@ATHE is strongly committed to a more equitable approach of building round table panels with a minimum of 5-6 scholars and artists of different genders, races/ethnicities, sexual orientations and abilities. We aim to gain a broader insight into voice and speech practices by way of these 6 topics, which were among the most prevalent in our discussions.

1. Certifications 

What is the value of certifications? What are the benefits of having a certification process and community of shared pedagogy?  What role does having a certification play in the academic job market? Do methodology silos encourage or discourage conversation, and how can we create more dialogue and intersection along our method families? Are some certification processes rooted in white-Eurocentric training and if so, how do we make them more inclusive? Who is teaching multiple pedagogies or is multi-certified – how does this expand your understanding of voice and speech pedagogy in the classroom?  Should we restructure programs to offer a broader array of voice and speech training? How can the field be more inclusive about training and diversify access for people who are unable to afford the costs? Additional related topics are also welcomed. 

2. Dialects

Is the training that is currently being offered accessible to all types of casting? How do we build culturally responsive pedagogy to meet the needs of students and where they are in self-identification? How can we be culturally responsive without tokenism? What are you doing successfully in the classroom and in practice to prevent tokenism? How can we promote inclusivity and empower students to appropriate resources? How do we prepare for real world situations while empowering the students/practitioners to rebuild it? How to self-manage when a director or casting director suggests a certain sound/dialect? Are we training students to sound ‘neutral’ and is that neutrality rooted in colonialism? Is there value in ‘neutral’? Additional related topics are also welcomed. 

3. “Yes, and….” or, “So I Am Basically Just Doing It wrong?”

How can we negotiate language in the classroom to facilitate more personalized and authentic sound? Does too much positivity read as false assessment? How can we normalize what students perceive as failure/getting it wrong and let it be celebrated as growth potential? What are some tools to help students learn to affirm success? Conversely, how do we help students who have a false assessment of progress?  How do we meet students where they are so they can embrace a spectrum of possible outcomes, not a simple right or wrong, that will lead them to self-discoveries and a willingness to explore? Additional related topics are also welcomed.

4. Centering Care

How do we explore emotional texts more safely? How can we continue to cultivate curiosity and empowerment in going where the text requires us to go? What is the line between safety and discomfort and how do we work and navigate between them conscientiously?  What’s the process in supporting student agency in learning how to regulate the range of emotions when approaching the unfamiliar? What role does catharsis play and how do we experience it? What changes have you made in your pedagogy, teaching, and learning to center care of students and self? Additional related topics are also welcomed.

5. Voice, Speech, and Dialect Practitioners Navigating Multi-Disciplinary Spaces

How can voice practitioners be used most effectively throughout the rehearsal process? What are some examples of positive work being done to prevent voice practitioners coming into production at the 11th hour? What are the ways to build a multi-disciplinary approach to equitable and achievable production success?  What possibilities exist to collaborate effectively with practitioners of various disciplines and backgrounds to amplify diverse voices in a non-hierarchical way? What are you craving more of as a voice specialist navigating rehearsals? What is successful and how can we continue to implement these successes into future rehearsal and productions? Additional related topics are also welcomed.

6. Your Panel Goes Here!

Have an idea or something you are interested in presenting? Build a round table panel, and let us help bring it to fruition!


If interested in joining a roundtable, chairing a session, or offering your own roundtable, please send an email and include your name, institution, position title, city & state, names of participants, and contact information to:

Matt Greenberg, Conference Planner (, Irene Alby, Assistant Conference Planner ( and Matthew Rossoff, VASTA Focus Group Rep ( by 12/5/2022.

If you are interested in a multi-disciplinary panel, you need to have sponsorship from both focus groups. Once we have received and built panels, we will email your confirmation to submit your information through the ATHE Portal by 12/12/22

New for this year, ATHE is encouraging Focus Group intersections so your panel may be connected to a conversation that’s happening elsewhere in the conference. 


Important Deadlines:

If you want to know about ATHE, in general, all of this information is available at the ATHE website:

If you have questions or need assistance with your proposal, contact the ATHE/VASTA Conference Team here: Conference Planning Team

Matthew Rossoff, VASTA Focus Group Rep and

Matt Greenberg, Conference Planner

Irene Alby, Assistant Conference Planner