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VASTA Virtual Conference: Meet Two Keynote Speakers

Sammi Grant  | Published on 6/28/2021

Meet two of the keynote speakers for the 2021 VASTA Virtual Conference! 

Lisa Cromarty - Friday, July 30th

Lisa Cromarty is an Anishinabe and Oji-Cree actress and voice coach residing in Northern Ontario. She is a member of Wikwemikong Unceded Indian Reserve located on Manitoulin Island, ON. Lisa is a faculty member of the Centre for Indigenous Theatre (Toronto, ON) where she teaches Voice and Text as well as a part of the coaching team at the Stratford Theatre Festival (Stratford, ON). She holds a BA in Indigenous Studies from Trent University, alumni to the Centre for Indigenous Theatre and Canada’s National Voice Intensive. As a vocal coach, Lisa has been fortunate to receive professional mentorship training with the Stratford Theatre Festival Coaching Team as well as at the National Theatre School with their Head of Voice.

In voice work, Lisa’s interests lie in learning and reclaiming her ancestral language, anishinabemowin, a language that directly connects to this land. Right now in her journey, Lisa is exploring how she can bridge her anishinabe culture with her contemporary voice and text training to move forward as a voice coach that could serve all but with a special place for Indigenous youth who wish to pursue acting, performance and self-discovery.


Tré Cotten - Saturday, July 31st

After graduating from The University of Washington’s MFA- Acting program, Tré has been touring the country and the world re-examining and redefining his own voice teaching approach that he has titled, “Freeing the Black and Indigenous Voice: Where does the music of a people meet with heightened text?” Tré has been seen on stages spanning across North America as an performer. He has recently been acknowledged in the New York and Los Angeles Times for his work as Dialect Coach for Eli Goree (Cassius Clay) and Leslie Odom Jr.’s Academy Award Nominated performance as Sam Cooke in Regina King’s Directorial debut, ‘One Night in Miami’. He is a proud native of Clayton, NC.

Tré’s methodology is designed to decolonize the way heightened text is approached in the performing arts where Jazz and Hip-Hop coexist in the same world with the work of William Shakespeare. Too often, BIPOC storytellers are asked to use European approaches and techniques to truthfully live in imaginary circumstances. This work not only focus’ on the musical identity of a culture, but it breaks down the dance between the Breath and the Thought by using the music of a people as a template. The goal is to push forward and expand the palate of storytelling by, as Toni Morrison so boldly and eloquently teaches us, “to make sure that the white gaze was not the dominant one.”

CLICK HERE for details and to register!