Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts



First Advisor

Noreen Barnes

Second Advisor

Tawnya Pettiford-Wates

Third Advisor

Janet Rodgers


THE VOICE OF RITUAL: AN EXPLORATION TEACHING BODY AND BREATH USING THE PEDAGOGICAL PRINCIPLES OF RITUAL POETIC DRAMA WITHIN THE AFRICAN CONTINUUM By Jacquelynn Rae Camden, MFA Candidate A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Fine Arts Theatre Pedagogy: Voice and Speech & Ritual Poetic Drama Within the African Continuum at Virginia Commonwealth University. Virginia Commonwealth University, 2012 Major Director: Dr. Tawnya Pettiford-Wates, Theatre The focus of my undergraduate training and the concentration of my graduate work have been specifically in two areas: Ritual Poetic Drama Within the African Continuum under the tutelage of Dr. Tawnya Pettiford-Wates, and Voice and Speech with Janet B. Rodgers. I spent my undergraduate years learning and absorbing the material and philosophy of both Rodgers and Pettiford-Wates, and in my first year of graduate work, I was able to study their teaching principles and methodologies within the classroom as a teaching assistant. I was also fortunate enough to study the teaching principles of fellow graduate students within both concentrations: Ritual Poetic Drama Within the African Continuum and Voice & Speech. It is my intention with this thesis, to explain how and why I decided to integrate some of the teaching methodologies of RPDWTAC into the Second Year Voice & Speech course I taught in the fall of 2010, which focused on body and breath. It is my belief that these particular practices of Ritual Poetic Drama within the African Continuum as applied to the Junior Acting Studio are also beneficial in the pedagogy of Voice and Speech in the classroom, because such practices create an environment that encourages the building of an artistic community, personal responsibility, and the freeing of the artist’s body, mind, and spirit, resulting in the freeing of the voice as well.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

May 2012