CAHSS Faculty Articles


Vocal Traditions: Acting and Singing with Archetypes


Department of Performing and Visual Arts

Publication Date


Publication Title

Voice and Speech Review




Vocal Traditions is a series in the Voice and Speech Review that highlights historically important voice teachers and schools of thought in the world of vocal pedagogy. This essay will present a pedagogical method which is codified in the book, Acting and Singing with Archetypes, by Janet Rodgers and Frankie Armstrong. The concept of archetypes or universal forms is present in all cultures of the world, throughout their existence. Janet and Frankie created a series of explorations called “Journeys” using the ubiquitous and primordial archetypes of mother, lover, trickster, spiritual, temporal leader, devil, and others as starting points for character development in performance. Discovery during the journeys expands the participant connecting by experience to others and to different times and places. The practice sheds new light on possibilities using the voice, body, and psyche, and it opens pathways to access creativity for application in performance. After an overview of the work, including a brief history and information about the founders, the article gives a description of a Vocal Archetype session and details of the certification process.



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