Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2019

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

First Advisor

Beth Osnes

Second Advisor

Marcos Steuernagel

Third Advisor

Oliver Gerland

Abstract

This study assesses the impact theatre based vocal empowerment activities can have on young Egyptian women’s self-perception of their ability to contribute to sustainable development. Through the presentation and analysis of the qualitative and quantitative data collected from 55 participants from conducting the SPEAK: Vocal Empowerment curriculum in Alexandria and Aswan, Egypt between June - July 2018. This study depicts how the change in perceived self efficacy, voice quality and content of participants’ speech in English and in Arabic impacts self-authorship. The intensive 12-session curriculum engages young women in a series of theatre activities and vocal exercises including self-authored skits, devised songs and personal declarations, developed by applied theatre practitioners and speech, language pathologists to target multiple aspects of vocal empowerment—physical, emotional, psychological, and ethical—enabling young women to achieve a greater sense of ownership of their voices and confidence in their bodies. Vocal empowerment is the belief that what you say is worthwhile, your voice belongs to you, and that you have the right for self-authorship.

This data reflects how vocal empowerment can assist young Egyptian women decolonize their minds, help reduce their disidenitification from their native culture, and reinstate their self-perception in their ability to contribute effectively to sustainable development in their communities. The study dismantles the perception in Egypt by the young women in this study that proficiency in the English language is a necessary tool for effective contribution to sustainable development. It emphasises how increased vocal efficacy is one useful step for young Egyptian women to reclaim their suppressed voices within a postcolonial community and increase their desire to sustainably develop the country.

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