Voices From the Four Directions – a fundraiser for the Victoria Women’s Sexual Assault Centre

Voices From The Four Directions:

The poetry and prose of International Who’s Who Author and Poet, Dr. Stanley K. Freiberg, will be read by notable teachers, writers and actors on the evenings of October 18thand 19th at  St. Ann’s Academy on 835 Humboldt Street.  Proceeds from the evening will benefit the Victoria  Women’s Sexual Assault Centre.

Retired from the University of Calgary, Freiberg is a  William Blake  scholar and specialist in the English Romantic period. He has taught at universities in the United States, five Canadian provinces, and the University of Baghdad.

I’m not familiar with Freiberg’s work, but know many of the individuals involved in this fundraiser.  It will be an opportunity to experience a new-to-me author, and support a most worthwhile charity.

Voices From The Four Directions

Selections from Freiberg’s  works will be read under the direction of accomplished director and actress Naomi Simpson. Her most recent appearance was in Chekov’s Uncle Vanya for the Blue Bridge Theatre. She directed  In The Next Room and also acted  in KafkaThe Musical  for Theatre Inconnu.  Other local appearances include The Crackwalker, Copenhagen, and Langham Court’s The Beauty Queen of Leenane.

The list of educators and artists who will be reading works under Simpson’s direction attests to both active responses and dedication to literary experience. The distinguished readers include:

Juliana Saxton, Professor Emeritus of the University of Victoria Department of Theatre. Prof. Saxton is co-author of In Story, a study of language in action through drama, and Asking Better Questions, a teaching manual.   Among her many distinctions is the University of Victoria Alumni Teaching of Excellence award. She serves as Deputy University Orator.

Iris MacGregor Bannerman trained in the U.K and is a former member of The Royal Shakespeare Theatre Company. She has worked at the Stratford Festival Theatre both as an actor and voice coach. She has taught at The National Theatre School in Montreal and for many years was the Head of Acting at The Ryerson Theatre School in Toronto. She is Professor Emeritus of Ryerson University.  Her doctorate degree is from the University of Toronto. Since moving to British Columbia, she has worked at the Canadian College for Performing Arts and is currently coaching at The Railtown Actors Studio in Vancouver.

Fran Gebhard, is an acting teacher at The University of Victoria who has performed numerous roles in theatres across Canada. For the Phoenix Theatre, she has directed You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown , The Marowitz Hamlet (co-directed with Charles Marowitz), Wreckage, The School for Scandal , and Crackpot. Direction for other productions include Les Liaisons Dangereuses, The Affections of May, Twelfth Night,  A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and For the Pleasure of Seeing Her Again.  Film and television credits include Blue City Slammers (for which she received a Genie nomination ) The Chris Issak Show, Dead Zone, Taken, and Case No.39.

Amanda Lisman, after three years of stardom in significant and  leading roles at the  Stratford Shakespeare Festival, returned to Victoria,  performed in Shaw’s Arms and the Man, and became a celebrated addition to Blue Bridge Theatre.  Her achievements in classical theatre such as in Titus Andronicus and Cyrano de Bergerac at the Stratford Festival were underlined lately in her role as Yelena in Chekov’s Uncle Vanya for  Blue Bridge Repertory Theatre.

Susie Mullen: Chicago-born and bred, Susie has performed in Chicago, Tucson, Seattle, and Victoria.   This summer she was seen as Mistress Quickly in Merry Wives of Windsor for the Victoria Shakespeare Festival.   In November she will reprise the role of Pauline in Elisabeth Wagner’s The Passionate Muse: The Life and Music of Pauline Viardot-Garcia  with shows in Victoria and Regina.

Julian Cervello is the proprietor of Scrumpy Theatre and has created three Chaucer-related solo shows: Canterbury Cocktails, The Wyfe of Bathe, and The Friar Versus the Summoner.  Among his many acting appearances have been  three plays at the Greater Victoria Shakespeare Festival;  The War of Eagles for  Kaleidoscope Theatre;  In the Next Room and  The Crackwalker  for Theatre Inconnu; and Henry IV part I for Keep It Simple Theatre. He has made notable appearances in Atomic Vaudeville and the  Derwin Blanshard Show.

Brian Linds has performed with Blue Bridge Theatre in Brighton Beach Memoir,Uncle Vanya, Arms and The Man, Of Mice and Men, Blithe Spirit. Fire, Death of a Salesman and As You Like It. At the Belfry he has been seen in A Christmas Carol, 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Urinetown, Art, Patience, and Picasso at The Lapine Agile.. His one-man solo pieces, Iso Tank and Lucid Moment were commissioned for the 2010 and 2013 Spark Festival. Other local appearances include Hockey Mom, Hockey Dad with The Other Guys Theatre and The Jospephine Knot with Bombus Theatre.

Making good use of his ability to stop cars using only his thumb, Shayne Avec l Grec has become a fixture in the national folk music and spoken word communities. Currently the poet laureate of the Brandon Folk Music and Art Festival, he has been twice nominated for an M-award as Victoria’s Favorite Spoken Word artist. He has toured the country many times, in many ways, advocating the “Hug Life.”

Two poems set to music by the author, “Once in Louisiana”  and “Elegy,” which were presented last fall by soloist Elisabeth Wagner and pianist Anna Cal at the Victoria Con-servatory of Music, will be repeated by the same celebrated artists during the evening.

Elisabeth Wagner, mezzo-soprano and playwright,  performs at recitals and features her  musical talents in the plays that she writes and mounts, Her Life and Music of  Pauline –Viardot Garcia, performed in Chicago in 2006, will return to Victoria this November. She has staged  The World of Cabaret, The House on Middagh Street, and, most recently, Earthly Delights: A Day in the Life of Colette. Elisabeth is a  former chair of the Capital Regional district Arts Advisory Committee.

Pianist Anna Cal holds Masters Degrees with  distinction in solo performance, collaborative music, and pedagogy. After her studies in Russia at the Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory in St. Petersburg, she spent two years in Italy as a soloist, voice coach, and repetiteur for opera productions. She collaborates with  Pacific Opera Victoria and is a senior teacher at the Victoria Conservatory of Music.

The program admission fee of $5 entitles the ticket holder to select either an earlier publication or a copy of the author’s 2013 work, Winged Chariots: A Study of Time, Texting, and the Wheels of War.

All program proceeds, donations, and funds from the purchase of works not provided for by the admission entitlement support the Woman’s Sexual Assault Centre of Victoria.


About @lacouvee

Community Builder. Catalyst. Speaker. Writer. Arts Advocate.

Passionate about bridging online and offline communities to effect positive change.

I truly believe that one person can make a difference and that we all have our own lives to live, creatively, while respecting the unique nature of others.


  1. […] had the opportunity to hear Wagner sing during Voices From The Four Directions, and would recommend this recital for aficionados of art […]

  2. […] attended Voices from the Four Directions  last year and remarked on the quality, not only of the work but also of  the assembled group of […]

  3. […] was first introduced to Wagner at Voices From the Four Directions—celebrating the poetry and music of Dr. Stanley K Freiberg.  This salon-style evening—at which […]

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