Category Archives: On Stage

Full Cast Announced

Full Cast Announced For ‘DEAR RITA’ at The Charlottetown Festival

 World premiere will feature an ensemble of actor-musicians channeling Rita MacNeil’s songs and spirit

Tickets are “flying on their own” for this summer’s world premiere of Dear Rita,opening June 29 at The Charlottetown Festival. Sponsored by Key Murray Law, Dear Rita is a musical toast to ‘Cape Breton’s First Lady of Song’, celebrating the life, tenacity, and musical legacy of the late great, Rita MacNeil.

Confederation Centre of the Arts is pleased to announce the show’s cast of performers, including: Michelle Bouey (Lovers’ Lament), Sheldon Elter (Métis Mutt; Evangeline), Kristi Hansen (Citadel Theatre), Melissa MacKenzie (Good Girl), and Festival favourite, Brendan Wall.

Additional musical accompaniment is from guitar legend Chris Corrigan (P.E.I.), who in fact recorded and toured as Rita’s lead guitarist for many years; and drummer Trevor Grant.

“We picked songs from Rita’s catalogue, from her popular hits to ones that made her bandmates weep, and created narratives around these to offer new perspectives,” shares Kyte, the playwright. “I keep getting asked, ‘Who plays Rita?’ The answer is that it’s not one person. Everyone is Rita — everyone on the stage, and everyone whose heart she touched with her music. In Dear Rita, we invite Rita’s spirit into the room so her songs can live on through our own experiences.”

MacKenzie and Bouey share the distinction of both being Islanders making their Mainstage debuts in Dear Rita and are also both alums of the Confederation Centre Young Company. For Bouey’s part, she can’t wait to connect with audiences through Rita’s music. “I grew up listening to Rita MacNeil and watching her Christmas TV specials,” she shares. “To think that a small group of us get to honour her legacy on East Coast soil is so special”

An Edmonton native, Hansen is also marking her Festival debut, following turns with the NAC, Citadel Theatre, and Vertigo Theatre. Elter, Hansen’s husband is a versatile actor,  writer, and musician, known nationally for his one man show, Métis Mutt, which he performed at the Festival in 2018. His TV credits include CAUTION: May Contain   Nuts, Hank Williams’ First Nation, Delmer & Marta, and Hell on Wheels

Dear Rita is presented from June 29 to August 6. Festival tickets can be purchased online, via phone at 1 (800) 565.0278, or in person at the Centre’s box office. Shows will be presented with no intermission and concessions are to be ordered online in advance. 

Confederation Centre wishes to acknowledge the Department of Canadian Heritage, the Government of P.E.I., and the City of Charlottetown for their continued support. The title sponsor of The Charlottetown Festival is CIBC.

Theatre PEI


See It Before It’s Gone

This beautiful show from Newfoundland’s Artistic Fraud of Newfoundland closes Saturday. 🎟🐋🎭 Get tickets to any remaining performance for 20% off: Breaths at The Charlottetown Festival is sponsored by CAA Atlantic.

Pleasureville on the Horizon

Every small Canadian town needs a SEX SHOP, right? Come to Pleasureville to find out! What’s a city gal to do when she gets dumped, reno-victed, and has zero job prospects? Move to a small town and open a sex shop! Millennial Leah Bowman may have more experience with emojis than running a business, but she’s got a Masters in Human Sexuality, and a mission to destroy the stigma on female pleasure… The problem? Her only customer is a local granny named Rose, who talks her way into a job. Featuring one of the first non-binary characters written for professional Canadian theatre, Pleasureville invites us all to discover our blindspots. Written by Canadian actor/playwright Ellen Denny, this warm comedy is bursting with heart as its characters learn to claim their power and their pleasure. Tickets on sale now at and 902-620-3333.

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A Gem From Newfoundland

Between Breaths’: The Charlottetown Festival Returns with a Newfoundland Gem

-‘Breathtaking Performance’ coming to Confederation Centre’s Mainstage on June 3-

Inspired by the true story of Dr. Jon Lien – known as ‘the Whale Man’ – Between Breaths is a profound memory play that sails through Dr. Jon’s career and the death-defying work of saving whales trapped in fishing nets off Newfoundland. 

“I have always been drawn to true stories in the theatre”, offers Artistic Director of Performing Arts, Adam Brazier. “Experiencing real life stories on stage connects me to our past while demanding creativity from both the storytellers and the audience. Between Breaths reminds us how small we are and the immense influence we can have.” 

This dynamic memory play begins late in Dr. Jon’s life and moves backwards, to his first whale intervention. With his head down in freezing waters and armed only with a snorkel and knife, Dr. Jon would save the lives of over 500 animals and earn the hard-won respect of Newfoundland’s fishers. Featuring an evocative live score from Island favourites, The OnceBetween Breaths weaves dynamically from the Whale Man’s origins in the American Midwest, throughout his incredible career, right up to the biggest fight of his life—facing dementia in his later years.

Directed by Jillian Keiley (Artistic Director of the National Arts Centre) Between Breaths plays June 3-19 in the Mainstage Theatre. 

Sponsored by CAA Atlantic, the play features a tight-knit ensemble of Newfoundland-based actors and musicians. These include: Steve O’Connell as Dr. Jon Lien; Bernardine Stapleton as his wife and caregiver, Judy Lien; and Darryl Hopkins as Wayne the Fisher, and other roles. The actors are accompanied by Andrew Laite (vocals/guitar); Kelly McMichael (vocals); and Josh Sandu (mandolin/bodhran/vocals). 

Patron capacities continue to be limited to 300 per-performance and theatre seats are safely staggered. Shows will be presented with no intermission and concessions are to be ordered online in advance. Mask-wearing and social distancing remains mandatory throughout the Centre.

Theatre PEI


People Are Strange

We’re so excited to announce that joining us at the Kings Playhouse on Sunday, May 23rd as our opening act for Fascinating Maritime Ladies is Lizzy Strange!

Originally from Three Rivers, drag queen Lizzy Strange has performed to audiences across Atlantic Canada, Quebec, and Ontario. Now, performing in her hometown for the first time ever, Lizzy is ready to bring her zany act, filled with farce, camp, and a whole lot’a’glitter, to the stage at Kings Playhouse.

Tickets are only $15 and seating is limited. For tickets go to: or call 1(888)346-5666 or in person at 65 Grafton Street, Georgetown, PE.

Photo by Marc Boisvert.

Theatre PEI


Hitting the Trifecta

Get your tickets to our 3 Mainstage Series shows, playing from June 25 to August 14! Only 50 seats available per performance! (But more room for you to stretch out and get comfortable!) Plus, the bar is open, and we bring your drinks right to your seat!PLEASUREVILLE – an all-new Canadian comedy SINGALONG JUBILEE – a musical tribute to the hit 60s TV show TAPESTRY: A TRIBUTE TO CAROLE KING celebrates the 50th anniversary of the legendary album.Get your tickets now at , by phone at 902-620-3333 , or visit us on the corner of Richmond and Queen in Downtown Charlottetown! Come on out for a fun night on the town! (Or three! Buy tickets to all 3 shows for just $99 taxes in).

Theatre PEI


Live at the Pub

A great chance to see live theatre, please join us for the ACT COMMUNITY THEATRE FESTIVAL

Date: April 24, 2021, Starts at 1 pm, times approximateLocation: Fox and Crow Pub at UPEI Cost: Pay what you can, doors open at 11:30 and the pub will be serving food and drink.

1PM: Ferret Envy- Jyoti is in her late 20’s. She has just murdered her roommate’s ferret (Foozu) due to jealousy and wanting her roommate’s complete attention. Julia (her roommate) has just walked into their living room to find Jyoti with a knife over Foozu’s box.

1:30 Playground – An original absurdist comedy written by Malcolm Murray.

2:30 Apple Bones – An original mature drama by local playwright Jennifer Platts-Fanning. Imagine a world … a green era when procreation is problematic for the planet. Having children? … definitely frowned upon. But Mother Nature weaves her tale, and Lily’s rounded tummy provokes strong emotions and consequent mayhem.

3:30 Deenies Exit – An excerpt of an original work, written by Louise Burley. A 95 year old woman named Deenie (Doreen) is sick of old age: the physical hardships, the loneliness, the boredom etc. She decides to quietly stop eating and end the ordeal. She has a close friend Max who visits her at her retirement home and they read literature together. Deenie persuades Max that she and he should write a play about an old lady who decides to do herself in. Max doesn’t know the fiction is fact.

4:30 The Valiant – Written by Holworthy Hall and Robert Middlemass. The Valiant tells the story of James Dyke, a confessed murderer who has been sentenced to die and now awaits his fate on death row at a prison in Wethersfield, Connecticut. The only problem is that no one knows who he really is or where he comes from, and he is determined to take his secret to the grave.

Theatre PEI