Ben Caplan in Old Stock [Stoo Metz Photography]

Charlottetown Festival

Confederation Centre of the Arts

Three Mainstage musicals and Young Company production

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The Charlottetown Festival returns with three musicals on the Mainstage at Confederation Centre of the Arts in Charlottetown: Dear Rita, Between Breaths and OLD STOCK: A Refugee Love Story; as well as THE RISING! from the Young Company. The 2021 Festival will run from June 3 to September 4.

Festival tickets can be purchased online at, via phone at 1-800-565-0278, or in person at the box office.

Between Breaths

June 3–19

Inspired by a true story, Between Breaths sails through the journey of Newfoundland’s Dr. Jon Lien, who spent his life’s work saving whales trapped in fishing nets. “The Whale Man” rescued over 500 whales and earned the respect of the province’s fishers, but his biggest fight came late in life as dementia threatened his body and mind.

Featuring a live score composed by St. John’s based trio The Once, Between Breaths is a profound play about the parts of ourselves we hold on to after everything else is gone.

Dear Rita

June 29–August 6

Dear Rita, a musical toast celebrating the life, tenacity, and musical legacy of singer and songwriter, Rita MacNeil will make its world premiere in 2021. The cabaret musical is woven around a script by Cape Breton’s Lindsay Kyte featuring traditional and new, re-imagined arrangements of Rita’s songs. Music direction, orchestration and arrangement is by PEI’s Mike Ross.featuring traditional and new, re-imagined arrangements of Rita’s songs.

OLD STOCK: A Refugee Love Story

August 12–September 4

Making its Island premiere is the internationally-acclaimed OLD STOCK: A Refugee Love Story, presented by Nova Scotia’s 2b Theatre Company. The life-affirming musical tells the true story of two Romanian refugees meeting at Halifax’s Pier 21 as they await entry into Canada. The story moves forward to their lives as a couple in Montreal and backward to the horrors of the Continent

Starring East Coast sensation Ben Caplan, this Klezmer music-theatre hybrid explores how to love and find a shared humanity after facing the horrors of war.


July 9–August 21

The 2021 Festival will also mark the return of the Confederation Centre Young Company, in partnership with TD Ready Commitment.

The Young Company will perform the new production THE RISING!—a high-energy journey exploring protest music and moments in time where society stood up for civil and judicial rights. Weaving songs from such artists as Tracy Chapman, Lady Gaga, Macklemore, CCR, and Bob Marley,  THE RISING! is about striving for a better and more equitable humanity. This production will be presented in the outdoor amphitheatre.