Dear Rita

A musical celebration of Cape Breton's first lady of song

JULY 30 - AUGUST 25, 2024

Featuring the music of Rita MacNeil

Featuring Julie Martell, Lindsay Kyte, with Ian Sherwood, Lisa Nasson and Michelle Yu 
Created by Lindsay Kyte and Mike Ross.  Arrangements by Mike Ross.
Directed By Samantha Wilson

Dear Rita is a musical celebration of Rita MacNeil — an iconic Canadian storyteller who invited us to see ourselves in her music. Rita herself said her life story is “something you could pretty well put anyone into. It’s about one person, but so many of us could be there.” Cape Breton playwright Lindsay Kyte was chosen by Rita’s son, Wade Langham, to develop this show, featuring a cast of six and band, and new, re-imagined arrangements of Rita’s music by PEI composer/musician Mike Ross.

Through her career MacNeil was at the time the best selling country artist in Canada, received five honorary degrees, released 24 albums, won three Juno Awards, a SOCAN National Achievement Award, four CCMA awards, eleven ECMA awards, was inducted into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame and was named to the Orders of Nova Scotia and Canada.

From Rita’s popular hits to the lesser-known songs that made her bandmates cry like babies, DEAR RITA weaves Rita’s lyrics into new perspectives and invites her spirit into the room as her songs live on through our own experiences. Who is “Rita” in this show? It’s not one person. We all are — everyone on that stage, everyone in the audience, and everyone whose hearts she has touched with the musical prayers of her people.

Created by Lindsay Kyte and Mike Ross, featuring the music of Rita MacNeil with arrangements by Mike Ross. The cast includes actor-musicians who both sing and play instruments, channeling MacNeil’s stories and spirit through their own identities as opposed to a literal depiction of the Canadian icon herself.

Dear Rita was commissioned and first produced by the Confederation Centre of the Arts for the Charlottetown Festival in 2021. It was developed with dramaturgical support from Playwrights Atlantic Resource Centre. Dear Rita is produced by permission of the Creators and Marquis Literary (Colin Rivers). www.MQlit.ca.

 

 


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KEY PERFORMANCES

MASKED PERFORMANCE
Sunday, August 11 - 2pm

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We gratefully thank our sponsors for their generous support:

 

 

THE CAST


Julie Martell
Lindsay Kyte
Ian Sherwood
Michelle Yu
Lisa Nasson

CREATIVE TEAM

Director Samantha Wilson 
Music Director Avery-Jean Brennan 
Movement Director Rebecca Wolfe 
Scenic Designer Lucas Arab 
Costume Stylist Kaelen MacDonald 
Lighting Designer Leigh Ann Vardy 
Sound Designer Joe Micallef
Stage Manager June Zinck
Assistant Stage Manager Laura Larson
Chrysalis Lighting Orion Gokiert

 


Our subscription packages are guaranteed to be the best savings on tickets this season

BUILD YOUR PACKAGE



KEY PERFORMANCES

MASKED PERFORMANCE
Sunday, August 11 - 2pm

Thank you to our Fountain Hall Season Sponsor:

Thank you to our Partner:

We gratefully thank our sponsors for their generous support:

 

 

 

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Neptune Theatre is located on sacred land that has been the site of human activity since time immemorial.
We are in Mi’kma’ki, the ancestral and unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq, and we acknowledge them as the past, present, and future caretakers of this land.