October 2020 update on live performances and events at the NAC.
Steve O'Connell © Paul Daly
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Steve O'Connell © Paul Daly
Theatre Drama
“Between Breaths is a compelling and compassionate show.”  The Telegram

NAC English Theatre Collaboration

An Artistic Fraud of Newfoundland (St. John's) Production

In the final moments of his extraordinary life, east coast whale researcher Jon Lien tried desperately to tell his wife something, which she struggled to understand.

Between Breaths floats through the inspiring career of the man who freed more than 500 whales from fishing nets. From his unexpected first encounter with a whale, Lien worked to earn the trust of the injured giants, as well as the fishermen whose nets accidentally entrapped them.

With an evocative, live score by The Once, this moving work by renowned playwright Robert Chafe (The Colony of Unrequited Dreams) examines what it means to find your passion and how to let it go. 

Performance is approximately 70 minutes with no intermission.

Steve O'Connell © Paul Daly
Berni Stapleton, Steve O'Connell © Rich Blenkinsopp
Darryl Hopkins, Steve O'Connell © Ritche Perez
Darryl Hopkins, Steve O'Connell © Ritche Perez
Berni Stapleton, Steve O'Connell © Ritche Perez


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  • By Robert Chafe
  • Music composed and arranged by The Once
  • Directed by Jillian Keiley
  • Featuring Steve O’Connell, Berni Stapleton, Darryl Hopkins, Brianna Gosse, Steve Maloney and Kevin Woolridge
  • Additional arrangements Duane Andrews Additional arrangements Duane Andrews
  • Musical Director Kellie Walsh Musical Director Kellie Walsh
  • Dramaturg Iris Turcott
  • Dramaturg Sarah Garton Stanley
  • Costume and Set Designer Shawn Kerwin
  • Lighting Designer Leigh Ann Vardy
  • Sound Designer and Technical Director Brian Kenny
  • Assistant Director Sharon King-Campbell
  • Assistant Lighting Designer Emily Soussana
  • Stage Manager and Production Manager Mara Bredovskis
  • Assistant Sound Designer Pat Dempsey
  • Managing Producer Patrick Foran