NAC English Theatre Presents The Colony of Unrequited Dreams Based on the bestselling novel by Wayne Johnston Adapted by Robert Chafe Directed by Jillian Keiley

NAC English Theatre Presents  
The Colony of Unrequited Dreams

Based on the bestselling novel by Wayne Johnston
Adapted by Robert Chafe
Directed by Jillian Keiley

An Artistic Fraud of Newfoundland Production in Collaboration with NAC English Theatre
January 25 – February 11, 2017

January 11, 2017 – OTTAWA (Canada) – The set design and staging were kinetic, memorable, elemental. Desks, chairs, walls, and actors slid and curved into place like perfectly thrown curling stones – like the stage floor was made of smooth ice. I found myself wishing that Colony of Unrequited Dreams could be made into a mini-series.”

Based on the award-winning novel by Wayne Johnston, The Colony of Unrequited Dreams is a sweeping drama of personal and political ambition that follows soon-to-be Premier Joey Smallwood – the self-described “Last Father of Confederation” – as he propels the Dominion of Newfoundland into union with Canada in 1949.

Both saint and sinner, the charismatic, controversial Smallwood is hounded every step of the way by witty, booze-soaked reporter Sheilagh Fielding – his intellectual equal and lifelong nemesis.

At its heart, The Colony of Unrequited Dreams is the story of a man whose career is buoyed and sometimes sunk by his unresolved feelings for a woman he never allowed himself to love. It is also the story of Newfoundland’s final years as a country in its own right, the end of one cultural and political trajectory and the beginning of another.

“My collaborator Robert Chafe started working on Wayne Johnston’s epic in 2009. It was a nearly impossible task – a story spanning 25 years with the most unlikely hero and villain combined in one man as ever landed in our collective history.’ – Jillian Keiley

With a crackling narrative, sultry jazz score and a cast of 40 characters, The Colony of Unrequited Dreams is an epic and expansive retelling of a defining Canadian story.

Featuring Colin Furlong, Carmen Grant, Darryl Hopkins, Willow Kean, Brian Marler, Steve O’Connell, Jody Richardson, Paul Rowe, Charlie Tomlinson and Alison Woolridge.

Assisting Mr Chafe and Ms Keiley in bringing this story to the stage are Composer Patrick Boyle, Set Designer Shawn Kerwin, Costume Designer Marie Sharpe, Lighting Designer Leigh Ann Vardy, Sound Designer Don Ellis, Assistant Director Courtney Brown, Dramaturg Sarah Garton Stanley, Stage Manager Kai-Yue Chen, Assistant Stage Manager Crystal Laffoley, Producer/Production Manager Patrick Foran, Technical Director/Associate Sound Designer Brian Kenny and Directing Shadow Laura Caswell.

The Colony of Unrequited Dreams
January 25 – February 11, 2017
NAC Theatre

Wednesday, January 25 and Thursday, January 26
Friday, January 27

The Colony of Unrequited Dreams Points of View:
Saturday, January 28 at 12:45 p.m. in NAC Salon
Experience this English Theatre production through an encounter with two special guests, each offering their own unique perspective on the piece.

Wednesdays, February 1 and 8 and Thursdays, February 2 and 9.
Stay in your seats for a post-show question-and-answer session with cast members of The Colony of Unrequited Dreams

American Sign Language (A.S.L.) Presentation:
Sunday, February 5 at 2 p.m.
The NAC is continually striving to make theatre accessible to all audiences. In order to do so for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community, English Theatre presents an A.S.L. interpretation performance.

Performance Schedule:

Tuesday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday at 2 pm;

PLUS Sunday February 5 at 2 pm
(no performances on Mondays.)

From $25 to $75

Tickets are available:

  • Online on the NAC’s website:
  • In person at the NAC Box Office*
  • At all Ticketmaster outlets**
  • By telephone 1-888-991-2787**

*In person tickets for NAC 2016-17 performances can be purchased:
Welcome Centre
The Welcome Centre, located at 54 Elgin St. (corner of Queen St.) Monday to Friday, from 9am to 9pm and Saturday, from 10am to 9pm

Box Office Kiosk
Located in the NAC lobby. 

Open on event days only as of two hours prior to the first show start time until 15 minutes after the last show start time, and available for ticket pick-up and walk up purchases. 

**A service charge applies on all purchases made through Ticketmaster.

Groups of 10 or more contact or visit

Find out more about the NAC English Theatre on Facebook and YouTube. To discover some fascinating facts about The Colony of Unrequited Dreams visit

Extended Stay Canada is proud to be the Official Hotel Partner for the National Arts Centre English Theatre.



Sean Fitzpatrick
Communications Officer
National Arts Centre English Theatre
613 947 7000, x389