ME - Blues Opera About Commercial Fishing, Opiate Addiction, and Moby Dick to Premiere in Rockland, Maine

“Never Leaving This Boat” - An Epic Tale by New England Playwright Michael Gorman Uses the Power of Live Performance to Address the Opioid Epidemic

ROCKLAND, Maine--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Never Leaving This Boat—Fragments of a Blues Opera, a provocative and challenging new work by Maine-based playwright Michael Gorman will premiere on the Rockland waterfront September 11th-12th during National Recovery Month. The performance charts the rise and fall of a young commercial fisherman through the intrusion of addiction and explores the role of myth and storytelling as both sustaining and destructive forces in a Northeast coastal fishing community.

Using Melville’s 19th-century monster in Moby Dick as a metaphor for the modern plague of opioid addiction, Gorman explores the ruinous effects of the opiate epidemic on the commercial fishing industry in a tale that stretches across generations and ancients—lost mariners, lost souls, lost lives.

Never Leaving This Boat will tap into the deep ritualistic healing power of the blues—incorporating original live music and song, spoken word, performance, community participation, and testimonials— to restore connections lost or frayed by the compound crises of the opiate epidemic and COVID.

“Now, more than ever, the time seems right to come together as a community to celebrate the spirit of the blues and the inspiring strength of human connection in the wake of adversity,” said Gorman. “The ultimate goal is to propel constructive change and help build resiliency in the face of challenges such as the opiate crisis.”

The production is part of Gorman’s on-going project Chasing The New White Whale—Harpooning Addiction—a performance-based art and advocacy model created by the playwright and his production company The Forty Hour Club—a collective of independent artist’s, contractors, builders, and supporters dedicated to bringing awareness to the issue of opiate addiction in the commercial fishing community of Maine and New England.

National Recovery Month is a national observance held every September to educate Americans about substance use disorder and treatment.

Performance Details:

Never Leaving This Boat
September 11, 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.
September 12, 3 p.m., including community talk-back
Steel House Amphitheater
639 Main Street, Rockland, Maine

Tickets and information at:


Donna Daly, OR 207-542-5114
Hi Res images available upon request

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