"Taking on Water" by Robert Chafe is a captivating and innovative theatrical work that blends drama and music to explore the dynamic and challenging lives of people living in coastal communities. This project, which premiered at the 2023 Tuckamore Festival, was born from Chafe's extensive interview tour in eastern Newfoundland during the fall of 2021. During this tour, he engaged with residents, delving into their reasons for choosing to live in these unique coastal areas and their visions for the future amidst the changing ocean landscape.
The work presents five original stories by Chafe, characterized by magic realism. These stories are not just fictional narratives; they are deeply rooted in the real-life experiences and sentiments of the coastal communities, depicting tales of unprecedented challenges, unyielding optimism, and occasionally, the surreal. The stories elegantly marry the themes of love, risk, and resilience, providing a fresh perspective on life at the edge of an evolving oceanic environment.
Accompanying these narratives is the music of Randolph Peters, brought to life by the performances of Duo Concertante. This musical element adds an emotive layer to the stories, enhancing their impact and depth. The combined effect of Chafe's storytelling and Peters' music offers a unique and immersive experience that invites audiences to rethink their understanding of ocean communities and the intricate relationship between humans and the natural world.
"Taking on Water" is more than a theatrical production; it's a reflection of the lives of those who have their existence intertwined with the ocean. It's a celebration of their resilience and a poignant reminder of the ever-present changes that these communities face. By intertwining real-life stories with artistic expression, Chafe not only entertains but also educates and enlightens, offering a window into a world that many may not be familiar with. The project's tour following its premiere at the Tuckamore Festival allowed for a wider audience to engage with these compelling stories and themes.
You can learn more about "Taking on Water" here.
Grand Falls-Windsor, NL
Corner Brook, NL
Performing arts, spectator sports and related industries