Ambergris- An Environmental Installation & Performance

  • October 15, 2018


October 10, 2018


Environmental Installation and Performance on Portland’s Working Waterfront Explores the Roots of Addiction And New Models of Sustainable Fishing.

(Portland, Maine) – “Ambergris”, an environmental installation and performance by playwright Michael Gorman explores the roots of addiction and new models of sustainable fishing.   The piece is inspired by the economic devastation being caused by the ongoing opiate epidemic within commercial fishing communities in New England and beyond. 

“Ambergris” will take place on Saturday October 20 at 6:30 pm at Portland’s Fish Exchange and Net Yard on Portland’s working waterfront. The event will include the performance of scenes from Gorman’s new play “Chasing the New White Whale”, which draws inspiration from Moby Dick, and is part of Gorman's on-going project and arts & advocacy model that explores the current National opioid crisis through the unique lens of the fishing industry.

The event will also feature live musical accompaniment, video and photographic projections, an evolutional series of rolling boats (artistically suggestive models) including an ancient whaling harpoon boat and “The Ambergris”, and will include a spectacle invoking Ahab’s final thrilling chase in Moby Dick.  For this project, Gorman has also collaborated with three Maine visual artists whose work will be included in the installation.

Support for "Ambergris” is provided by the Kindling Fund, a grant administered by SPACE as part of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts Regional Re-granting Network, which Gorman was awarded earlier this year.

Gorman's work as a playwright and experimental theater artist explores the roots of the disease of addiction, and calls for a more compassionate understanding of addicts, as well as the tremendous need for more treatment and education.  Gorman is the founder of The Forty Hour Club, his current production company formed by a collective of independent artists dedicated to creating installations that ask the question, "To what consequence?" The productions focus on the economic, environmental and systemic destruction facing working communities and the paramount issue of sustainability.  Gorman’s newest work “Chasing The New White Whale” will premiere in New York City this fall at The Ellen Stewart Theater at La MaMa Theater, where he currently serves in the role of Playwright in Residence.

Gorman hopes to be able to attract a diverse audience to “Ambergris” including those working within the local fishing community; local addiction and recovery groups; and anyone interested in this unique arts and advocacy model.  There is a  $10 suggested donation or pay-what-you-can (at the door) which will go towards supporting this on-going project.

Location: The event will take place at The Portland Fish Exchange & “Net Yard” (6 Portland Fish Pier, Portland, ME— entrance off Commercial St. at Center St), in the heart of Portland’s working waterfront. This outdoor event starts at 6:30 pm (Nautical Twilight), and will run for approximately 1 hour.  Parking available at the Portland Fish Exchange parking lot. In case of inclement weather the event will be moved to 121 Cassidy Drive in Portland (just off of West Commercial Street).


 Organization Website:


Event Page:

About Playwright Michael Gorman:

About the playwright:



Ambergris” painting by artist Russ Cox (Portland, Maine).

Cox is one of the collaborating artists on Ambergris. He has generously donated this painting, which will aid in fundraising for continued work on this project.



Donna Daly— 207•542•5114


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Donna Daly

639 Main Street
Rockland  ME  04841