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Between Breaths

Between Breaths
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Author: Robert Chafe
Publisher: Playwrights Canada Press
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 128
Pub. Date: 2018
ISBN-10: 1770919015
ISBN-13: 9781770919013
Cast Size: 1 woman, 2 men

About the Play:

Between Breaths is a full-length drama by Robert Chafe. Based on the life of Dr. Jon Lien who became renowned for his dedication to the dangerous work of rescuing whales trapped in fishing nets off the coast of Newfoundland. This poignant story depicts his rescue efforts, which saved over 500 animals, and his own struggle with relentless paralysis and dementia.

Between Breaths is inspired by the true story of a Memorial University professor well known in Newfoundland as "the Whale Man". Dr. Jon Lien is a risk-taker and respected researcher, working for over twenty years in the dangerous waters off Newfoundland to rescue massive and frightened humpback whales and save the fishing gear in which they're accidentally trapped. With his head down in freezing waters and armed only with a snorkel and knife, Lien saves the lives of over five hundred whales while doing as little damage to the fishing gear as possible and earned the hard-won respect of Newfoundland's fishermen. But his toughest battle comes at the end of his life, as his body is slowly conquered by a relentlessly progressing paralysis and dementia. Between Breaths begins at the end of the American-turned-Newfoundlander's life, working backward to his very first whale intervention. As his life becomes further and further confined, his mind stretches back in memories of release and salvation. Between Breaths is a beautiful and poignant play about the parts of ourselves we hold on to after everything else has gone.

Between Breaths premiered in 2018 to a sold-out crowd at the historic LSPU Hall (so named as it was formerly owned by the Longshoremen's Protective Union) in the heart of downtown St. John's, Newfoundland. Since then the play had regional premieres at professional theatres across Canada.

Cast: 1 woman, 2 men

What people say:

"Between Breaths is truly a celebration of a remarkable person and the many amazing things he accomplished during his time on Earth, from helping whales, working with fishermen and promoting awareness for environmental conservation, to running a farm and raising a family." — The Telegram

About the Playwright:

Robert Chafe is a Canadian playwright and actor who has worked in theatre, dance, opera, radio, fiction and film. His stage plays have been seen in Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and in the United States. He has been shortlisted twice for the Governor General's Literary Award for Drama and he won the award for Afterimage in 2010. He has been guest instructor at Memorial University of Newfoundland, Sir Wilfred Grenfell College, and The National Theatre School of Canada. In 2018 he was awarded an honorary doctorate from Memorial University of Newfoundland. He is currently Playwright in Residence and director of Artistic Fraud Theater in St. John's Newfoundland.