In Celebration of National Recovery Month: Theater, Moby Dick, and The Opiate Epidemic in Maine

A painting of a syringe with a tall ship in the background and text that says 'The Ahab Inside Me A High Seas Blues Opera A Forty Hour Club Production'

The Ahab Inside Me – A High-Seas Blues Opera Sails into Augusta September 2, 3, & 4

From acclaimed Maine playwright Michael Gorman of the famed La MaMa Theatre in N.Y.C., comes a NEW ground-breaking Blues Opera and epic tale of addiction, obsession, and recovery.

In a tale that stretches across generations and ancients—lost mariners, lost souls, lost lives – The Ahab Inside Me is a provocative and challenging new musical theater production that explores the traumatic impact of a fatal overdose on a fishing family and the inspiring efforts of the community to address the destructive roots of addiction.

Drawing inspiration from Melville’s Moby Dick and Ahab’s obsessive pursuit of the White Whale, Gorman and his crew – The Forty Hour Club – a collective of independent artists dedicated to bringing awareness to the issue of opiate addiction in the commercial fishing community of Maine and New England, will premiere The Ahab Inside Me at the historic Colonial Theater in downtown Augusta—a theater undergoing a “rehab” of its own and where a renewed effort is underway to restore the theater and bring it back to life for the cultural and economic benefit of Augusta.

Directed by Joe John Battista (Artistic Director of The 13th Street Repertory Company in NYC), this thrilling production will incorporate original live music and song (with full blues/rock band), spoken word, dramatic performance, commentary choruses, community participation, and more—to restore connections lost or frayed by the compound crises of the opiate epidemic and COVID.

Performers will include community members of all ages, from both the theater and recovery communities, as well as professional actors, singers and musicians from Maine, New York City, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and California.

In addition, a series of audience talk-backs are scheduled following the performances. On Friday, September 2nd Gordon Smith, State of Maine Director of Opioid Response will moderate an audience talk-back and discussion with State and local leaders working at the forefront of recovery and harm reduction in Maine. And, on Sunday, September 4th artist and activist Peter Bruun will moderate an audience talk-back and discussion with David Greenham, the Executive Director of The Maine Arts Commission and others.

The production is supported by a Project Grant from The Maine Arts Commission, an independent state agency supported by The National Endowment for the Arts.

Performance Times:

  • Friday, September 2nd at 7:00 pm (with an audience talk-back led by a panel of leaders from the Addiction & Recovery Community as well as the playwright and performers in the show).
  • Saturday, September 3rd at 7:00 pm
  • Sunday, September 4th at 3:00 pm (with an audience talk-back led by a panel of leaders from the Arts Community as well as the playwright and performers in the show).


  • $25 suggested donation, per person (a pay-what-you-can option is also available).
  • Tickets and more information at:

The production is being staged in recognition and celebration of National Recovery Month, a National observance held every September to educate Americans about substance use disorder and treatment.