Oil and Water

By (author): Robert Chafe

In 1942 the USS Truxtun, a ship carrying over a hundred sailors, ran aground on the Burin Peninsula in Newfoundland, killing most of its men. Oil and Water is the incredible true story of the sole African American survivor of the wreck, Lanier Phillips, the first black man to be seen by some of the residents of the town of St. Lawrence. A haunting and hopeful tale of two cultures, Oil and Water is an honest legend that still resonates with power seventy years later.


Robert Chafe

Robert Chafe is a writer, educator, actor, and arts administrator based in St. John’s, Ktaqmkuk (Newfoundland). He 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, and include Oil and Water, Tempting Providence, Afterimage, Under Wraps, Between Breaths, Everybody Just C@lm the F#ck Down, and The Colony of Unrequited Dreams (adapted from the novel by Wayne Johnston). He has been shortlisted three times for the Governor General’s Literary Award for Drama and he won the award for Afterimage in 2010. He has been a guest instructor at Memorial University, Sir Wilfred Grenfell College, and the National Theatre School of Canada. In 2018 he was awarded an honorary doctorate from Memorial University. He is the playwright and artistic director of Artistic Fraud.


Oil and Water is devastating, fascinating, inspiring, unforgettable…”

– Andrea Nemetz, The Chronicle Herald

“Robert Chafe’s play is poetic, lyrical, and careful in developing the various stories so that when they mesh, the juxtaposition is transformative. ”

– Lynn Slotkin, The Slotkin Letter

“Script and storyline are touching and poignant. “

– The Telegram, St. John’s

“Magic in the theatre is rare to witness and hard to describe, but that indeed is what’s happening [with] Oil and Water… You will be transformed by this story which manages to combine the familiar with the unexpected, the simple with the complex and the carefully structured with the seemingly spontaneous. ”

– Richard Ouzounian, The Toronto Star


There are no awards found for this book.
Excerpts & Samples ×
There are no other resources for this book.

Reader Reviews

Accessibility Detail

Accessibility summary
EPUB Accessibility Specification 1.0 AA
Language tagging provided
Print-equivalent page numbering
Compliance web page for detailed accessibility information
Next / Previous structural navigation
Publisher contact for further accessibility information
Short alternative textual descriptions
No reading system accessibility options actively disabled (except)
Accessibility summary
A simple book with the cover, author, and logo images described. This book contains various accessibility features such as a table of contents, page list, landmarks, correct reading order, structural navigation, and semantic structure. A number of blank pages in the print equivalent book have been removed resulting in some pages not appearing in this digital EPUB. This publication conforms to WCAG 2.0 Level AA.
Table of contents navigation
Single logical reading order
Compliance certification by



112 Pages
8.37in * 5.37in * .28in


October 13, 2016



Book Subjects:

DRAMA / Canadian

Featured In:

All Books



No author posts found.

Related Blog Posts

There are no posts with this book.

Other books by Robert Chafe