For Immediate Release

Artistic Director Jillian Keiley Leaves Role at Artistic Fraud Following Provincial ACC Tour of Oil and Water

St.John’s – An upcoming Arts and Culture Centre (ACC) tour of Artistic Fraud’s Oil and Water will be Jillian Keiley’s last  production with the company for some time as she embarks on  her new role as artistic director of the National Arts Centre’s (NAC) English theatre department.

Keiley said she leaves for her new role in August, but will return to NL occasionally for projects with Artistic Fraud. In the meantime, she is happy Oil and Water will tour her home province before she heads to Ottawa.

“I'm so proud of this project and the people who make it such a wonderful show,” Keiley said.  “It includes amazing artists from across the country and features some of the finest Newfoundland actors as well.”

Oil and Water, written by the company’s artistic associate and award-winning playwright Robert Chafe, is the retelling of the incredible true story of Lanier Phillips who was shipwrecked aboard the USS Truxton in 1942. Mr. Phillips was the only African American survivor. His experience at that time with the residents of the nearby town of St. Lawrence forever altered his world, and became a legendary story that still resonates with power today.

Oil and Water did a sold out run once before in St John’s and recently opened in Toronto to excellent reviews.

“Robert and I were really happy that the show meant something to a mainland audience, that this story has relevance and echo for many Canadians, not just Newfoundlanders,” Keiley said. “It's always a bit of a test for us to bring our work to the larger cities: audiences and critics don't have special allowances and sympathies for you because you come from a smaller place, and we know we are held up to the same standard as some of the great companies on the mainland.”

Oil and Water will also be featured next week at this year’s Magnetic North theatre festival in Calgary. While Chafe and Keiley are both excited about the show’s hype outside of the province, they are happy about the ACC tour as it will allow Artistic Fraud to share the story with more NL residents.

“I'm absolutely thrilled people all across the province will get to see this show,” Chafe said. “Lanier's legacy is one that has touched the entire province, and his story is now becoming more recognized as an important and galvanizing part of our history. We are getting increased interest in touring possibilities further and further away from home, so we are doubly delighted that folks here will get to see it now.”

Oil and Water begins the ACC tour at the Stephenville ACC on June 19. Other dates are as follows: June 21 - Corner Brook ACC, June 24 - Goose Bay O'Brien Arts Centre, June 27 - Grand Falls Windsor ACC, June 29 - Gander ACC, July 1 – St. Lawrence Academy , July 5 and 6 - St. John's ACC.  Showtime for each performance is 8:00 p.m. and tickets are $30 for adults and $25 for students/seniors. For more information or to purchase tickets visit


Media contact:

Kathryn Lear
ACC Marketing and Communications
(709) 729-2340

What people are saying about Oil and Water
“Magic in the theatre is rare to witness and hard to describe, but that indeed is what’s happening [with] Oil and Water. ...Theatre at its most imaginative.”
                                                                        -Richard Ouzounian, Toronto Star-
“Contrary to its name, acclaimed St. John’s Company Artistic Fraud of Newfoundland deals in genuine art. …Uplifting…delivers a simple message with great eloquence.”
                                                               -Martin Morrow, TheGridTO-
“[Artistic Fraud is] one of Canada’s most imaginative companies...Chafe/Keiley team scores another winner...a total theatrical experience that is not to be missed.”
                                                                         -Paula Citron, Paula
“[Director Jillian] Keiley...can be a powerful stage force, and she achieves sustained periods of breathtaking honesty and simplicity.”
                                                                 -John Coulbourne, Toronto Sun-
“Robert Chafe’s play is poetical, lyrical and careful in developing the various stories so that when they mesh, the juxtaposition is transformative…. a powerful piece of theatre with an important story. This is theatre that engages the audience for all the best reasons.”
                                                                             -Lynn Slotkin, The Slotkin Letter-

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