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What Is Come From Away About

What Is Come From Away About? The Heart-Warming True Story

What is Come From Away about? It’s the uplifting story of a small Canadian town thrust into the world spotlight post-9/11 when they welcomed 7,000 stranded passengers with open arms.

This compelling musical based on true events, delves into the unexpected bonds formed when cultures clash and unite in a time of crisis, encapsulating a message of empathy and community that transcends the stage.

Key Takeaways

  • Embrace of Strangers: Discover the heart-warming story of Gander, a small Canadian town that welcomed 7,000 stranded passengers post-9/11, turning a time of terror into a testament to human kindness.
  • Real-Life Characters: Meet the real-life characters portrayed in the musical, from the trailblazing female pilot to the appreciative passengers, each adding a slice of life to this uplifting true story.
  • Awards and Accolades: Learn about the numerous awards and recognitions garnered by ‘Come From Away’, a testament to its profound influence on the world of performing arts and beyond.

come from away female american airlines captain

The Heart of Come From Away

In the quaint town of Gander, Newfoundland, a remarkable tale of hospitality unfolded in the wake of the September 11 attacks.

‘Come From Away,’ with its book, music, and lyrics by the talented duo Irene Sankoff and David Hein, brings to the stage this compelling true story.

The musical reveals how a community’s open hearts and quick thinking transformed a time of terror into a testament to human kindness, as approximately 7,000 passengers found themselves embraced by the residents of Gander.

Canadian Music Theatre Project

Sheridan College’s Canadian Music Theatre Project (CMTP) was instrumental in fostering ‘Come From Away’ from its early workshop into a full production that mesmerised audiences.

Founded in 2011 by Michael Rubinoff, CMTP stands as Canada’s first incubator for musical theatre, and it’s where ‘Come From Away’ first took flight with a 45-minute workshop version in 2012, followed by a full production the next year.

These initial stages laid the foundation for a show that would become a worldwide sensation, underlining the significance of developmental platforms in the world of performing arts.

The Incredible Real-Life Story

Visualise a quaint, small Newfoundland community unexpectedly seeing its population double as close to 7,000 global passengers find themselves stranded in Gander.

The incredible real-life story behind ‘Come From Away’ is one of a town that didn’t hesitate to welcome the ‘plane people’ with open arms, regardless of their differences.

This heart-warming tale of hope emerged amidst the fear and uncertainty that clouded the days following 9/11, truly celebrating the resilience and compassion of humanity.

come from away small newfoundland community

The Characters and Their Stories

‘Come From Away’ delves beyond the story of a town, focusing on its people.

The characters include:

  • The eager local news reporter
  • The trailblazing female American Airlines captain
  • The energetic locals
  • The appreciative passengers

Each character brings a slice of the story to life, painting a vibrant picture of an uplifting true story that resonates with many real characters caught in a moment that made history.

Real Characters Caught in History

The musical’s characters are drawn from life itself, embodying the real people who found themselves at the heart of this remarkable true story.

Among them is Captain Beverly Bass, the trailblazing female pilot whose experiences on 9/11 are central to the narrative. Then there’s the duo Kevin Tuerff and Kevin Jung, whose journey on that fateful day is poignantly portrayed on stage.

These individuals, and countless others, including a couple who attended more than 118 shows, manifest the deep-rooted connection the musical has to the real-life events and characters it portrays.

Uplifting True Story

While ‘Come From Away’ honours the pain and uncertainty that followed the terrorist attacks, it also celebrates the personal transformations made possible by acts of kindness.

The show shares not just a history but a big bearhug of human connection, with moments like the ‘kissing a cod’ ritual infusing Newfoundland’s culture into the narrative.

This narrative motivates us to cultivate friendships in the most unexpected situations, accompanied by uplifting music and an inspiring production.

come from away small newfoundland community

The Creative Team Behind Come From Away

The creative force propelling ‘Come From Away’ is as awe-inspiring as the narrative it presents.

The show’s success is a collective triumph, a symphony orchestrated by the likes of Tony Award-winning director Christopher Ashley, choreographer Kelly Devine, and the Olivier Award-winning writers team, Irene Sankoff and David Hein.

Their collective effort has given birth to a critically acclaimed musical that has also raked in box office success, receiving warm reception from audiences and high praises from critics.

Tony Award-Winning Director Christopher Ashley

Christopher Ashley’s direction of ‘Come From Away’ earned him a Tony Award, but his accolades don’t stop there. As the Artistic Director of La Jolla Playhouse, he has directed world-premiere productions that have gone on to Broadway and beyond.

His keen eye for the heart of a story and his ability to translate that to the stage is evident in the musical’s transition from theatre to film, ensuring that the essence of ‘Come From Away’ was not lost in its screen adaptation.

Olivier Award-Winning Writers Irene Sankoff and David Hein

The musical’s soulful narrative and enchanting score are the creations of Irene Sankoff and David Hein, whose work on ‘Come From Away’ has been showered with accolades, including:

  • the 2019 Olivier Award for Best New Musical
  • the Grammy Awards
  • the Tony Awards
  • the Meritorious Service Cross of Canada

Their storytelling prowess has not only earned them a place in the hearts of their audience but also in the annals of award ceremonies across the globe.

come from away small newfoundland community

From Stage to Screen: Film Adaptation

Just as the COVID-19 pandemic brought the world to a grinding halt, it also paused the scheduled feature film adaptation of ‘Come From Away’. Yet, the musical found a new way to reach audiences, with a live recording of the Broadway production released on Apple TV+ to mark the 20th anniversary of 9/11. This strategic shift ensured the show could continue propagating its message of empathy and unity, though through a different medium.

Broadway Production

The Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre was home to ‘Come From Away’ when it opened on Broadway in 2017, quickly becoming a smash hit. The final performance in October 2022 marked the end of a historic run, with the show leaving a legacy as the 49th longest-running show in Broadway history.

The show’s triumph attests to the potency of a well-narrated story and the lasting allure of a musical that encapsulates the essence of human goodness.

Performing Arts and Film Crossover

The decision to film a live stage performance was born out of necessity but ended up being a stroke of genius. The energy and authenticity of the theatre experience were captured through live film recording, allowing ‘Come From Away’ to touch the hearts of an even wider international audience.

Transitioning from performing arts to the silver screen not only conserved the musical’s essence but also broadened its audience, offering a fresh avenue to share its heartening story.

come from away small newfoundland community

The Impact of Come From Away

The ripples created by ‘Come From Away’ are profound, affecting far beyond the stage’s footlights. The musical’s story of 7,000 stranded passengers and the small town that embraced them has garnered numerous awards and nominations, reflecting its profound influence on the world of performing arts and beyond.

Olivier Awards and Other Recognitions

The wide array of accolades ‘Come From Away’ has garnered in the industry matches its diverse narrative, including:

  • Four Olivier Awards for Best New Musical and Best Theatre Choreography among others
  • Seven Tony Award nominations and a win for Best Direction of a Musical
  • Critics’ Circle Theatre Award
  • Casting Directors’ Guild Award

These accolades underscore the musical’s quality and the indelible mark it has made on the hearts of those who experience it.

A Joyous Story of Hope and Humanity

However, the real testament to ‘Come From Away’s’ triumph lies in its capacity to instil hope and nurture a feeling of togetherness. The musical beautifully illustrates how the people of Gander, with their understated humour and overwhelming generosity, offered a glimmer of light in a time of darkness.

Its message of inclusivity and kindness resonates across cultures, reminding us that in the face of adversity, humanity can indeed come together and lift each other up.

come from away small newfoundland community

Ticket Alerts and Tour Information

As ‘Come From Away’ maintains its high-flying success, theatre lovers looking forward to witnessing the musical live can seize the chance to see it during its 2024 UK tour.

With performances scheduled in cities like:

  • Leicester
  • Liverpool
  • Aberdeen
  • Salford

There’s a chance to join the show’s journey across the UK.

Read More: Everything you need to know about the Come from Away UK Tour.

come from away winner of four olivier awards

Final Thoughts

From the Canadian Music Theatre Project to the Olivier and Tony awards, from the small Newfoundland community’s open-hearted welcome to the rock to the global stages and screens, ‘Come From Away’ is a testament to the enduring power of storytelling.

It’s a musical that has not only entertained but also educated and inspired, reminding us that even in the darkest times, humanity’s capacity for kindness can shine through.

Let the story of ‘Come From Away’ move you, and may it encourage you to embrace the world with the same spirit of generosity and hope.

come from away the joyous story

Frequently Asked Questions

Still got questions about Come from Away the Musical? Check out our FAQ section below.

What is the story behind the Come From Away musical?

“Come From Away” is a musical that tells the remarkable true story of 7,000 air passengers from around the world who were grounded in Canada following 9/11, and the gracious Newfoundland community that welcomed them. It has won several prestigious awards for Best New Musical.

Is Come From Away a good show?

Yes, Come From Away is a fantastic show, skilfully crafted with fantastic music and is a masterpiece in every sense of the word. It can make you laugh and cry, all in 110 minutes, and will hold a special place in your heart.

What is the musical Come Far Away about?

Come From Away is about the real-life experiences of the people of Gander, Newfoundland, and the 7000 airline passengers who were forced to land there on September 11, 2001.

Are the characters in ‘Come From Away’ based on real people?

Yes, the characters in ‘Come From Away’ are based on real Gander residents and stranded travellers, including Captain Beverly Bass and the couple Nick and Diane Marson.

Holly Smith

I Love Musical Theatre and made the West End World Website To Share My Experiences, Reviews & Theatre News.