Come From Away Comes HomeBy Newfoundland & Labrador
Come From Away, the Tony award-winning hit musical, has enjoyed huge success on Broadway and around the world. The story, showcasing the selfless acts of kindness by the people of Gander and surrounding communities in helping international strangers during the 9/11 attacks, has gone on to become the longest running Canadian musical on Broadway. The original production has been staged across North America, the UK, Ireland, and Australia. Non-replica productions have been staged in Buenos Aires, across the Netherlands, in Denmark, Sweden and Finland.
At last, the international hit is coming home to Gander in 2023, the place where it all started. With the original lyrics and music revered by all, from creators Irene Sankoff and David Hein, Come From Away will run at the Joseph R Smallwood Arts and Culture Centre in Gander. Originating producer Michael Rubinoff is co-producing the show with the Arts and Culture Centre, and Newfoundland and Labrador’s own Jillian Keiley is directing the show. With new design, choreography, costumes, and more, this production will be notably different in all the best ways possible. You can expect to see both internationally acclaimed talent and Newfoundland and Labrador actors and band members.
In a recent interview, Jillian and Michael discussed the significance of bringing this all-new production of Come From Away to the town of Gander. While it is special to bring the production home to where the story originated, Keiley stressed the importance of Irene and David’s outside perspective when it came to writing Come From Away, saying that it would not have had the same effect had it not been created by someone on the outside looking in. She added, it really speaks to the importance of the events that transpired and how admirable the people of Gander and surrounding communities were for how they responded. “Having the musical in Gander creates a layer of authenticity and links to the people of this place” added Keiley.
When asked if they faced any challenges when creating this new interpretation of such a fan-favourite story, both Jillian and Michael agreed that any “challenges” were just opportunities. “What an opportunity. How often do you get to take a blockbuster musical that is about true events, and not only bring it home, but have it interpreted by artists from that home province” said Rubinoff.
Although Come From Away has finished its run on Broadway, the production still carries an important and timeless message, filled with selfless acts of kindness between complete strangers, it is truly universal in its appeal. Shows at the Gander Arts and Culture Centre will run from June 28 to September 1, 2024. For all other details regarding the show and venue, visit the Arts and Culture Centre website.