Back to the 25th Annual Festival of New Musicals

Come From Away

2013 Festival

Director
Brian Hill

Music Director
Dan Pardo

Cast
Becca Ayers, Klea Blackhurst, Allison Case, Nick Choksi, Stephanie D'Abruzzo, Colin Hanlon, Ruthie Ann Miles, Spencer Moses, Jason Michael Snow, Barbara Walsh, Jason "Sweet Tooth" Williams and Lenny Wolpe

Contact for Rights

Max Grossman, Abrams Artists Agency mgrossman@abramsartny.com / 646.461.9372


Number of Acts: 2
Number of Principals (Male): 5
Number of Principals (Female): 5
Orchestra Breakdown:

1. Acoustic guitar 2. Bodhran/low whistle/mandolin/drums 3. Violin/viola/cello 4. Bass/accordion 5. piano

Casting Needs:

Principal Male and Female: 5-7

Synopsis

Come From Away tells the true story of when seven thousand people landed on the doorstep of Gander, Newfoundland… and the people of Gander “put the kettle on.” A rocking musical about when 38 planes from around the world were diverted to a small, Canadian community on September 11, 2001—doubling its population in an instant. While the world witnessed the worst acts of humankind, the stranded passengers had their faith in humanity restored by the spirited people who comforted those who had come from away.

Come From Away is a story of humanity set against the backdrop of tragedy. The committee was drawn by the power of the story of a little town caught up in a major world event. A terrific regional score drives this highly original and exciting new work.

- Festival Committee

Development History

In 2011, David Hein and Irene Sankoff received a Canada Council for the Arts grant to travel to Newfoundland for the tenth anniversary of September 11, 2001, where they met, interviewed, and were “screeched-in” with returning passengers, pilots and local townsfolk. With an additional grant from the Ontario Arts Council, they first workshopped Come From Away at the inaugural season of The Canadian Music Theatre Project (CMTP), presenting at Sheridan College and the Panasonic Theatre in Toronto. In January, 2013, they developed the show further at Goodspeed Musicals’ Festival of New Artists and again in March at CMTP/Sheridan.

Festival Successes

Commercial option picked up by Junkyard Dog Productions. Workshop at the 5th Avenue Theatre (WA) in 2014; full productions at La Jolla Playhouse (CA) and Seattle Rep (WA) in 2015; full productions at Ford’s Theatre (D.C.) and the Mirvish Theatre (Toronto) in 2016; Broadway-bound for 2017-2018 season.

5 Things You Should Know

  1. It’s based on a true story. Every character, story and much of the text comes from interviews we conducted for over a year with people from around the world.
  2. Though almost 7000 people were stranded in Gander, Come From Away can be told with as few as ten people and a bunch of chairs. Similarly, the unique celtic instrumentation includes a fiddle, bodhran, accordion, and something called an “ugly stick” – but has also been performed with just a piano.
  3. Newfoundland is an isolated island province and the most eastern point in North America. With one of the largest airports in the world, Gander was a major refueling stop during World War 2, visited by the Beatles, Albert Einstein, the Queen of England and Fidel Castro; but when jumbo jets stopped needing to refuel, the airport lost its purpose — until September 11th.
  4. We want to develop the show through readings, workshops and a full production and are looking for theaters and commercial producers to help make that happen.
  5. Though we’re Canadian writers, we lived in Manhattan on September 11th, 2001 and we were in Newfoundland, along with countless returning passengers, for the tenth anniversary commemoration ceremonies. We are thrilled to bring this untold story back to New York.
Excerpts