In honor of Come From Away‘s upcoming Broadway opening, this month we checked in with Irene Sankoff and David Hein to see how the piece has changed since we last spoke to them after the 2013 Festival, and what’s different about preparing for a Broadway opening. We also took a look back at the show’s beginnings in a interview with Michael Rubinoff.
The last time we checked in with you both, you were preparing for Come From Away’s world premiere at La Jolla Playhouse. The show has had a whirlwind journey since then! What have been some of your favorite moments along the way?
David: La Jolla was incredible! It was our first production, our first reviews, and our first time working with most of our team.
Irene: We went from being this unknown show to people lining up for 3 hours in the hopes of getting tickets. I was walking around in a daze. Then at Seattle Rep, the theatre was much bigger and I remember the look on the cast’s faces after the blackout when the audience responded. They said after it was like being hit by a wall of sound.
David: The phone lines crashed there because of people looking for tickets. And they flew the Mayor of Gander, Newfoundland out—they declared it “Gander Day” and gave him a key to the city. Seattle was very good to us.
Irene: Ford’s Theatre in DC was surreal because there were so many politicians in the audience, from both sides of the aisle. And they reacted the same way to this story of kindness—with laughter and tears. We also had a lot of repeat visitors—some who were survivors of the attack in D.C. and some who had lost loved ones.