Gander, Newfoundland, was the site of compelling humanity during the days after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
Director Christopher Ashley says events there were turned into musical theater when writers David Hein and Irene Sankoff interviewed hundreds of Gander residents who housed and took care of thousands of stranded people after scores of flights were grounded in the Canadian province.
The stories of Come From Away, which runs Feb. 4-9 as part of OKC Broadway’s season, include those of heroic American Airlines Capt. Beverley Bass and a couple who met and fell in love in Gander.
“It has been extraordinary to see the various casts from Broadway, Toronto and the national tour connect with their real-life counterparts,” Ashley says. “David and Irene wrote such beautiful story lines for these characters – composites of the hundreds of stories gathered – creating a theatrical narrative inspired by a pivotal moment in history. While there is never a bad time to be telling a story about people being kind to each other, there is a particular resonance to our story.”
OKC Broadway general manager Elizabeth Gray says she “saw Come From Away on Broadway and could not wait to bring it to the Civic Center Music Hall. It is breathtakingly moving but also hilarious at times. It tells such an uplifting, real-life story that not many people have heard. It will definitely be the highlight of the OKC Broadway season.”
A dozen versatile actors portray the multitude of roles. Ashley says that “to tell the stories of 16,000 people, the company needed to be diverse to represent the various cultures, creeds, colors, ages, religions, races and sexual orientations of the participants.”