The Canadian musical detailing the stories of the 38 planes and their occupants who were redirected to Gander, Nfld., on Sept. 11, 2001, will be returning to the community that inspired it.
Two special benefit performances of Come From Away, presented by Junkyard Dog Productions and the Town of Gander, will be performed in Gander on Oct. 29. The shows will take place at Gander's Steele Community Centre and will benefit the residents of Newfoundland and Labrador. Ticket revenue will be donated to the Gander Salvation Army Food Bank, Glenwood Recreation Committee, Lewisporte Heritage Society, Appleton Recreation Commission, Gambo's Smallwood Academy Breakfast Program/Positive Behaviour Support and Norris Arm Lions Club.
The husband-and-wife team who wrote the show, David Hein and Irene Sankoff, visited Newfoundland on the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks and learned the stories of the 6,579 passengers diverted to Gander and the community members who took them in. Their visit inspired them to "come back and tell these stories that made us cry and made us laugh," Hein says.
Since then, the show, which was originally developed at Sheridan College in Oakville, Ont., and produced by Michael Rubinoff, associate dean of Sheridan College's music theatre program, has taken off. It is set to hit Broadway at a Shubert theatre in February – but not before making its way back to Gander, where the story began.
"I think there is never a bad time to tell a story about people being good to each other," Hein told The Globe and Mail in July. "But especially now it feels really important to talk about people welcoming strangers into their homes and giving them everything they had in the face of a lot of fear and a lot of confusion."
Tickets go on sale Aug. 17 and can be purchased online at www.gandercanada.tix.com.