By Samara Caplan and Laura Gauthier. Laura and Samara spend their days as non-profit unicorns and fill every spare minute exploring the world of musical theatre as BFFs (that’s Broadway Friends Forever).
Even in Canada, most of us can remember exactly where we were on September 11th, 2001 when the twin towers in New York were struck by two planes. That moment has left a mark on people across North America, and even the world.
But there is one story you may have never heard, and that’s what happened in Gander, Newfoundland moments after tragedy struck New York. Because of its location, Gander has had a large airport where flights from around the world historically would stop to refuel after crossing the Atlantic. Once planes started being able to carry more fuel, allowing them to travel further, it went from being one of the busiest airports in the world, to never being used at all.
So when American airspace was closed on September 11th, 38 planes were ordered to make emergency landings… in Gander, Newfoundland. It nearly doubled the small town’s population in a matter of hours.
With many emotional moments, Come From Away somehow also manages to be one giant party.
Come From Away tells the true story of how a community banded together to care for 7,000 strangers from around the world until they could return home safely. On top of this, it shares the stories of passengers trapped in the unknown and worrying about their loved ones at home.
With many emotional moments, Come From Away somehow also manages to be one giant party. As the cast breaks into “Screech In”, a theatre that holds over 2,000 people suddenly feels like a small town bar and one massive dance party. With the entire audience laughing and clapping along you can’t help but smile (and maybe even get up and dance a bit.)
The 100 minutes of this show will feel like the most Canadian 1 hour and 40 minutes of your life (and trust us – you’ll love it!)
A heart wrenching story, full of loss, fear and despair shows how kindness, and coming together can impact the lives of the people around you. The selflessness of the people of Gander will make you leave the theatre inspired to be a kinder and more giving person—and may even set you on a journey to see how you can work towards putting more good into the world.
Come From Away continues at the National Arts Centre until Sunday, September 8th. Shows are Tuesday to Friday at 8pm, Saturdays at 2pm and 8pm and Sundays at 1:30pm and 7:30pm. Tickets range between $62.50 to $173.25. The show runs about 100 minutes with no intermission.