Backstage Broadway: Come From Away
Presented by The Sheen Center
Monday, November 12, 2018 @ 7:00PM
On September 11, 2001, more than 6,600 passengers found themselves stranded in the airport in Gander, Newfoundland, Canada. Out of adversity, came the Tony Award-winning musical Come From Away, which told the stories of several of the strangers stranded in a town that increased its size by two-thirds and went out of its way to be hospitable to strangers from all over the world who came from away.
The story of Kevin Tuerff, author of Channel of Peace: Stranded in Gander on 9/11, is one of those told in the award-winning musical. When Kevin and his partner began their flight from France to New York City on September 11th in 2001, they had no idea that the world—and their lives—was about to change forever. As US airspace closed in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks, Kevin, who was experiencing doubts about organized religion, found himself in the small town of Gander, Newfoundland in Canada with thousands of other refugees or “come from aways” who were stranded on 38 airplanes. Yet, when all seemed dark, the people of Gander rallied and the “plane people” experienced boundless acts of kindness and generosity over the next several days. Kevin Tuerff will interview himself . . . well, his stage alter ego Chad Kimball, the Tony nominated actor who plays Kevin in Come From Away, will interview himself as Kevin tells his story of how Gander’s compassion, then and now, ignited a spirit of kindness that renewed Kevin’s spirituality and inspired a new tradition of an annual “giving back” day that has since spread. Chad will sing a couple of songs that are related to the show during the presentation.