Come From Away is the incredible true story of what happened on September 11, 2001 and its aftermath in the small town of Gander, Newfoundland . As a resident of Washington DC suburbs on 9/11, I jumped at the chance to see this show. My almost 9 year old son came with me. He knew the basic events of that day and mot much more. I was looking forward to the conversations this play might spark between us.
What happens when 38 airliners carrying 7,000 passengers are all diverted to a small island, almost doubling the population? Severely lacking the space for that many bodies? Proof we can all rise above the terror of that time and do our collective best during an impossible time.
The Rock, off the coast of Canada is truly breathtaking. Husband and wife, writer/composer team David Hein and Irene Sankoff provide an exquisite and emotional canvas for such a heavy subject matter one would not normally think of for a musical. They wrote about the heart, humor and humanity of the 9,000 Gander locals and the “Plane People.” Most of these people were lost in a foreign country and did not speak the same language. The people of Gander known as the “Islanders” opened their hearts and homes to all of those displaced.
I laughed. I cried. I cheered. But mostly I was so thankful to be able to share this story with my son and how, even in the worst of times, there is good in the world. Times have changed dramatically since that day in September 2001, but I hope that the humanity shown on that Rock in the Atlantic still resides inside the hearts of us all.
Come From Away is playing at the Keller Auditorium February 26-March 3