Come from Away is Broadway Bound

Feb 16, 2016

Come From Away, originally developed and produced by Sheridan College and The Canadian Music Theatre Project (CMTP) will make its Broadway debut in spring 2017. It is written by Toronto’s Irene Sankoff and David Hein (My Mother’s Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding).

After its Sheridan debut in 2012, Come From Away was performed at the National Alliance for Musical Theatre and the Goodspeed Opera House Festivals of New Musicals. It was optioned by Tony Award-winning producers, Junkyard Dog Productions (Memphis, First Date), which announced today that prior to opening on Broadway, Come From Away will stage productions at Ford’s Theatre in Washington DC as part of their 2016-2017 season from September 2 to October 9, 2016, and will play for local audiences in Toronto as part of Mirvish’s 2016-2017 Subscription Series from November 15, 2016 to January 1, 2017.

“Sheridan is immensely proud of the role we played in bringing this culturally significant show to Broadway,” says Dr. Jeff Zabudsky, President and Vice Chancellor. “Seeing our students breathe life into the characters of this story and watching it evolve has been an extraordinary experience and a first for a Canadian post-secondary institution.”

Come From Away is based on the true story of how Gander, Newfoundland welcomed 6,579 people who arrived on their doorstep after 38 planes were forced to land on September 11, 2001. The hospitality shown by the residents of this tiny Canadian town restored the faith of these stranded travelers. The idea for the musical originated with Michael Rubinoff, an entertainment lawyer and theatre producer who also serves as Sheridan’s Associate Dean of Visual and Performing Arts.

“This is an incredible story that I always believed would be even more compelling if developed as a musical infused with Newfoundland's Celtic sound,” says Rubinoff. “The CMTP succeeds in creating an environment that gives writers the time and resources needed to test, modify and advance musicals at all stages of development.”

The Canadian Music Theatre Project was introduced at Sheridan College in 2011 and is Canada’s first incubator for the development of new musical theatre works by Canadian and international composers, lyricists and book-writers. Working with a cast of students, writers bring their new musical to life through workshops and staged readings. To date, 12 musicals have been workshopped by the CMTP including Brantwood, which won the 2015 Dora Mavor Moore Audience Choice Award.

While Come From Away is the first musical Sheridan has helped launch on Broadway, the College has a long history with New York City through the success of Sheridan’s music theatre alumni. Chilina Kennedy (2000) and Scott J. Campbell (2007) are currently starring in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, while Timothy J. Alex (1986) joins his 12th Broadway musical when Tuck Everlasting: The Musical opens this March.

[Photo of Come from Away production at Sheridan in 2012.  Credit:  John Jones]

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