‘Come From Away’ Leaves You Feeling Like Honorary Newfoundlander


Students at Gibson Ek were inspired when they chose to see the award-winning musical Come From Away this fall.

Written in 2015, with music and lyrics by Irene Sankoff and David Hein, it’s no surprise that this musical will make you want to buy a ticket to Gander. Although it was taken to Broadway, few people know that this breathtaking musical originated in the basement of Seattle’s own Fifth Avenue Theatre. The touring cast includes Kevin Carolan, Nick Duckart, and Becky Gulsvig.

The story is about this small town called Gander in Newfoundland, which in 2001 has a population of around 10,000. On Sept. 11, 2001, there were four terrorist attacks, the most infamous being the attacks on the World Trade Center. The United States Federal Aviation Administration, FAA, decided to shut down the airspace, preventing planes from landing in the United States. This forced around 4,000 international planes to land at the nearest airport, some of which landed at Gander Airport in Newfoundland; 6,576 people were onboard. 100 countries were represented by the people grounded at Gander.

By 4:30 p.m., a total of 38 planes had landed (38 Planes), and none of the passengers were allowed to leave their aircrafts (28 Hours/Wherever We Are). Around 5:17 PM, five hours after the planes’ arrival, the passengers were allowed to leave the plane. On Thursday, Sept. 13, 2001, planes started to take off. On Sept. 16, 2001, all of the passengers left Gander.

This wonderful musical, with a small cast of around 14 people playing multiple characters, talks about what happened just outside of America during the those days, from the moment the Newfoundlanders found out that the planes were going to land, up until the last planes took off. The Newfoundlanders had to get ready for passengers but didn’t know how many people were going to land (Blankets and Bedding). When passengers could finally get off of the planes, they didn’t know what was happening (Darkness and Trees), but the Newfoundlanders showed them hospitality and love by giving them food, clothes and spending time with them (Lead Us Out Of The Night).

“Come From Away” emphasizes showing kindness and acceptance. It is a well-written musical based on a true story. It has lots of humor, which lightened up the topic, and I wish it was longer, which means it’s a good musical. I loved it, and I know many of the other students who saw it also loved it. I hope other students have the opportunity to see “Come From Away,” and I hope that they will also leave feeling like an honorary Newfoundlander.

Final Rating: 4/5 Stars

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