BY ARIELLE KRAUS
“Come From Away” is a Broadway show like no other. With a cast of only 12 adults, the show blows the audience away with its music, props and message. The show is set during a tragedy, but shows individuals that there is light even in the darkest of times.
“Come From Away” is based on the tragic attacks that occurred in the United States on September 11, 2001. It tells the story of 38 planes that were headed to the U.S. and had to divert to the small town of Gander, Newfoundland located in Canada. Residents of Gander had to think on their feet and find a way to take care of around 7,000 travelers.
Because the cast consisted of very few actors, each individual had to play both the role of a Gander resident as well as a stranded passenger. The shift between characters was remarkable. Each cast member balanced both roles with ease, making the audience understand which part they were playing.
The props and scenery of “Come From Away” were simplistic. Chairs and tables were utilized to represent a bar, a school, airplanes and buses. This helped make the transition between scenes more natural. This show does not include an intermission, so utilizing basic props helped move the show along quickly.
Along with the props, the costumes were not very elaborate. Many characters remained in the same costume for the entire show and would only put on a jacket when changing roles. Very few actors changed into completely different costumes when becoming another character.
This production displays a message that is very heartwarming and needed in society today. The theme of “Come From Away” is kindness. The people of Gander, Newfoundland take in all of the travelers with such care and respect. They take a profound interest in making sure the travelers are content and cared for.
One storyline that exemplifies the theme is between a New Yorker named Hannah and a Gander teacher named Beulah. These women immediately connect because they both have sons who are firefighters. Hannah is worried because she has not heard from her son, who resides in New York, since the attacks had occurred in the city. Beulah constantly checks on Hannah, and they remain friends after Hannah returns home.
“Come From Away” includes outstanding music played by their ensemble. Unlike most productions, the band was located on the stage, and could be slightly seen by the audience. During scenes in the bar, the ensemble would come out and play in front of the audience while cast members sang. This added to the scene by resembling a real band performing at a bar.
The storyline of “Come From Away” finds ways to touch on important subjects amidst the heartwarming and humorous scenes. According to The New York Times, the most notable subject that was mentioned were the prejudices that resulted from the attacks, including the unfair treatment placed upon a Muslim passenger.
“Come From Away” was an overall inspiring and well-written production. The cast kept the audience entertained for the entire show and left them thinking about the importance of being kind to one another.
- Creative use of props
- Outstanding acting
- Inspiring theme
- Simple costumes
- No intermission
Photo by Arielle Kraus