Irene Sankoff and David Hein, the co-writers of the hit Broadway show “Come From Away,” are my guests on this podcast.
Irene and David’s path to success began with a playful musical at the Toronto Fringe Festival, “My Mother’s Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding,” which attracted the attention of producer David Mirvish who brought the production to a larger theatre.
Mirvish also discovered “The Drowsy Chaperone” at the Toronto Fringe, so the pressure for “Wiccan Wedding” to succeed was high. Things went well and soon they were working on “Come From Away.”
“Come From Away” is set in the town of Gander, Newfoundland, in the week following the September 11 attacks, when 38 planes were ordered to land unexpectedly in the small town.
The people of Gander opened their homes and their hearts to the thousands of travelers, from all over the world, who were stranded.
In the podcast Irene and David reveal how their creative process began with a trip to Gander, Newfoundland to interview the town’s people and collect true stories that became the foundation for the musical.
They explain the development process, that included meaningful workshops with theatre students at Sheridan College’s Canadian Music Theatre Project and Goodspeed Musicals, a non-profit organization dedicated to musical theater based in Connecticut.
The students at both locations worked on the script and Irene & David discuss how significant this process was to shaping the show.
You’ll also hear how the show hits the sweet spot between David’s love of folk music and Irene’s love of Broadway musicals.
Click for the “Come From Away,” Original Broadway Cast Recording
On opening night Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Sophie Grégoire Trudeau attended the show and met with Irene and David.
Click the arrow near the top of this page, or this iTunes link, to listen to this podcast about “Come From Away.”
Rebecca is an innovative artists and a creative entrepreneur.
I interviewed Rebecca in July, 2016 after a performance of her show “Blind Date,” an improvisational performance unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. Rebecca is truly a theatre innovator.
Rebecca recently won a Dora Mavor Moore award for her performance in “Blind Date” and her other show, “Legend Has It,” was nominated for a Betty Michell Award in Calgary in the category of Best Ensemble.
We talk about how Rebecca’s 10 minute theatre experiment turned into a full-length show that played off-Broadway and London’s West End.
Update, Sept. 21:
Rebecca has written, produced and is appearing in a new production “Undercover” at the Tarragon Theatre.
The Toronto Star says “Undercover” trades a first date at a romantic restaurant for a murder mystery at an isolated mansion.” Read Carly Maga’s story here.