Sheridan has built a reputation for producing music theatre graduates who go on to grace the stages of Broadway. But the College is now playing a ground-floor role in the development of a musical destined for theatre’s mecca.
Come From Away, originally developed and produced by Sheridan and the Canadian Music Theatre Project (CMTP), is headed to Broadway in the spring of 2017. The musical will make two stops before landing in New York City: one in Washington D.C. in September, followed by a Toronto run as part of Mirvish Productions in November.
The buzz has been building for this made-in-Canada musical from the get-go. Come From Away centres on the town of Gander, Newfoundland which welcomed almost 7000 people after planes were forced to land following the 9/11 attacks. Writers Irene Sankoff and David Hein worked with a cast of students to bring the musical to life before Come From Away made its professional debut in California and Seattle in 2015 to rave reviews and sold-out crowds. It picked up six awards in California and broke all box-office records at Seattle Rep, before Tony Award-winning producers, Junkyard Dog Productions (Memphis, First Date), snapped up the musical for Broadway. Pictured above are the student cast members of the 2012 production of Come From Away.
“We are so proud of the role our students have played in bringing this play to Broadway.” says Michael Rubinoff, Associate Dean of Visual and Performing Arts at Sheridan and Producer of Come From Away.
Rubinoff is equally excited about what this milestone – a first for a Canadian post-secondary institution – could signal for music theatre in this country. “I hope the success of Come From Away creates a renaissance for original musicals staged across Canada.” An entertainment lawyer and theatre producer, Rubinoff proposed the idea for Come From Away to Sankoff and Hein.
Our students gave COME FROM AWAY its first breath. The skills and experience they gained through this experience are simply extraordinary.
Michael Rubinoff, Associate Dean, Sheridan; Producer, COME FROM AWAY
Introduced at Sheridan in 2011, the CMTP is Canada’s first incubator for the development of new musical theatre works by Canadian and international composers, lyricists and book-writers. 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 brought to Broadway, the College has a long history with New York City. Six graduates are now appearing on Broadway: Chilina Kennedy (2000) and Scott Campbell (2007) in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, Michael Lomenda (2001) and Kara Tremel (1996) in Jersey Boys, Timothy J. Alex (1986) in Tuck Everlasting and Camille Eange-Selenge (2012) in The Book of Mormon.
Sheridan music theatre alumni continue to be a driving force here in Canada, with a record number of graduates in the 2016 season of the Stratford Festival, 12 in its production of A Chorus Line along with a student who will graduate as part of the class of 2017. The varied talents of Sheridan music theatre alumni are also in full force on stage and behind the curtain at this season’s Shaw Festival and in Drayton Entertainment‘s productions throughout Ontario.
See Come From Away before it opens on Broadway in Spring 2017. Get your tickets for the Mirvish Production of Come From Away on Tuesday, November 22, 2016 at the Royal Alexandra Theatre in Toronto. This event will support the CMTP at Sheridan. Tickets and VIP opportunities are available at sheridancollege.ca
For the latest news about Come From Away in theatres, click here
Listen to Michael Rubinoff talk about Come From Away with Matt Galloway on CBC’s Metro Morning: http://www.cbc.ca/player/play/2683981506