Marshall University's Student Newspaper

The Parthenon

Marshall University's Student Newspaper

The Parthenon

Marshall University's Student Newspaper

The Parthenon

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Marshall Artists Series Presents ‘Come From Away’

Come From Away logo
Courtesy of Marshall Artists Series
“Come From Away” logo

Tony Award-winning musical “Come From Away” will come to campus and kick off the 87th season of the Marshall Artists Series on Tuesday, Oct. 24. The show will be performed at the Joan C. Edwards Performing Arts Center at 7:30 p.m.  

The production portrays the true story of the 38 planes that had to land unexpectedly in the town of Gander, Newfoundland, following the 9/11 attacks. Approximately 7000 passengers arrived in the town of Gander, essentially doubling the size of the population overnight. In response, the people of Gander stepped up and cared for the newcomers during a time of uncertainty and fear. 

Cast member Shawn Smith said the show is a testament to the capacity people have for kindness.

“The whole show is just about the resilience of the human spirit and how people have the capacity to step up and do good for each other even when the circumstance of the world might suggest otherwise,” Smith said.

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Smith plays Kevin T., who is based on Kevin Tuerff. Tuerff wrote a book based on his experience as one of the airline passengers diverted to Gander. He was on a plane traveling from Paris with his boyfriend. 

Smith also plays Garth, who is one of the townspeople. Garth was the head of a school bus drivers’ union that was on strike before the plane’s unexpected landing. Smith said the bus drivers had to set aside their grievances to help transport people once the passengers arrived. 

The show is based on real stories from the people who lived in Gander and the passengers from the planes. Smith said that the majority of lines sung or said in the show were spoken by the people who experienced the event. 

“It’s a timely show, especially in the current state of the world,” Smith said. “With everything going on in the world that is so heavy—so dark to deal with—this is a show about healing. It’s a show about putting kindness first, and the ability to bring that to multiple communities across America and a couple in Canada is really a gift. Not often do you get to be a part of something that is so uplifting and inspiring.”

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