The Mark Gordon Company has announced that it will produce and finance a feature film adaptation of the acclaimed Broadway musical COME FROM AWAY, which was nominated for seven Tony Awards earlier this year, with Christopher Ashley winning for Best Direction of a Musical.
Two-time Tony Award nominees Irene Sankoff and David Hein, who wrote the book, music and lyrics, will write the screenplay for the film, which will be produced by Mark Gordon. MGC will finance the film and eOne will handle worldwide distribution. MGC’s Sara Smith and Jenna Berger will oversee the project for the company.
Come From Away tells the remarkable true story of 7,000 stranded passengers and the small town in Newfoundland that welcomed them following 9/11. Cultures clashed and nerves ran high, but uneasiness turned into trust, music soared into the night and gratitude grew into enduring friendships.
“Irene, David and Christopher created an experience that celebrates the triumph of humankind’s solidarity and compassion in the face of adversity – an experience that is equally breathtaking, inspiring and cathartic. We are proud to create a feature film adaptation to share with audiences around the world,” said Gordon.
“When we wrote Come From Away we wanted to honor what happened in Gander on the days following 9/11, and our greatest hope was that someday our musical would be performed in schools to share this remarkable true story,” Sankoff and Hein said in a joint statement. “The last year has felt like an amazing dream, with the show traveling across North America (including a stop in Gander) and continuing to play to standing-room-only audiences on Broadway. A film adaption gives us the chance to share this celebration of the best of humanity with audiences everywhere. We are happily overwhelmed that people want to see stories about people caring for others with incredible generosity and compassion.”
Sankoff and Hein are a Canadian married writing team. Their first show, My Mother’s Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding (based on David’s mother’s true story) was the hit of the Toronto Fringe Festival, and then picked up for a commercial run by Mirvish Productions, with Sankoff and Hein performing in most productions. They are represented by Abrams Artists Agency.
Come From Away began performances on Broadway on Feb. 18, 2017 and officially opened to critical acclaim on March 12 at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre, where it continues to play to standing-room-only audiences. Come From Away was originally co-produced in 2015 by La Jolla Playhouse and Seattle Repertory Theatre, and presented in 2016 by Ford’s Theatre in Washington, DC and Mirvish Productions at the Royal Alexandra Theatre in Toronto, CA. It was originally developed at the Canadian Music Theatre Project, Michael Rubinoff Producer, Sheridan College in Oakville, Ontario, Canada and was further developed at Goodspeed Musicals’ Festival of New Artists, in East Haddam, CT. The Canada Council for the Arts, The Ontario Arts Council, and the Fifth Avenue Theatre in Seattle WA also provided development support.
The Tony Award-winning musical Come From Away will launch a second company in Canada where it will play a strictly limited four-week engagement from Jan. 4 – Feb. 3, 2018 in Winnipeg at the John Hirsch Mainstage – Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, and then move to Toronto where it will begin performances Feb. 13, 2018 at the Royal Alexandra Theatre as part of the 2017 – 2018 Mirvish Subscription Season. A third company of Come From Away will launch a North American tour across the U.S. and Canada at Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theatre in October 2018.
Jeff Sneider | Editor in Chief