Welcome To The Rock: Come From Away Coming Home To Newfoundland and Labrador In Summer 2023

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Travelers are Invited to See the Reimagined Broadway Hit in the Town that Inspired the Story

Gander International Airport Lounge (Photo Credit: Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism)

This summer, travelers have the chance to see a reimagined version of Come From Away: You Are Here at the Gander Arts and Culture Centre in Gander, the very setting where the story took place. The internationally acclaimed musical was inspired by the town of Gander which welcomed nearly 7,000 stranded passengers into their homes during 9/11. The production tells the story of the passengers who came from all over the world and the friendly locals who brought them in. Now, visitors are invited to step into the story to see the musical and walk in the characters footsteps, meet the locals, and experience the warm authenticity of Canada’s most eastern province. In addition to the theatrical production in Gander, the province offers a variety of activities for an immersive experience. Travelers can sit down for tea and stories with one of the real-life characters, tour Gander International Airport, and much more. Below is a snapshot of Come from Away inspired activities happening in the province this summer.

Come From Away: You Are Here
Acclaimed Newfoundland and Labrador director, Jillian Keiley, has reimagined an all-new production of the epic story that unfolded in Gander. Keiley is working in conjunction with Toronto-based producer Michael Rubinoff who produced and developed the original Come From Away musical. The cast includes nine native Newfoundland and Labrador performers, including Petrina Bromley and others from the original Broadway cast such as Astrid Van Wieren. Also joining the stage are alumni from productions of Come From Away on Broadway in Toronto, London’s West End, and from the North American tour. Cast members will take on new roles alongside a band of renowned musicians from the province, including band members from the original Broadway and Toronto productions. Gander’s production will feature a brand-new set and costumes, and lighting and sound design by a team of Canada’s best designers. Beginning July 7 with an official opening taking place on July 22, Gander Arts and Culture Centre (Joseph R Smallwood Centre) will host performances of the reimagined show on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. The preview performances prior to the official opening are the same as the other shows but allow for the director to make slight changes if needed. Tickets are $75 and can be purchased and reserved by visiting the Gander Arts and Culture Centre’s website. Bus and group tours can contact the Box Office at 709-256-1081 for discounted tickets.

Meet the Flynns
Guests are welcomed into the home of Derm and Dianne Flynn to drink tea and listen to their story of the day the plane people arrived in Gander. Derm Flynn was the mayor of nearby town Appleton during 9/11 and is one of the characters portrayed in the original musical. During the Meet the Flynns experience, guests also take a walk to the Appleton Peace Monument, where a piece of steel from the World Trade Center sits today. The experience starts at $60 CAD per person.

North Atlantic Aviation Museum
The North Atlantic Aviation Museum in Gander houses a variety of artifacts and displays chronicling the town's role in development of transatlantic aviation, including steel recovered from the World Trade Center after 9/11. Visitors can also read thank you letters from the plane people, listen to recordings of air traffic control telling planes to land, see the uniform of Beverley Bass who was the first women captain for American Airlines and was forced to divert to Gander on 9/11, and more. Adult tickets are $8 CAD and group rates are available.

Just Imagine Dinner Theatre
With a three-course meal and live acting, Just Imagine Dinner Theatre is an entertaining production based on the people and events in the nearby town of Gambo during 9/11. The dinner theater experience is held at the Smallwood Interpretation Centre and tickets start at $45 CAD per person. For dinner theater dates, tickets, and more details, visit https://www.facebook.com/SedcorGamboNL/.

Take a Tour
During the events of 9/11, Rhonda Lane worked as a border services officer at the Gander International Airport. Today, Rhonda provides tours of the Gander International Lounge for motorcoach companies and small groups. Travelers can also set up a tour of Gander, a 9/11 tour, a walking tour, and more. For ticket prices, to set up a tour, and further details, visit https://www.facebook.com/GanderTourGuide/.

Come See For Yourself
MAXXIM Vacations’ six-night "Come See For Yourself" package includes accommodations at select bed and breakfasts and inns in the Gander area, a mid-size car rental, admission to the North Atlantic Aviation Museum, a visit to Meet the Flynns, a scenic boat tour of the area, and expert travel advice to help travelers get the most out of their vacation. The “Come See For Yourself” package starts at $1,249 CAD.

About Atlantic Canada Agreement on Tourism (ACAT):
This press release has been made possible through funding provided by the Atlantic Canada Agreement on Tourism (ACAT). ACAT is a nine-member pan-Atlantic initiative comprising the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, the four Atlantic Canada Tourism Industry Associations, and the four Provincial Departments responsible for tourism. For more information on the four provinces, visit these websites or follow on social media:

Newfoundland and Labrador
Web: http://www.newfoundlandlabrador.com/ Instagram: @newfoundlandlabrador Twitter: @NLtweets Facebook: @NewfoundlandandLabradorTourism

New Brunswick
Web: http://www.tourismnewbrunswick.ca Instagram: @DestinationNB Twitter: @SeeNewBrunswick Facebook: @DestinationNB

Nova Scotia
Web: http://www.novascotia.com Instagram: @VisitNovaScotia Twitter: @VisitNovaScotia Facebook: @NovaScotia

Prince Edward Island
Web: http://www.tourismpei.com Instagram: @tourismpei Twitter: @tourismpei Facebook: @tourismpei

Alice Phillips/Bridget Fairless 

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Bridget Fairless