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  • Writer's pictureAlex Matthews

Academy's John Brant produces 'Come From Away', 20 years since 9/11

The Academy is honored to share that Broadway's "Come From Away'', produced by John Brant (Class of 2006), is recognizing 20 years since September 11th, 2001 with the premiere of a filmed adaption of the Tony award-winning musical on Apple TV+ and a live concert version of the show at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., on Friday, September

16th, 2021.


"Come From Away" tells the true story of 7,000 people who were taken in after being stranded in the small town of Gander, Newfoundland, on Sept. 11, 2001.


Kevin Tuerff, one of the passengers in "Come From Away," explains what happened on that tragic day. He was traveling on an Air France flight flying from Paris to Austin, Texas, with a connection in New York City when he heard an alarming announcement:


"The captain said something in French but I understood he said the word terrorism in English. And shortly thereafter, he spoke in broken English, saying due to a terrorist attack in the United States, we will be landing in Gander," Tuerff explained. "We essentially sat on the plane on the tarmac for 15 hours. The airport couldn't possibly hold more than a single planeload of a jumbo jet of people. We had about 270 on our flight from all over the world."


The locals recruited bus drivers to shuttle the 7,000 passengers from 38 transatlantic flights to any available room that they had in the town, providing food, clothing, and shelter. The small town, which had a population of approximately 9,000 people, had nearly doubled in size overnight.


Tuerff's story, along with film footage he shared, went on to become one of the multiple accounts from passengers and Ganderites that laid the foundation for the musical that now many more people will get to experience with the film adaptation.


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