COME FROM AWAY makes its return to San Diego with the national tour. The show is, at its core, about how, after unimaginable events, people can come together to help others and create some light, even in the darkest of events. Harter Clingman, who plays police officer Oz Fudge in the show among others, talks about what it’s like to perform this show, the real-life people the actors portray on stage, and bringing the show back to San Diego. COME FROM AWAY is playing at the San Diego Civic Theatre from Broadway San Diego from May 17th- May 22nd.
Based on true events, COME FROM AWAY is a musical that shows the extraordinary events of a community in Newfoundland in the immediate aftermath of the events of September 11th. When the air space was closed down, flights from all over were redirected to land in Gander, and the small town found itself helping 7,000 stranded passengers. The musical features people and stories from all over the world, but also the special people of Gander who stepped up when help was needed.
While the events that led to this event were unimaginable, the musical itself is incredibly hopeful and emotional. It celebrates the power of good, even in the darkest of times. Harter Clingman says that he and the cast are excited and privileged to bring this story to theatres around the nation.
“We as a cast and anybody that is privileged enough to be telling this story, feel that it is so important to give audiences, and especially young people, a chance to soak up a true life event around 9/11 that may be uplifting in some way. I think it provides a certain catharsis and healing energy to events that are otherwise forever deemed heavy and tragic. Getting to see this show and understand that this kindness, human decency, and generosity on Gander also happened as a result of these events.”
Harter and the cast have had the chance to meet the real life counterparts of the people they play, and being able to call them a friend means portraying them on stage is both a responsibility and a privilege.
“Oz Fudge is a friend and he’s of the kindest, funniest, individuals I’ve ever met. We tell a lot of people’s stories and a lot of the people that the show depicts – but specifically our main characters, I think just knowing them and hearing their stories adds a lot of depth to our performances. It definitely rounds the show in a way that is really helpful and connects this story. They’re just kind, and generous, fun people and it’s lovely to connect.”
The show offers emotions and moments for the audience, and Clingman says there are two that counts among his favorites for the audience to experience.
“My absolutely fav moment is a moment of collective prayer that is depicted as multiple cultures and religions coming together in one place for a moment of reverence and calm and solitude and praying for peace. I think it’s one of the most beautifully written songs in the show. I also really love, to contrast that moment, not only was thee massive efforts to take care of these people to house them, feed, them, and clothes them- and there is a party of sorts depicted in the show where they are “Screeched in” and kiss the fish, take a shot, dance, and sing, there’s music and I think it’s really important to the story itself. I think it’s a really fun moment for audiences.”
Much like the coming together of multiple people and cultures created this extraordinary moment in time they are capturing on stage, COME FROM AWAY was also created by a blend of different people and places to create this unique show. A fact that Clingman says is celebrated every show but also is extra exciting when bringing it back to a place like San Diego that was pivotal in the creation of the show.
“It feels like a homecoming, that there is a certain celebratory air about our stay in a place where the show has a history. It’s very cool, and people take a lot of pride in COME FROM AWAY when we come to places like Seattle or San Diego, and anywhere in Canada, there is specific ownership over the story. We’re very excited to bring this show back to yet another home!”
How to Get Tickets
You can se Harter Clingman and the cast of COME FROM AWAY at the San Diego Civic Theatre through Broadway San Diego from May 17th – 22nd.. For ticket and showtime information go to www.broadwaysd.com
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