Broadway’s “Come From Away,” a Musical about 9/11 and Beyond

by Sarah Bradley on February 24, 2020 in Entertainment, Music, Theatre, Houston,
9195 The First North American Tour Company of COME FROM AWAY Photo by Matthew Murphy 2018 e1582558224125

Come From Away is coming to the Houston Hobby Center March 3 – March 8.

This new American musical about the coming together that occurred on September 12, 2001 tells the remarkable true story of 7,000 stranded passengers in a small Canadian town 1,000 miles northeast of New York City.

Prior to the show’s opening, we spoke with Danielle K. Thomas, who plays Hannah O’Rourke in the touring musical, about all that Come From Away has to offer.

Photo Matthew Murphy

What can you tell us about your character in Come From Away? How is this character different from other roles you’ve played?

Hannah O’Rourke is the mother of a First Responder named Kevin in New York. Hannah is trying to get in touch with her son on 9/11 and the days following. This role is different for me because I have the responsibility of making sure that I honor her story.

Come From Away is a true story. Is/was your character, Hannah O’Rourke, real as well? If so, did you meet with her to better develop the character? If not, how did you come to find this character’s persona?

Hannah O’Rourke is a real person, whom I had the pleasure of meeting in Seattle for the opening night of our tour. Hannah is an amazing woman, who wears a pendant with Kevin’s photo around her neck, which radiates her love for her son. This is the reason I’m so honored to tell this story and remain true to the depth of the honor of Kevin, despite the sadness that can surround it.

Photo Matthew Murphy

How do you, as an actress, connect with and portray such a hard hitting story? Do you have any personal memories from where you were on 9/11 that you focus on for the role?

It’s not very hard to relate to the possibilities of loss, as is the situation with Hannah. You simply need to be human. You can feel the urgency of what it would be like to not know how or even where your loved ones are in a time of crisis. I’m also a native New Yorker and I was there on 9/11 and I saw the live broadcast of the plane hitting the building. We lost so much. I vividly remember how I felt that day.

Photo Matthew Murphy

Come From Away is said to tell the story of 9/12 and how we took care of each other with small acts of kindness. How do you think this story and our actions on 9/12 compare to our society today?

Our society today could do with the reminder of the power of an act of kindness. Sometimes it’s as simple as giving up your chair or even just a smile. We’re seeing more moments of tragic situations nowadays, and this story helps us know that there’s goodness in people.

What’s your favorite scene and/or song in the show?

Hannah’s solo song, “I Am Here”, moved me the most when I first learned of the show. You feel the depth, desperation and high stakes of the character, and you can’t help but want her to get what she’s looking for.

Why should our Texas Lifestyle readers come and watch Come From Away?

Everyone needs to see Come From Away. I truly believe people are better from it. This remarkable story reminds us of the goodness of people, and compassion in the midst of true tragedy.

Come From Away is at the Houston Hobby Center March 3-8.


Cover photo Matthew Murphy

Sarah Bradley lives in Houston and is a recent graduate of Texas State University where she earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Mass Communication – Journalism. Though juggling a busy teaching schedule, she loves an opportunity to continue her passion for writing with Texas Lifestyle Magazine.