One of the most compelling moments of my career was a special performance of Come from Away. We took the Broadway show to Gander, Newfoundland, where the show is set and were performing for the people who it was about.
Every time the actors mentioned a name of somebody who was from Gander – because the characters are based on real people – the audience would erupt and you’d see people elbowing and poking each other, because those people were sitting right there.
There’s a scene where we’re screeching people in, which is a Newfoundland tradition to make people honorary Newfoundlanders, and we sing an old sea shanty – this one is a very traditional Newfoundland song – that has a call and response. Normally the ladies of the cast sing to the guys and then the guys sing to the ladies. But we started the song and the ladies sang the call portion, and the audience responded – we did not expect that. They sang along with the entire thing. We had trouble keeping it together. It was very emotional.
It’s common for the audience to give a standing ovation after a show – and we appreciate it every time. But the Gander audience stood two or three numbers before the end and just clapped and hollered the entire time and didn’t sit down. It was difficult to get through without getting a little misty. It was a very unique and special connection that everyone who works on the show still talks about.
— Nate Lueck, Music Diploma ’06
Nate plays multiple instruments in the Broadway musical Come from Away, and recently joined the Broadway Across Canada tour of the show to perform in his hometown of Edmonton.
We acknowledge that the land on which we gather in Treaty Six Territory is the traditional gathering place for many Indigenous people. We honour and respect the history, languages, ceremonies and culture of the First Nations, Métis and Inuit who call this territory home.