On Monday, November 12, The Sheen Center kicked off their new series called Backstage Broadway in the Black Box Theater. For their first presentation of the series, Kevin Tuerff talked with Chad Kimball, his onstage doppelgänger in Broadway's Come From Away.
Kevin Tuerff, also known as "The Real Kevin T." was one of the thousands of people stranded in Gander, Newfoundland due to the events of 9/11. When he returned to Gander in 2011, he was approached by Irene Sankoff and David Hein, who told him that they had received a grant to write a musical about the events that took place in Gander in the days following 9/11. Their interview with him became an integral part of the show, with Chad Kimball taking on the role.
Over the course of the evening, the pair talked about their careers and largely about the days Tuerff spent in Newfoundland and what he has done since. The presentation also saw Kimball sing two songs, one from Godspell and a version of the Prayer of St. Francis, which he sings in Come From Away during the song "Prayer".
It was quite remarkable to hear about Tuerff's experience in Gander, and to learn about his life afterwards, and how he was influenced by the kindness he experienced in Newfoundland. He started Pay it Forward 9/11, encouraging others to do something for others in remembrance of the events that took place in New York and D.C.. His book Channel of Peace was for sale after the event, and I couldn't help but buy a copy, in order to learn more about his life and experience.