Interviews From Another Zero:

Talking with Sharone Sayegh who plays Bonnie and other characters in the Broadway touring production of Come From Away

"It is a beautiful story and the first time I saw it I was like-I cannot believe this happened and it is all true-. It is just so wild!-" 

by Alejandra Enciso-Dardashti

Sharone Sayegh originated the role of Anna in The Band’s Visit on Broadway. While working on that show, she went to see Come From Away as a mere spectator, loved it, and in her own words "cried her eyes out". Two years later, in mid-2019, Sayegh got the opportunity to audition for Come From Away but not for the role that she is currently playing. When she had the final callbacks, she was asked to read for Bonnie and then got offered the tour starting in September of that year. Then March 2020 came..."When we shut down nobody knew what was happening, they were like "don't take all your stuff with you it's probably going to be just a couple of weeks", I thought it was going to be a couple of weeks so I decided to go and stay with my parents in LA and ended up staying for four months".

Sharone decided to go back to New York with her husband and soon there after found out she was pregnant. The baby came in June 2021 and the tour started back up again in September. "We came back on the road with an almost three month old. Which has been amazing but also hard and crazy, but very fulfilling and very cool." Being organized as a working artist on tour has been key, her husband drafted a schedule for both of them to be on call and rest where they can plan their days and time. That is how I got the opportunity to talk to her for this interview while the tour was performing in Albuquerque New Mexico.

Coming back to Bonnie after an almost two-year hiatus, Sharone says that it feels more poignant now, more than ever even if the show has nothing to do with a pandemic. "We've all been so isolated from each other for so long and not connected as much. This show is about helping each other and helping strangers and connecting with each other, opening your home to someone you don't know because they're in need, which is kind of the opposite of what we have been doing for two years. So the audience reaction this time has felt almost more meaningful and emotional because I feel like they are so hungry to experience this connection with us as audience members and cast members on stage and also experience this story of connection, kindness, and help. Because we have all been craving that."

The North American Tour of Come From Away  Photo Credit Matthew Murphy.
I asked Sharone to describe Come From Away for people that do not know what it is about... "I would describe it as a 9/12 story rather than a 9/11 story. Because it is about what happened on 9/11 when all these planes were in the air and the U.S Airspace was closed. They were not allowed to land where they were going to land somewhere in the US. This story takes place over 5 days and it is about seven thousand people over 38 planes that were rerouted to this tiny town in Canada on Newfinland called Gander that town has about 9,000 people in it and in a matter of an hour 7,000 people landed there with nowhere to stay, nothing to eat, nothing. And so, this story is about this town of 9,000 people that literally opened their homes to them, gave them their own clothes, food, shelter, and entertainment, they did not know how long they were going to be there. It is a real story about real people who just helped these strangers until they were able to go back on the planes and go home. It is about the connections that they make with each other, the relationships that they form, and the funny situations that arise. It is a beautiful story and the first time I saw it I was like -I cannot believe this happened and it is all true-. It is just so wild!- 

And who's Bonnie?

The character that Sharone plays, Bonnie, lives in Gander and works at the SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals). In Gander, this organization was pretty much dogs and cats, they did not have a lot of wild animals. In the story, Bonnie takes care of about 19 animals that land with the planes. "It's a learning experience for her and she did really save all of these people's pets if she hadn't, who knows what would have happened. It is a really wonderful story".

The 20th anniversary of 9/11 happened last year (20 years CRAZY) and there was a tribute concert at the Lincoln Memorial to celebrate.

Sharone is super busy. Aside from her touring gig and roles as a mom and wife, she co-wrote a new musical titled The Super Musical. An origin story about Super Mario Brothers a la what Wicked did with The Wizard of Oz story. In the meantime, you can enjoy her wonderful performance in Come From Away during their touring engagement in San Diego currently playing until May 22 at the San Diego Civic Theatre. For more information on ticket prices and times, please click here.

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