The Pitch

From left, Irene Sankoff, Jodi Beckwith and David Hein perform a song from the first act of the musical "Mitzvah" at the opening night of The Pitch in 2013 at Theater Mack in Auburn.

The Citizen file

Organizers of the Finger Lakes Musical Theatre Festival have long touted the potential of its musicals-in-progress series, The Pitch, to spotlight promising young playwrights.

Seven Tony Award nominations Tuesday morning say they may have been onto something.

"Come From Away," the latest musical by husband-and-wife playwright duo Irene Sankoff and David Hein, was nominated for Best Musical and six other categories of Broadway's biggest prize Tuesday morning.

Taking place in Gander, Newfoundland, the week after the Sept. 11 attacks, "Come From Away" tells the story of locals and travelers who came together when 38 planes were forced to land in the small town. The play premiered in San Diego in 2015 and opened on Broadway in March.

Sankoff and Hein visited the Newfoundland town to interview locals in 2011 and began workshopping the show shortly thereafter. It was around that time that the duo was also in Auburn for a run of one of its other plays, the terrific "My Mother's Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding," at Auburn Public Theater in 2012.

The two returned to the Finger Lakes Musical Theatre Festival the following summer to present another musical, "Mitzvah."

The 2017 Tony Awards take place June 11 at Radio City Music Hall, with host Kevin Spacey. "Come From Away" is up for Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical and Best Original Score for Sankoff and Hein, Best Featured Actress in a Musical for Jenn Colella, Best Lighting Design in a Musical for Howell Binkley, Best Direction of a Musical for Christopher Ashley and Best Choreography for Kelly Devine.

Lake Life Editor David Wilcox can be reached at (315) 282-2245 or david.wilcox@lee.net. Follow him on Twitter @drwilcox.

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Features editor for The Citizen.