‘Dear Evan Hansen’ takes audiences on an emotional rollercoaster

Maddie Black, Layout and Design Editor

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Dear Evan Hansen is a popular Broadway musical that talks about suicide and social anxiety disorder.

Evan Hansen is a 17-year-old with social anxiety disorder. His mom, Heidi Hansen, forces Evan to start writing letters to himself every day to help him gain more confidence in himself. Connor Murphy is also a teenager who feels like the whole world is against him. When these two cross paths, Connor ends up signing Evan’s cast on his arm and then snaps at Evan for the letter he wrote.

A few days later Evan is called into the principal’s office and is faced with Larry and Cynthia Murphy, Connor’s parents, who show him the letter that Connor took from Evan. They also drop the terrible news about Connor committing suicide. Connor’s parents believe that Evan and Connor were friends. Evan decides to contribute to that lie more and more. He tells them about fake adventures he and Connor went on and even made up fake emails with a family friend, Jared Kleinman.

Zoe Murphy, Connor’s sister, is suspicious about the whole thing at first but then grows to believe Evan and even falls in love with him for who he is. Evan starts the Connor Project with Alana Beck, to spread awareness about suicide but to also show that “no one deserves to be forgotten.” They start posting some of Evan and Connor’s emails to show the “true” friendship they had. Eventually, the Connor project starts to raise a lot of money to help start an orchard for Connor.

Towards the end of the show, Evan tells the truth to the Murphy’s due to “Connor’s” suicide note to Evan being released on the Connor project website, which was actually Evan’s note he wrote.

The musical opened in December of 2016 and ended up getting nominated for nine tonys and winning six; Best Musical, Best Score, Best Actor in a Musical for Ben Platt, and Best Featured Actress in a Musical for Rachel Bay Jones. The Music and lyrics are written by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. ‘Waving Through A Window,’ ‘Sincerely, Me,’ ‘You Will Be Found,’ and ‘Words Fail’ are some of the most popular songs in the show.

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