by Gianluca Russo
Musical theatre has a way of impacting and changing the lives of fans all over the country. Recently, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul’s hit musical, Dear Evan Hansen, shone a light on more serious topics such as mental health and suicide while showing audiences all of ages that no matter what, no one is ever alone.
The musical’s gorgeous score is known for resonating with Gen Z’ers from all over as its universal message is one that hits close to home for those who are coming of age. Dear Evan Hansen, along with its beautiful cast, has been a guide for those searching for hope and has taught younger fans a myriad of life lessons, many of which have lifted them up from some of their darkest moments.
Here are some inspirational lessons that Dear Evan Hansen has taught its fans, as well as one of its stars, Laura Dreyfuss.
“The main thing I’ve learned is being able to understand the power of social media. I grew up in the 1990s, so I didn’t really have it in my youth, but the time I hit college, I was using Facebook regularly and it was an interesting thing to navigate because you’re given this megaphone in a way. Now, there are so many different ways to communicate with a large group of people, so just understanding the power of that and being really responsible with that power because we don’t fully understand its impact yet. So, I feel like this show definitely shines a light on that. Also, understanding how there’s a person always behind the screen and so, when you say something, it can be hurtful or it can be perceived in a certain way; You have to be really careful about what you put out there.”
– Laura Dreyfuss, Zoe Murphy in Broadway’s Dear Evan Hansen
“Growing up, I didn’t know how to express myself through any other way; Sarcasm was my natural defense mechanism and it worked well. The minute I saw [the character of] Jared, I knew that he was me. Most people connect with Evan, but for some reason, [I saw myself in] Jared. Even though we never find out exactly what happens with him, he gives me hope. I think of myself as Jared: I picked myself up from my ‘Good For You’ moment and I kept walking, and I like to think that I’m the continuation of his story. Things like this gave me an out; They gave me a reason to look out on the world and go ‘maybe things will be okay, it just takes time.'”
– Britt Buterbaugh, 18, California
“Before I found Dear Evan Hansen, I’d nearly completely given up on life; I didn’t really believe in anything or anyone, especially myself. But, [after listening to] Dear Evan Hansen, I found something that felt so real that I could relate to, and discovered over time that I am not alone; that life could get better for me. I’m eternally glad and grateful that I found Dear Evan Hansen when I did.”
– Ina Repizo, 16, New Zealand
“Dear Evan Hansen reassures me that these little quirks and traits [I have], like Evan and Connor and Jared, are not something that only one person has and seeing these portrayed in DEH is uplifting and reassuring in a way I never thought possible. Basically, feeling a connection to these three characters in this show is as much a reminder as I have ever and will ever need that you or I are never alone.”
– Mathew O’Connor, 16, Australia
“Dear Evan Hansen has taught me that somebody is always there to help. For me, I realize that somebody is always there to help. Whenever I seem to be having the worst day of my entire life, my friends are always a text away and they’ll sit and have a huge conversation with me. If you open yourself up more, eventually more and more people will open up to you and they’ll be there for you to help you clean up life’s messes. Back when I had really bad depression, my closest friends would always be there for me, picking me up on my darkest days and I am so incredibly grateful for that. We are never truly alone.”
– Taylor Fisher, 18, North Carolina
Dear Evan Hansen has undeniably changed the lives of many of its fans. What has Dear Evan Hansen taught you?
Share your story with #DEHTaughtMe to show how far the musical’s message extends across Gen Z’ers all over the world.
Featured Image via Dear Evan Hansen website.