What I Learned From "Dear Evan Hansen"

What I Learned From "Dear Evan Hansen"

A story that is far more than the typical musical.


No one deserves to be forgotten.

No one deserves to fade away.

No one deserves to disappear.

I went to see Dear Evan Hansen on broadway today. About a year ago I read the novel. Between then and now I've been listening to the soundtrack repeatedly whenever I can find the chance. There's something about this musical that speaks to people. Something about the music that people can relate to even before they see the show.

I met someone earlier in the year who knew the entire soundtrack but didn't know the story. She didn't know what order of events everything happened in, or who the different characters were. Or even how they were all related. And when she found out (she read the novel) she had a similar reaction to most who read or watch the show:

It's sad.

It's not a happy, uplifting, exciting musical. It's not one that will have you jumping out of your seat ready to dance. It's real. It's genuine. It's heartfelt. And it's mean to strike a chord with you. It's meant to make you think. It's meant to spread a message throughout the masses:

I matter.

You matter.

No one is alone.

And everyone will be found.

These are only some of the lessons I took away from this show. With a set that is based on the ever-changing platform of social media and the internet, Dear Evan Hansen was filled with fragmented pieces of text, representing the fragmented emotions the characters were feeling. High school isn't easy. Feeling alone is suffocating. Trying to find a place in this world feels impossible – especially when we're alone.

Because of this show, I know that what I experienced in high school wasn't much different from the person who sat next to me. I know that I wasn't alone. I know that when someone feels alone, it is possible to overcome. I know that when someone is filled with feelings of hopelessness and helplessness, it is possible to show them how important they are to the world. It is possible to show them how much they matter.

It is possible to show them that they've been found. That they haven't been forgotten. That they haven't disappeared. That they will never fade away.

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