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Dear Evan Hansen – A Must-Watch Broadway Play

As someone with social anxiety, I’m so glad that I always had at least one person by my side throughout high school and college. I don’t know what I would have done, especially in high school where my social anxiety was at its peak, without someone there to sit with me at lunch and go to parties with.

And that’s who Evan Hansen was – a person with social anxiety. At least in my eyes – he didn’t really talk to anyone except for this one guy (Jared Kleinman), who wasn’t really friends with Evan. The Broadway play starts with Evan’s first day back at school after summer vacation – when he fell down from a tree and broke his arm. No one was there to hear him and help him when he fell – a theme that plays throughout the play itself.

Evan, on his first day of school, is told by his mom to ask people to sign his cast – and the only person he asked was Connor Murphy. Evan also is told by his therapist to write letters to himself, so towards the end of his first day, he finished writing his letter – mentioning Connor’s sister, Zoe Murphy, whom he had a huge crush on. Connor found this letter and crushed it and took it with him.

Photo Credit: Playbill

Later, we find that Connor committed suicide that night, and his parents found the letter and began to think that Connor and Evan were friends. The entire play centers around Evan trying to support Connor’s parents through this hard time, and trying to honor Connor’s memory – even though Connor and Evan weren’t really friends.

This play is beautiful. It’s the first play that I saw that blatantly showcased mental health issues, and tackled a hard subject like suicide. The overall message of “You Will Be Found” really hits you at the very end when the final song starts playing – reminding everyone that they aren’t alone.

This play gives its viewers an important message about being alone. No one deserves to be alone or to disappear (there’s a song on their soundtrack on it that brings me to tears). It’s important to remember that there are people around you who may feel like they can just disappear – from strangers to people that you may know personally.

Photo Credit: Redbubble

Other than the story itself – the soundtrack is absolutely amazing. “Waving Through a Window” has been one of those songs that have instantly made a place in my heart – with lyrics like “I try to speak but nobody can hear, so I wait around for an answer to appear.” There are the sadder songs, like “Requiem”– the song that Zoe and her family sung for their lost brother/son. “Disappear” – a song sung by the ghost of Conner to persuade Evan to do something – “No one deserves to be forgotten, no one deserves to fade away.” And then, of course, “You Will Be Found” – the final song, which was oddly motivating and tear-jerking at the same time (especially when the entire cast came out to sing the chorus together).

“Even when the dark comes crashing through, when you need a friend to carry you, when you’re broken on the ground, you will be found. So let the sun come streaming in, ‘cause you’ll reach up and you’ll rise again. If you only look around, you will be found.”

 

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Alizah Ali is a senior at BU. She's working on her biology-premed degree, which finds her often in the quietest parts of the library. She loves coffee and bunnies and running whenever the Boston weather lets her. She's a big advocate for mental health destigmatization and awareness. Follow her on instagram @lizza0419
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