October 17th, 2019
Songwriting maestros Benj Pasek and Justin Paul are the Tony-winning creatives behind the Broadway smash hit, Dear Evan Hansen! With six Tony awards and a Grammy award to its name lets take a look at how it all began...
Two-thirds of the creators of Dear Evan Hansen, writing duo Benj and Pasek first met as undergraduates at the University of Michigan in 2005. When they were given underwhelming roles in a production, they were inspired to work together to create their first project, Edges in 2006. Its originality got them noticed and in 2007 they became the youngest (aged just 20!) recipients of the Jonathan Larson Award, an honor that recognizes young musical theatre talent named after the writer of RENT.
The idea for Dear Evan Hansen had been with Pasek since a similar incident at his own high school got him thinking about the nature of memorializing and mortality, but it wasn't actually until 2009 that the project found its voice. Writer Stephen Levenson came on board in 2011, alongside Producer Stacey Minison. By 2014, Dear Evan Hansen was not only ready but had attached what would become its Tony Winning original cast, led by Pitch Perfect's Ben Platt.
They held table reads from March of 2014 before finally premiering on July 15th, 2015 at Washington D.C's Arena Stage. From there it was only a short hop to Off Broadway's Second Stage where it opened in March 2016, followed by a transfer to Broadway's Music Box Theatre in December 2016.
After premiering on Broadway Dear Evan Hansen went on to win in six of its nine Tony categories, including Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical, Best Original Score and Best Actor in a Musical for Ben Platt. Since then Dear Evan Hansen's success hasn't stopped! The musical went on to win the Grammy award for Best Musical Theatre Album in January 2018 and has since launched its first regional production in Toronto! Dear Evan Hansen will also be heading across the pond this year and will make its West End debut this November!
DID YOU KNOW?
Dear Evan Hansen was originally conceived to be a little darker and more cynical, with the focus on humanity's need to be a part of someone else's tragedy. However, when Stephen Leveson came on board to write the book they decided to give the show a bit more heart.
Dear Evan Hansen is currently out on its first national tour! Book tickets now to avoid disappointment, you really don't want to miss this spine-tingling musical!
View our show pages for more information about Dear Evan Hansen, Fisher Theatre.
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