Evan Hanson feels invisible. He feels like his voice isn’t heard amid all the noises of his peers. When he goes to school, and gets his cast signed by Conner Murphy, Conner is the only guy who signs his cast. Conner also feels invisible. What little we see of Conner’s interaction with his family, he’s clearly frustrated about something.
Conner’s suicide startles his family, as well as Evan, who barely knew him. When a note that Evan wrote to himself is mistaken for friendship between Evan and Conner, Evan’s world begins to change. People notice him in the hallways. As Evan’s lies become more elaborate, he must choose whether or not to tell the truth.
Dear Evan Hanson is a touching story about two kids who feel lonely, each who deal with their loneliness in different ways. Sadly, Conner’s choice is to take his own life, while Evan’s chooses to fabricate their friendship. Evan quickly learns that lies can not only get out of hand, but that they can hurt other people.
One of the major lessons from this play is that no matter your circumstances, you’re not alone. This had a huge impact on me, because I know what it’s like to feel lonely, or feel like I’m alone in the world. While I’m doing much better, there are still days where I feel lonely. How you combat this loneliness is up to you.
I liked the use of technology throughout the play, which reminded me that we are so bombarded by social media that it can take precedence over what really matters in life. The important thing is to use social networks as a platform for doing something useful, to do something meaningful. It’s all too easy to become focused on how many likes, or hearts, or how many views we get on a post. It’s enough to drive someone crazy.
In real life, we can’t quantify our interactions by liking or re-posting something. This kind of instant gratification doesn’t always instantaneously happen in real life. In real life, things take time. You have to wait for something to happen, like hearing back from an interview, or waiting for the play to start. This can be very frustrating, especially if you have been waiting for something good to happen to you for a long time.
The play focuses on Evan’s loneliness. His loneliness is something everyone can relate to, because everyone at one point or another has felt lonely. But Dear Evan Hanson also reminds us that we’re not alone. In fact, we’re in this journey together. We’re getting better together. This is the beauty of the show: showing us that growth and recovery is possible, no matter how bleak it may sometimes seem.
And one day, we’ll climb a tree until we see the sun.