Dear Evan Hansen

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Name: Dear Evan Hansen
Abbreviation(s): DEH
Creator: Pasek & Paul
Date(s): 2016 (Broadway premiere)
Medium: musical theater
Country of Origin: USA
External Links: Wikipedia
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Dear Evan Hansen is a musical by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. The story follows high-schooler Evan Hansen, who has a broken arm and social anxiety disorder, through the convoluted lies he tells following the death of a classmate.


DEH premiered on Broadway in November 2016 and picked up a few fans: the first fic posted on the Archive of Our Own was on January 8, 2017. Its popularity increased following the release of the cast album in February 2017. The shows was critically acclaimed and remains one of the most popular shows on Broadway.

The most popular ship in the fandom is Evan Hansen/Connor Murphy, followed by Alana Beck/Zoe Murphy, and Evan Hansen/Jared Kleinman - none of which are canonical. Connor/Miguel, canon only in the novelization, did not become significantly popular.

The fandom is also very concerned with the original Broadway actors in the show, especially Ben Platt and Mike Faist (Evan and Connor, respectively), but there doesn't seem to be much RPF shipping happening.

Like with most theater fandoms, a significant part of a fan's interaction with fandom can involve searching for or trading bootleg recordings of the show, especially when an understudy steps in.[1]

Tropes & Fanon

  • Connor's Sexuality: Fanon widely accepts that Connor is gay. This interpretation is based on his characterization in the play and many fans consider him to be queer-coded. He has long hair - actors portraying Connor in all major productions have stopped cutting their hair - and wears nail polish. He has a negative relationship with his father and father-son bonding activities like sports.
    • In the Novel: In the Dear Evan Hansen young adult novelization of the play, Connor is revealed to have been in a relationship with his weed dealer, Miguel, and considers his sexuality "fluid."[2] One writer of the novel said that they decided to make Connor queer because they saw how many fans already believed he was and related to him on that basis.
    • Fan Reaction: Opinion on this reveal was divided. Some were happy to have their fanon acknowledged and made canon. However, other objected to the fact that this reveal retroactively makes DEH a Bury Your Gays story. The fact that Connor, who struggled with addiction, was in a relationship with his dealer, is also considered a negative portrayal of a gay relationship. This reveal also makes the way Evan exploits Connor's death even more suspect, because he has the fictionalized Connor repeatedly state that he is not gay in the faked letters. Opinions on whether the novel is truly canon are split.
  • Evan's Sexuality: Evan is generally headcanoned as bisexual for the purpose of shipping him with Connor in addition to his feelings for Zoe in canon.
  • Nobody Dies: "Alternate Universe - Everyone Lives/Nobody Dies" is one of the most common tags on AO3, and is the basis for the majority of fanworks. In these works, Connor does not commit suicide, thus averting Evan's lies and diverging from the majority of the original plot. These works may involve an attempted suicide, or none at all. Often they involve Evan and Connor becoming friends instead of the fight they had at the beginning of the play.
  • Ghost AU: Evan already has visions of Connor after his death in the musical, and some fanworks make Connor a more literal ghost, instead of just an extension of Connor's mind. These works often death with Connor's reaction to Evan's lies, or his own feelings about his struggles and death.
  • Crossover with Be More Chill: There has been a great deal of fannish drift and fandom migration between the two musical fandoms. It is likely that the migration of a number of DEH BNFs led to the rocketing popularity of the BMC original cast album, despite BMC being a very small, unknown shown. The two musicals are similar in that they both take place in high schools in New Jersey, making a shared universe somewhat plausible, despite them being different in genre and tone.

Example Fanworks





  1. ^ See Tumblr post by carmthemusicalnerd, If anyone gets a boot of today’s matinee with Colton as Connor I will literally trade my souls for it/ share a lot of my bootlegs for it., and Tumblr post by munchiezxx, DEAR GOD PLEASE SEND ME A COLTON CONNOR BOOTLEG AMEN
  2. ^ GUYS THERE’S A DEAR EVAN HANSEN NOVEL by broadway-in-the-starlight, Oct 09, 2018