"There’s a lot to unpack here, because this show is bleak as hell, and it genuinely doesn’t seem to know it.
Despite centering on a mentally ill kid and being spurred on by a suicide, Dear Evan Hansen definitely isn’t about mental illness. Evan’s whole therapy thing is dropped once the story gets underway, and the Connor Murphy that we see for most of the play is… not Connor Murphy. Or even like a phantom version of him. That whole song, Disappear, about how important it is to not let people be forgotten… that “Connor” sings? Where “Connor” says “If you can somehow keep them thinking of me, and make more than an abandoned memory.”
That dude is explicitly – in. the. text. – not Connor. He is Evan’s inner monologue being played by the other actor, while the actual Connor is being erased literally line by line. And yet it’s presented as some meaningful act? What?
I sucked in high school. A few more left turns and I could have easily ended up in the same place Connor did.
So I take it fucking personally that he was cast aside like that in a show that is supposed to be about giving every person their due.
I am still here, obviously. Most days, I know that’s a good thing. Some days, I have to actively remind myself. I still do those Five Things every night, though coming up with something good about myself day after day is as hard as ever.
I have tried on multiple occasions and spent thousands of dollars of my own money trying to put together various media projects about suicide, but I have always scrapped them because in the end I realized that they were not helpful – that the message they were actually conveying rather than the one I wanted to convey was more harmful than helpful. And I wasn’t okay with that. Without something worthwhile to say there, it’s really better to say nothing."