Earlier this week, I reviewed the highly anticipated Dear Evan Hansen cast album. In that post, I briefly mentioned that Dear Evan Hansen has a decently sized and devoted fanbase. They’re called “Fansens”, and I’m definitely a member. So for today’s post, let’s dive into who Fansens are and why they love Dear Evan Hansen.
Fansens are an incredibly unique and fascinating fan group to interact with and be apart of. Hailing from every walk of life imaginable, Fansens come in varying degrees of obsession – some have just discovered the show, while others have seen it in every iteration multiple times. Some make fanart, have tattoos of lyrics from the show that have meaning to them, and some make memes on Twitter. Due to the show’s high school protagonists, many Fansens are also teenagers and young adults. Fansens of this age are the ones who can truly relate to what goes on in Dear Evan Hansen, and even more so thanks to the accessibility of Dear Evan Hansen through all its social media platforms. But it’s not just the official Dear Evan Hansen social media that has people talking. A slew of Tumblr fan accounts, a Facebook group, and a newly created subreddit are just a fraction of the groups of fans who are taking to the internet to share their love of the musical.
I spoke with my friend from Utah, Abram Berry, about what makes Dear Evan Hansen so appealing to teenagers: “I love Dear Evan Hansen because it paints mental illness in a realistic way,” Berry explained. “It’s not treated as a joke, but instead as a real struggle in these characters’ lives”.
Despite the majority of the fanbase being young people, that’s not stopping adults from loving the show too. The mother characters of “Heidi” (played by Rachel Bay Jones) and “Cynthia” (played by Jennifer Laura Thompson) in the show, affectionately referred to as the “Moms of Dear Evan Hansen” by their actresses have deeply resonated with parents who take their kids to see the show. In fact, the show’s subject matter has inspired some parents to forge a deeper connection with their children after seeing the show.
Since the cast album was just released last week, I assume that the Fansens will only grow from here on out. With all the buzz Dear Evan Hansen has been created just two months into its Broadway run, don’t be surprised if you find yourself in the Fansen community sometime soon. As for Abram’s reasoning to become a Fansen, he had one last thing to add: “Ben Platt is a frickin’ adorable puppy”.
Dear Evan Hansen is currently playing on Broadway. For more information visit dearevanhansen.com.