DEAR EVAN HANSEN To Receive Its New York Premiere at Second Stage Theatre in Spring 2016; Book by Steven Levenson Music and Lyrics by Benj Pasek & Justin Paul Directed by Michael Greif

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To Receive Its New York Premiere at

Second Stage Theatre in Spring 2016


Book by Steven Levenson

Music and Lyrics by Benj Pasek & Justin Paul

Directed by Michael Greif


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August 13, 2015 – Second Stage Theatre (Carole Rothman, Artistic Director, Casey Reitz, Executive Director), in association with Stacey Mindich Productions, will present the New York premiere of the critically acclaimed new musical, DEAR EVAN HANSEN, featuring music and lyrics by the Tony and Emmy nominated composing team Benj Pasek & Justin Paul (Dogfight, A Christmas Story), book by Steven Levenson (Showtime’s Masters of Sex), and direction by three-time Tony Award nominee Michael Greif (Rent, Next to Normal, Grey Gardens, If/Then).  Season subscriptions are currently available at or by calling the box office at 212-246-4422.


The musical, which concludes its run at Washington D.C.’s Arena Stage on August 23, will open at Second Stage’s Tony Kiser Theatre (305 West 43rd street) in spring 2016.  Exact dates, casting and complete creative team will be announced at a later date.


Benj Pasek & Justin Paul return to Second Stage Theatre where their musical, Dogfight, received its world premiere in 2012.  Director Michael Greif staged Second Stage Theatre’s production of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Next to Normal, as well as their production of Howard Korder’s Boys’ Life.


“The story of Evan Hansen couldn’t be more current or immediate and I am proud to present the New York Premiere of this powerful and moving new American musical,” said Second Stage Artistic Director Carole Rothman.  “I’m also very much looking forward to welcoming Benj and Justin, with whom we so happily collaborated on Dogfight, and Michael Greif, who memorably staged Next to Normal for us, back to the Second Stage family.  And I’ve been a fan of Steven’s work for many years, so I am very excited to work with him on this project.”


In its world premiere production at Washington DC’s Arena Stage, Peter Marks of The Washington Post called DEAR EVAN HANSEN, “Entertainingly smart and radiating charm, wit and humor!  This heart-piercingly lovely new musical is a trip to the exciting place that musical theater sometimes takes you, a destination of wholly unexpected impact, where characters burst into song and you, in spite of yourself, into tears.”  And Charles Isherwood of The New York Times called the musical, “Fresh, vibrant, and quite moving.”




STEVEN LEVENSON (Book) is an award-winning playwright, currently at work as a writer and co-producer on Showtime’s Emmy and Golden Globe-nominated Masters of Sex. His plays include The Unavoidable Disappearance of Tom Durnin (Roundabout Theatre Company, Outer Critics Circle Award), Core Values (Ars Nova, Drama Desk Nominee for Best Play), The Language of Trees (Roundabout) and Seven Minutes in Heaven (Colt Coeur; Emerging America Festival/Huntington Theatre Company). His work has been seen and developed by Lincoln Center Theater, Manhattan Theatre Club, Atlantic Theater Company, MCC Theater, Hartford Stage, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Berkshire Theatre Festival and the Araca Group. His plays are published by Dramatists Play Service and Playscripts. A graduate of Brown University and former Artist in Residence at Ars Nova, he has received new play commissions from Roundabout, Lincoln Center, MCC and Ars Nova. He is a founding member of Colt Coeur and an alumnus of MCC’s Playwrights Coalition and Ars Nova’s Play Group.


BENJ PASEK & JUSTIN PAUL (Music and Lyrics)’s musical Dogfight had its world premiere at Second Stage Theatre, where it won the Lortel Award for Best New Musical.  Broadway credits include A Christmas Story, The Musical (Lunt-Fontanne Theatre), which received Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle nominations for Outstanding New Broadway Musical. Other theater credits include James and the Giant Peach (Kennedy Center, Goodspeed Musicals and Seattle Children’s Theatre) and Edges. In TV, their original songs were featured on season two of NBC’s Smash and rose to the top 25 on the iTunes pop charts. They have also written songs for Sesame Street (PBS) and Johnny and the Sprites (Disney Channel). Other songwriting honors include the Richard Rodgers Award for Musical Theatre from the American Academy of Arts and Letters; Sundance Institute Fellowship; ASCAP Richard Rodgers New Horizons Award; ASCAP Songwriters Fellowship Award; Dramatists Guild Fellowship; Jonathan Larson Award; and Billboard Magazine Top 5 Broadway Songwriters. Benj and Justin work actively as teachers conducting master classes at top theater programs and universities around the world. Both are graduates of the University of Michigan and members of the Dramatists Guild of America.

MICHAEL GREIF (Director) returns to Second Stage Theatre where he staged Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey’s Next to Normal and Howard Korder’s Boys’ Life.   Broadway credits include If/Then, starring Idina Menzel, Anthony Rapp and LaChanze; Next to NormalGrey GardensRent (Tony Award nominations) and Never Gonna Dance. At the Delacorte, The Tempest, Winter’s Tale and Romeo and Juliet. Off-Broadway credits include new plays, musicals and revivals at Playwrights Horizons, Manhattan Class Company, Manhattan Theatre Club, NY Shakespeare Festival/Public, NYTW, Roundabout, and Signature, including Katori Hall’s Our Lady of Kibeho, the 2010 revival of Angels in America (Lortel Award), Kushner’s The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide … (Public), Guare’s Landscape of the Body (Signature) and musical adaptations of Giant (Public) and Far from Heaven (Playwrights Horizons). He received Obie Awards for Machinal and Dogeaters (Public) and for Rent (NYTW). Regional credits include Williamstown (nine seasons), La Jolla Playhouse (Artistic Director 1995-99), Center Stage, Goodman, Guthrie, CTG/Taper, DTC and Trinity Rep. Education: Northwestern (BS), UCSD (MFA).




Second Stage Theatre is currently presenting the world premiere of Dick Scanlan and Sherie Rene Scott’s new play, WHORL INSIDE A LOOP, directed by Mr. Scanlan and Michael Mayer.  Currently in previews, the show officially opens August 27.


The Company’s upcoming season includes the New York premiere of INVISIBLE THREAD, a new musical by Matt Gould and Griffin Matthews and directed by Tony Award winner Diane Paulus, as well as the New York premiere of Lydia R. Diamond’s play, SMART PEOPLE, directed by Tony Award winner Kenny Leon.


Under the artistic direction of Carole Rothman, SECOND STAGE THEATRE produces a diverse range of premieres and new interpretations of America’s best contemporary theatre, including 2015 Pulitzer Prize winner Between Riverside and Crazy by Stephen Adly Guirgis; 2010 Pulitzer Prize winner Next to Normal by Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey; 2012 Pulitzer Prize winner Water by the Spoonful by Quiara Alegria Hudes; The Last Five Years by Jason Robert Brown; Dogfight by Benj Pasek, Justin Paul and Peter Duchan; By the Way, Meet Vera Stark by Lynn Nottage; Trust and Lonely, I’m Not by Paul Weitz; The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity by Kristoffer Diaz; Everyday Rapture by Dick Scanlan and Sherie Rene Scott; Let Me Down Easy by Anna Deavere Smith; Becky Shaw by Gina Gionfriddo; Eurydice by Sarah Ruhl; The Little Dog Laughed by Douglas Carter Beane; Metamorphoses by Mary Zimmerman; The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee by William Finn and Rachel Sheinkin; Jitney by August Wilson; Jar the Floor by Cheryl L. West; Uncommon Women and Others by Wendy Wasserstein; Crowns by Regina Taylor; Saturday Night by Stephen Sondheim; Afterbirth: Kathy & Mo’s Greatest Hits by Mo Gaffney and Kathy Najimy; This Is Our Youth by Kenneth Lonergan; Ricky Jay and His 52 Assistants by Ricky Jay; Coastal Disturbances by Tina Howe; A Soldier’s Play by Charles Fuller; Little Murders by Jules Feiffer; The Good Times Are Killing Me by Lynda Barry; and Tiny Alice by Edward Albee.


The company’s more than 130 citations include the 2009 Tony Awards for Best Lead Actress in a Musical (Alice Ripley, Next to Normal) and Best Score (Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey, Next to Normal); the 2007 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play (Julie White, The Little Dog Laughed); the 2005 Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical (Rachel Sheinkin, …Spelling Bee) and Best Featured Actor in a Musical (Dan Fogler, …Spelling Bee); the 2002 Tony Award for Best Director of a Play (Mary Zimmerman for Metamorphoses); the 2002 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Body of Work, 27 Obie Awards, seven Outer Critics Circle Awards, two Clarence Derwent Awards, 12 Drama Desk Awards, nine Theatre World Awards, 17 Lucille Lortel Awards, the Drama Critics Circle Award and 23 AUDELCO Awards.


In 1999, Second Stage Theatre opened The Tony Kiser Theatre, its state-of-the-art, 296-seat theatre, designed by renowned Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas.  In 2002, Second Stage launched “Second Stage Theatre Uptown” series to showcase the work of up and coming artists at the McGinn/Cazale Theatre.  The Theatre supports artists through several programs that include residencies, fellowships and commissions, and engages students and community members through education and outreach programs.




In 2015 Second Stage Theatre purchased the historic Helen Hayes Theatre, located at 240 W. 44th Street.  With this new home, Second Stage will be the only theatre company on Broadway dedicated exclusively to the development and presentation of contemporary American theatrical productions.  The company will continue to lease and operate their original theatres on the city’s Upper West Side and in Midtown Manhattan.  Second Stage Theatre has enlisted David Rockwell and The Rockwell Group to make renovations and updates to the 103 year old landmark building. They will begin renovations on the theatre in 2016 and plans for its first Broadway production to be staged in the Hayes during the 2017-18 season.


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