Conveying this modern reality through art isn't an easy task. And while the movie adaptation of Dear Evan Hansen was poorly made, overlong and terribly reviewed, the musical of Dear Evan Hansen (which runs June 8–19 in San Jose) captures it perfectly.
Social media is a constant, ambient presence in the modern world, surrounding its users and informing their every move. In the stage set of Dear Evan Hansen, this is made literal: social media feeds are projected upon giant pillars, towering over the action on stage. The posts and tweets are both the cause and commentariat of the story unfolding below, a ceaseless threat upon the musical's high school-age characters.
And it's no wonder that the main character, Evan Hansen, has extreme anxiety.