Director Steven Chbosky discusses Dear Evan Hansen

Director Steven Chbosky discusses Dear Evan Hansen

September 24, 2021 DGA Membership Screening Q&As

The Tony and Grammy Award-winning production gets a big screen adaptation in Director Steven Chbosky’s musical drama, Dear Evan Hansen.

Chbosky’s film presents the story of a high school senior with social anxiety disorder, who embarks on a journey of self-discovery and acceptance after possibly causing the suicide of a fellow classmate.

On September 12, after the DGA membership screening in New York, Chbosky discussed the making of Dear Evan Hansen during a Q&A moderated by Director Peter Hedges (The Same Storm). He is also spoke about the film in a conversation moderated by Director Jason Reitman (Ghostbusters: Afterlifefollowing the Los Angeles screening on September 24.

During the New York conversation, Chbosky revealed why he opted for live musical performances over prerecorded music wherever he could.

“Live singing was kind of like my number one thing. You're trying to mimic, to the best of your ability, what 1000 seat theater feels like but now it's just a dining room. To me, the cornerstone of that decision was, if I have this magical performer Ben Platt and I have all these other actors, the best way I can do what I was setting out to do which was to make every member of the audience feel like they were sitting next to me watching it happen 10 feet away was live singing. Of course, there are some exceptions. When the guys are dancing, they're so winded they couldn't do it; or when Evan is walking through the hallways and there's like a million people although some of that actually is still live. Wherever we could do it, we did it, that was the rule. But I just thought that that gave us the best opportunity, tonally, to make people feel like they were there.”

Chbosky’s other directorial credits include the feature films Wonder, The Perks of Being a Wallflower and The Four Corners of Nowhere. He  has been a DGA member since 2011.

You can listen to Chbosky's Q&A by clicking the podcast episode embedded below. You can find more DGA podcast episodes here.


Q&A photos by Marcie Revens (New York) & Shane Karns (Los Angeles) - print courtesy of NBCUniversal.

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