Transcript for Broadway's 'Dear Evan Hansen' creators create novel for teens tackling anxiety
Thank you, Andre. An important message for parents and teens from the creator of the hit musical "Dear Evan Hansen." They're turning it too a novel to open up a dialogue about social media depression and how to get through it. We'll speak with them in a moment. First a look at the "Dear Evan Hansen" phenomenon. It's the smash hit Broadway musical with a powerful message. ??? Friends to carry you ??? Reporter: "Dear Evan Hansen" has been stunning audiences for over a year and its spotlight on teen mental health struggles has sparked vital conversations in homes all across americament now "Dear Evan hansen"'s creator have turned the muse cam into a novel for young adults. It tackles teen suicide, anxiety and depression head-on. Topics so tough to discuss with your kids but becoming more urgent they do. Today nearly one in three teens suffer from some form of anxiety disorder yet almost 80% of them are not getting the treatment they need. I hope that readers get the same thing that viewers of the show got, feeling like they're less alone in their loneliness. They are like a lot of others and that brings about like a connection. One of the most important things that all of us can do in terms of teen suicide or teen mental health issues is create a space where people can talk about these things. Reporter: The creative team behind "Dear Evan Hansen" hopes readers see themselves or someone they know in the story and feel more comfortable speaking up. ??? You will be found ??? And we are joined by two of the creator of "Dear Evan Hansen," benj Pasek and Justin Paul, thanks for coming if today. All right. Thank you for the show. You know, my family went and saw it several months ago and it had not only a great soundtrack but really did create a conversation for our family about all of these issues. I know that's a big goal of your. It really is. We've heard interest so many that they come with their kids or their parents and they feel like it starts a dialogue and that's what we wanted to do with it. It enters the world of teens, the world they're living in every day that's separated from what we as parents are living through. Yeah, exactly. We try to white a show that spoke to what it's like to be alive right now and communicate and have all these means of communicating, texting, email, whatever and yet we all have this sort of sense of loneliness as well. Sort of more isolated than ever yet more connected than ever That's the dirty secret of social media. It is. We see everyone else's lives and feels like this perfectly curated version of my life on Instagram but you're not looking at what is outside of that little square and I think when ee see everyone else's perfect lives we feel like I'm not a part of that. I'm on the outside of something and it creates this sense of loneliness that we don't really talk about as much as we should. I don't think this has happened for a musical turned into a novel. Yeah, as far as we know it's maybe the first time it's happened and we're so excited to typically the adaptation works the other way but it should seemed like the right thing to do to get the story out to people. You know, right now people can see the show on Broadway and on the national tour. That's two places each night in the whole world and so to get this book in the hands of people of all ages all across the world, that was our goal to get this story to them. You know there's a market for that and need for that because of the response you guys get to the show every night. Yeah, absolutely. When people come, the kind of letters we've received or the kind of notes and messages where people think we're talking about took placics that are taboo, I think they can see people who represent what they feel, this kind of sense of disconnection or isolation or conversations difficult to have. When you see it on stage or read it in a book, you feel more comfortable broaching those with your kid, parents and we hope it can create dialogue they didn't have before. You already made a difference. This will do a lot more. Thanks a lot, guys. I'm bringing this one home.
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