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Full Cast Announced for DEAR EVAN HANSEN at Arena in DC this Summer!

Washington, D.C.’s Arena Stage has announced complete casting for the world-premiere musical Dear Evan Hansen, opening this summer in the Kreeger Theater.

Dear Evan Hansen is described as “a contemporary, intimate story of hope, heartache and the things in life we all need — friends, family and a place to call home.” As previously announced, Ben Platt (Pitch PerfectThe Book of Mormon) will star in the title role. Joining him in the cast will be Broadway veterans Rachel Bay Jones (Pippin), Laura Dreyfuss (GleeOnce), Tony nominee Jennifer Laura Thompson (Wicked), and Emmy winner Michael Park (As the World TurnsCat on a Hot Tin Roof). Rounding out the company are Mike Faist (Newsies), Alexis Molnar (Harbor), and Will Roland (The Black Suits).

Directed by Tony nominee Michael Greif, the production features a score by Tony-nominated composing duo Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (DogfightA Christmas Story) and a book by Outer Critics Circle Award-winning playwright Steven Levenson (Masters of Sex). The creative team also includes scenic design by David Korins, costume design by Emily Rebholz, lighting design by Japhy Weideman, sound design by Clive Goodwin, projection design by Peter Nigrini, and music direction by Ben Cohn.

“This is a new musical speaking to our times in the language of now, and of course that is what great theater is,” said Arena Stage Artistic Director Molly Smith. “It’s a pleasure to be working with talented artists like Michael Greif, Steven Levenson, Benj Pasek, and Justin Paul. Arena is grateful to the producing team led by Stacey Mindich who brought this vibrant new musical to Arena. Creative partnerships like these help make great new musicals even better.”

Performances will run from July 10-August 23.

For tickets and more information, http://arenastage.org/shows-tickets/the-season/productions/dear-evan-hansen/

LAURA DREYFUSS (Zoe) is so happy to return to D.C. in this beautiful production. She was previously seen at the Kennedy Center in Hair (first national tour and Broadway). Other New York credits include Once (Broadway) and the New York Theater Workshop production of What’s it all About? (Off-Broadway). She was most recently seen on television as Madison McCarthy in the sixth and final season of Glee. She received her BFA in theater from The Boston Conservatory.

MIKE FAIST (Connor) is originally from Columbus, Ohio and moved to New York when he was 17 to pursue acting. Mike made his Broadway debut in Newsies as an original cast member — he created the role of Morris Delancey for the regional premiere and continued through the Broadway transfer. This winter he starred Off-Broadway opposite Taylor Schilling and Peter Dinklage in A Month in the Country at Classic Stage Company (dir. Erica Schmidt). Other theater credits include Appropriate (Signature Theatre Company, dir. Liesl Tommy), A Wind in the Willows and Christmas (Two Rivers Theater, dir. Daniella Topol).  Films include Mania Days (dir. Paul Dalio, prod. Spike Lee), Lake City (dir. Aaron Fisher-Cohen), the upcoming indie License Plates (dir. Marc Lucas) and The Grief of Others (dir. Patrick Wang), which recently premiered at SXSW and will be having its international premiere in L’ACID program in the Cannes Film Festival later this month.

RACHEL BAY JONES (Heidi)’s Broadway credits include Pippin (Catherine), Hair (Mother, Buddhadalirama) and Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (u/s Lucia). Off-Broadway credits include Hello Again (the Actress) with Transport Group. National tour of A Christmas Story, The Musical (Mother). Regional credits include Sylvia (Sylvia) and The King and I (Anna), among others. She has also appeared on the television show Louie and has a solo album, entitled ShowFolk. By day, Rachel is the mother to a 12-year old girl.

ALEXIS MOLNAR (Alana) is thrilled to be a part of bringing Dear Evan Hansen to D.C. Theater credits include Off-Broadway’s Harbor by Chad Beguelin (Lottie) at 59E59 Theater; Pack of Lies (Julie) and Harbor (Lottie, winner of Connecticut Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Performance) at Westport Playhouse and The Seagull (Masha) at Pace. Television credits include Comedy Central’s Boyfriendz, SNL w/ Paul Rudd andThe Next Big Thing on Oxygen TV. Film credits include Outliving Emily with Olympia Dukakis, Sharknado 2 and Admissions. Live performances at 54Below, Joe’s Pub, Le Poisson Rouge and Laurie Beechman. Training at Pace MT, RADA London and Second City Chicago, BAA. Thanks/love:  Mom, Dad, Trapper, Christian, Clancy and Dave/SGM. alexismolnar.com @alexiskaymolnar

MICHAEL PARK (Larry)’s recent stage credits include Tuck Everlasting at Alliance Theatre. Broadway credits include Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Gooper), How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (Mr. Bratt), Carousel (Billy), Smokey Joe’s Café (original cast) and Little Me (Lucky). Off-Broadway credits include Threepenny Opera (ATC), Hello Again (Lincoln Center), VioletThe Burnt Part Boys (Playwrights Horizons), Bloomer GirlApplause (City Center Encores!) and Middletown (Vineyard Theatre). Michael is best known for his work as Jack Snyder on As the World Turns, for which he received two consecutive Emmy Awards for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series. He recently appeared on NBC’s television broadcast of Peter Pan Live. Other recent noteworthy television appearances include NBC’s presentation of The Sound of Music Live! and arcs on Netflix’s House of Cards as well as Chicago PD for NBC.

BEN PLATT (Evan) is best known for starring as Benji Applebaum in Universal Pictures’ smash hit Pitch Perfect and will reprise his role in Pitch Perfect 2 to be released in May. This summer, Platt can be seen alongside Meryl Streep in the film Ricki and the Flash. He most recently made his Broadway debut as Elder Cunningham in The Book of Mormon, for which The New York Times called his performance “sensational.” Platt first took on the role to critical acclaim in the show’s Chicago run in 2012, earning him a Broadway World Chicago Award for Best Actor in a Touring Production. This past fall, Platt sold out his first solo cabaret show at 54 Below. National tour credits include Caroline, or Change(directed by George C. Wolfe and Tony Kushner). Regional credits include The Black Suits (Barrington Stage Company), The Power of Duff (New York Stage and Film, Stephen Belber), Dead End (directed by Nicholas Martin, Ahmanson Theatre), The Music ManMameCamelot and The Sound of Music (Hollywood Bowl, directed by Gordon Hunt). Workshops/readings of Breaking Bobby Stone (directed by Peter Scolari), Murder at the Gates (directed by Peter Dubois, Steven Sater), Alice By Heart (Steven Sater and Duncan Sheik), Irma La Douce (directed by Rob Ashford, starring Katie Holmes) and Bridges of Madison County (directed by Bartlett Sher, Jason Robert Brown).

WILL ROLAND (Jared) is a Brooklyn-based actor/singer/human. Recent credits include The Black Suits at Center Theatre Group and Barrington Stage Company, The Bus at 59E59, Billy Witch with Studio42 and The Joe Iconis Christmas Spectacular. Will is passionate about new work, having helped develop work through 2nd Stage, La Jolla and Arena Stage, as well as NYM, various Fringe festivals and bunches of concerts. Will is a Studio 42 resident artist and board member (stu42.com) and Musical Theatre Factory founding member (musicaltheatrefactory.org). Thanks Mom, Dad, Val, Station3, Judy Boals and my many teachers for their support throughout this crazy endeavor.

JENNIFER LAURA THOMPSON (Cynthia) makes her Arena Stage debut. Broadway credits include Nice Work If You Can Get It (Eileen Evergreen); Lend Me a Tenor (Diana); Urinetown (Hope Cladwell for which she received a Tony nomination); Footloose (Ariel Moore, original cast) and Wicked (Glinda, first replacement). Off-Broadway credits include Company (filmed for PBS: Live from Lincoln Center). She has had the pleasure of doing several Encores! productions at New York City Center and has sung with symphonies across the country and Europe. TV/film credits include Law & Order: SVUPerson of InterestCompany and Construction. She graduated from University of Michigan with a BFA in musical theater.