From factory workers in industrial Pennsylvania to historic diplomats in Oslo, from struggling teenagers in Dear Evan Hansen to bruised exes in Falsettos and more, this Broadway season demonstrated the power of theatre, once again, to reflect stories and characters that resonate within us. The human truth in writing, direction, and performance put forth onstage causes audience to recognize ourselves onstage, confront new people and circumstances outside our own, and raise questions to help us better understand ourselves and the world around us.
But how do these artists achieve their truth?
“A little piece of me has to be in every character,” Tony-nominated actor Stephanie J. Block (Falsettos) tells Playbill in the video above.
“It has to be true to you and you have to constantly be interrogating yourself and making sure that you’re being rigorous and not taking the easy way out,” says Tony-nominated Dear Evan Hansen writer Steven Levenson.
For others, like The Great Comet director, Tony nominee Rachel Chavkin, truth exists in the details: “Tiny tiny nuances of character, of these little moments embedded within, that two audience members may witness.”
Still, others like Tony nominees Christian Borle (Falsettos) and Jefferson Mays (Oslo) say the truth is in the lie. “Part of it is that you have to acknowledge that it’s pretend and it’s okay to fake it sometimes,” says Borle. “But it’s a gut thing.”