For many of you theatergoers self-isolating at home, you may consider taking this downtime to exercise introspection and identify your own internal desires and tendencies. What better way to do so than with the help of the Enneagram—and Broadway characters?
According to The Enneagram Institute, the Enneagram “can be seen as a set of nine distinct personality types, with each number on the Enneagram denoting one type,” making up your basic personality type.
Below, we outline the nine Enneagram Types, including the Broadway character most closely aligning with each Type’s basic motivations. Keep in mind that these Types merely identify the character’s core principles; since everyone is made of multitudes, it’s quite common for one person or character to exhibit attributes of several numbers. As you read, be warned—spoilers for each musical are included.
Descriptions and definitions utilized in this article are sourced from The Enneagram Institute.
Type 1: Elder Price, The Book of Mormon
Protagonist of the 2011 Tony Award–winning Best Musical, Elder Kevin Price defines himself by his rational next step in life of embarking on a Mormon mission. As seen in “You and Me (But Mostly Me)” and “Two by Two,” Kevin explains that his main driving factor is to spread the message of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. He is willing to make the best of his traveling partner, Elder Cunningham, because he knows that there must be purpose to his pairing with his traveling companion. Take “I Believe,” the end-of-Act 2 ballad for Elder Price. He denounces any shred of doubt that may have come over him during his journeys in Africa. Perhaps the heightened depiction of his Type 1 nature arises with lines like, “You cannot just believe partway—you have to believe in it all.” In fact, Type 1s are known as The Reformers; they are perfectionists and purposeful, helping identify Elder Price’s dedication to become a Mormon missionary. However, in times of deep stress, you’ll note that Type 1s can often revert into Type 4s, becoming more obsessive and potentially falling into nervous breakdowns. (Act 2 Elder Price, anyone?)
Type 2: Delia, Beetlejuice
“Life coaching! Nailing it.” A Type 2 is a caregiver. This person tends to be people-pleasing, generous, and servant-minded. True to her Type, in Beetlejuice, Delia wants Lydia and everyone around her to embrace the freedom she has found in her coaching and perspective shift. At her core, Delia wants love and friendship from the likes of Lydia and Charles. An average Type 2 may be seen as more intrusive with their need for intimacy, as Delia can become when trying to coax Lydia out of her sadness over losing her mom and the relationship with her father. When stressed out, a Type 2 will lean into more aggressive and selfish motives, which Delia begins to tiptoe into towards the end of “No Reason,” before pulling herself together for the betterment of her newfound family by the end of the musical.
Type 3: Alexander Hamilton, Hamilton
True, many protagonists of Broadway musicals could be considered the Achiever Enneagram Type. But can you blame us for giving the title to Alexander Hamilton? As characterized by Lin-Manuel Miranda’s writing, Hamilton is driven, to the point in which he refuses to throw away “his shot”—at a new life, a revitalized career, a free nation, and a spot at history’s table. He’s tragically image-conscious, to the point in which he is willing to release The Reynolds Pamphlet to prove to his contemporaries that he is not stealing money from the federal government—and in the process admitting to the world of his infidelity. As a Type 3, it comes as no surprise that Hamilton has a lifelong fear of death, which could be connected to the Type 3’s innate fear of living a worthless, invaluable life. Hamilton continues to “write like he’s running out of time,” refusing to live an existence devoid of excellence. At moments of stress, the Type 3 will lean into these unhealthy workaholic tendencies, which can be identified in Hamilton at numerous moments throughout his life portrayed onstage.
Type 4: Orpheus, Hadestown
Type 4s are classified as The Individualists and often materialize as misunderstood artists with a deep passion for creating work that will make them feel truly seen. Like Orpheus, they may find themselves more expressive and withdrawn. They are deeply in-tune with their emotions, as Orpheus often expresses throughout Hadestown. For instance, Orpheus says that the melody he is constantly writing, “came to me as if I’ve known it all along.” Orpheus is a natural-born artist and storyteller; he can communicate the tale of “the King of Shadows” in a way in which listeners are drawn. Unfortunately for this 2019 Best Musical’s protagonist, a Type 4 reverts to the tendencies of a Type 2 when under duress. At the end of Act 2, when “doubt comes in,” Orpheus reverts into a caregiver, feeling as if he must protect Eurydice at all costs. He doubts his ability to keep Eurydice safe as he navigates the Underworld—resulting in a heartbreaking climax. “He can make you see how the world could be, in spite of the way it is.”
Type 5: Kristoff, Frozen
Intense, perceptive, and isolated, a Type 5 may also be called an Investigator. Kristoff from Disney’s Frozen embodies the words “capable” and “competent" as he sings to Princess Anna in “What Do You Know About Love?” Kristoff, the “mountain man,” offers help to the princess and Arendelle throughout the musical, whenever danger appears. He focuses on problem-solving, offering self-confident leadership and provision when needed. Though isolated with Sven before encountering Princess Anna and the characters of Frozen, Kristoff truly becomes fascinated with Princess Anna and the need to uncover why his “first impression” of her was incorrect. Like a true Type 5, Kristoff relentlessly pursues knowledge, of Arendelle, Elsa’s powers, and—most importantly—Anna’s feelings toward him. Under stress, Type 5s may become unpredictable, like a Type 7. Kristoff hints at this notion when he unexpectedly leaves Arendelle after assuming Princess Anna and Hans have ended up together happily in the end.
Type 6: Evan Hansen, Dear Evan Hansen
A true Type 6, Evan Hansen’s basic desire is to have security and support. According to the Enneagram Institute, “6s are the primary type in the Thinking Center, meaning that they have the most trouble contacting their own inner guidance. As a result, they do not have confidence in their own minds and judgments.” Sound a bit like Evan Hansen in “Waving Through a Window” to you? Though Evan struggles with self-doubt throughout Acts One and Two, he evolves into his healthy state of being by the end of the musical, resting within his newfound boundaries and self-forgiveness. By the show’s finale, he is able to find courage and embrace strength as a healthy Type 6—“Today is going to be a good day and here’s why: Because today at least you’re you—and that’s enough.”
Type 7: Genie, Aladdin
Type 7s can be characterized as spontaneous, fun-loving, and optimistic. No doubt, the Genie from Disney’s Aladdin fits the bill. Need proof? Watch James Monroe Iglehart’s Tony Award–winning, show-stopping portrayal of the Genie from the 2014 Tony Awards. In “Friend Like Me,” Genie shows off his eccentric and adventurous spirit as the source of joy that helps Aladdin along his journey through the Cave of Wonders. Even in stressful times in Agrabah, Genie seems to keep a positive outlook for Prince Ali and his entire crew. Type 7s may sometimes be classified as The Enthusiast, and we hesitate to identify a theatrical lead as enthusiastic as the Genie himself—“The ever impressive, the long contained, often imitated, but never duplicated… Genie of the lamp!”
Type 8: Elphaba, Wicked
Decisive, willful, and controversial, Elphaba ticks each box as a Type 8. In her nature as an 8, one of her greatest fears is being controlled by others. During “Defying Gravity,” this sense of strong independence takes center stage. Elphaba refuses to let the Wizard, Madame Morrible, or any citizens of Oz take her down from doing what she feels led to do. She stands up to the crowd and fights for her place and to take control of her life. Typically, a Type 8 feels most accomplished when embracing their place of power in the world; they are able to inspire others around them to follow their lead, as Elphaba does with, eventually, Glinda. She successfully leaves her mark on Glinda, as expressed in “For Good,” showing her ultimate accomplishment as a Type 8: to improve and inspire another’s life through her strength and resilience. However, at her worst, Elphaba displays the more negative characteristics of Type 8. Notably in “No Good Deed,” the darker side of Elphaba’s power and control comes to the forefront.
Type 9: Gretchen Wieners, Mean Girls
As a Type 9, Gretchen Wieners seeks peace among the Plastics, even at the expense of those outside of the popular group of high schoolers; she sings in “What’s Wrong with Me,” “Tell me who we hate today, and I’ll fall in line.” She does not want to disrupt the pecking order of high school, no matter the cost. When Gretchen does eventually lose control during “Revenge Party,” she sinks into her most stressful Type 9 self. Thinking Regina has betrayed her, she reveals to Cady that Regina has a host of secrets, including the fact she’s actually been cheating on her boyfriend—proof Gretchen has set aside her need for peace, blocking out her own awareness as a Type 9. But, by the conclusion of Mean Girls, Gretchen embraces herself as a healthy Type 9, finding that peace can be found for the betterment of all of North Shore High School—they’ll look out for each other instead of pitting their interests against one another. She becomes receptive, a trusting and stable Peacemaker.