One of the reasons why “Dear Evan Hansen” worked on stage was that Platt was so engaged in his performance as Evan that it became almost impossible not to feel bad for him. Due to the premise of the show, it is very important that Evan creates sympathy before the audience sees the actions he wants to take.
Early in the show, Evan writes a note to himself as part of an assignment from his therapist. This note is eventually stolen by another social outcast, Connor, who then dies of suicide. After Connor’s death, his parents find the note that Evan wrote for himself and assume that the note is Connor’s suicide note. Of course, Connor’s family assumes that Evan was secretly his friend, and while Evan initially tries to correct them, he eventually goes with the lie. He becomes a part of Connor’s family life based on this lie and even begins a romantic relationship with Connor’s sister.
While some see this behavior as wrong but understandable because of the loneliness that Evan feels, as seen in this Save your thread, others think it is manipulative and hugely insensitive. These people were frustrated not only because the story takes that turn, but also because Evan is never punished after the truth is revealed.
If you or someone you know has suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).