In the new Broadway musical Dear Evan Hansen, Laura Dreyfuss plays Zoe, a young high school student trying to come to terms with her brother’s suicide. It’s a particularly nuanced role—grieving and angry, Zoe must reconcile her memories of her elder sibling with those thrust upon her—and one the actor pulls off with an earnest ease. Written by Steven Levenson, with music and lyrics by the composing duo Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, Dear Evan Hansen isn’t afraid of its uncomfortable subject matter. “The nicest compliment is when people who see the show tell us that they used it as a means to communicate with their loved ones about difficult issues,” Pasek explained to Playbill. “We all want to be heard and acknowledged-to know that our lives have meaning.”
Born in New Jersey and trained at the Boston Conservatory, Dreyfuss originated the role of Zoe when Dear Evan Hansen first premiered at the Arena Stage in Washington, D.C. She’s performed on Broadway before in the musical Once, and is perhaps most famous for her role as Madison McCarthy in Glee. Come June, Dreyfuss and her castmates are sure to be well represented at the Tony Awards. Here, in the spirit of the current month and as part of a special edition of our Consumption series presented in collaboration with Tiffany & Co., we asked the rising actor to share 10 things on her Valentine’s Day wish list.