Introduce Yourself(ie): 10 Questions with Dear Evan Hansen Star Will Roland
February 13th, 2017
by Will Roland
Will Roland makes his Broadway debut as Jared Kleinman in the emotional hit musical Dear Evan Hansen, a project he's been with since its premiere at Arena Stage. Roland's character Jared is the tech-savvy "family friend" to Evan Hansen and the show's welcome comic relief. His song with Ben Platt and Mike Faist, "Sincerely Me", is a total showstopper. BroadwayBox caught up with the native New Yorker to talk about memorable auditions, comedy icons, stage door interactions, and a very special performance of Evan Hansen.
1. If I had to describe high-school-me in a hashtag it would be:
2. One thing Dear Evan Hansen has taught me about myself:
I don't hate Twitter as much as I thought.
3. Three things I need for a two-show-day:
4. The musical that can always make me cry:
Bloodsong of Love. Specifically the song 'Last on Land'.
5. My most memorable audition story:
I auditioned for a Broadway show a few years back, and not only did I not book it, I thought I really sucked. But then two weeks later the director calls and offers me a completely different new project. Always reminds me that what you think you did and what people saw can be totally different.
6. TV series I can watch over and over and it never gets old:
FLCL. It's only 6 episodes, but they're masterful.
7. Three comedy icons I’d love to share a dinner with:
Peter Sellers, Jerry Orbach, & Dave Chappelle.
8. For me, the most memorable performance of Dear Evan Hansen so far has been:
This past December, 150 students from my high school came to the show. The trip was organized by the teachers in the theatre and music department who helped form the foundations of my technique and artistic leanings. Many of the chaperones taught me, and many of the students were kids that I taught when I worked at the summer camp there. It was an incredible reminder of how knowledge and inspiration are passed down by teachers, parents, and mentors. Some of my former teachers and former students are now my oldest friends.
9. Growing up in a family-own auction business, apiece of Broadway memorabilia I would want to buy at auction:
I love old renderings. I'd love to own a scenic or costume rendering from Camelot or La Cage or Cats. Something really grand.
10. The thing I hear most often at the stage door:
"You play a really great jerk. Loved him. But also wanted to punch him."
Don't miss Will Roland as Jared in 'Dear Evan Hansen' at Broadway's Music Box Theatre.