June 1, 2023

Videos, Volunteers Needed for UMW Common Read/Experience

The UMW Common Read/Experience is one of the first opportunities to engage the incoming first-year students with classmates, upper-class students, faculty and staff in a shared intellectual experience, which can promote critical exchange of ideas and create a sense of community.

UMW has selected Dear Evan Hansen text and accompanying soundtrack as the UMW Common Experience for 2018-2019 academic year. Featuring a high school student with a social anxiety disorder who struggles to make social connections, Dear Evan Hansen is a 2015 stage musical with music and lyrics by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, and a book written by Steven Levenson. The musical premiered in Washington, D.C. in 2015 and opened on Broadway in 2016. Dear Evan Hansen’s original Broadway cast recording entered the Billboard 200 at number eight in February 2017.

We are hoping that you will join the discussion on the morning of August 24th from 9-11 am.  First-year students from the same FSEM course will discuss the book with one or two faculty, staff, administrators, or upper class students.  We will provide questions and supporting information in advance to help guide the discussions.  We hope that you will join in welcoming the first-year students and participating in the Common Experience event that will kick off their academic experiences at UMW.   If you would like to volunteer to co-facilitate a discussion group, please indicate your interest on the following google form https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1dpPN3gDNSfRPv5sdNrZIRhuMcZobG-jSP23QJ49rINQ/edit?ts=5ad8aae3.  If you have any questions about the discussions, please contact Kelli Slunt, kslunt@umw.edu.

We would also would like to create a video of UMW community members singing “You Will be Found” from the Dear Evan Hansen soundtrack.  Piano accompaniment for your recording is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-wfaBzHd5QA.  A copy of the sheet music can be found at https://dearevanhansen.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/You_Will_Be_Found_Vocals.pdf.   We still need video footage to make this project a reality.  We are going for the virtual choir effect and individuals or groups can submit either the complete piece or excerpts from the song.  If you are interested in providing footage, please contact Anand Rao, arao@umw.edu.

Thank you in advance for your support of the 2018-19 UMW Common Experience.