Broadway World: CCM Musical Theatre alum in national tour of 'Dear Evan Hansen'

Ciara Alyse Harris plays Alana in the production, which runs in Dayton March 8-13

UC College-Conservatory of Music alum Ciara Alyse Harris (Musical Theatre, BFA ‘18) spoke with Broadway World about her role as Alana Beck in the national tour of Dear Evan Hansen. She began as the understudy for Alana and Zoe and was recently reintroduced to the stage as a leading lady in the tour, which is slated to run at the Dayton Live Schuster Center in Dayton, Ohio on March 8-13, 2022.

"I did my first audition for them the morning of my senior showcase [at CCM] where you perform songs before a group of agents so you can get representation," Harris says. "I auditioned a couple more times and did a couple more work sessions over a period of, maybe, two months. Then, in my U-Haul truck on my way to moving to New York City, I found out that I got a call-back. I got very lucky."

Dear Evan Hansen is a six-time Tony award-winning and Grammy award-winning production that recently found its way to the big screen in a motion picture starring Ben Platt in the title role, who originated it on Broadway. Harris’ character Alana is an overachieving go-getter student and former chemistry lab partner of Connor Murphy, whose suicide serves as a catalyst in the show as the characters grieve and addresses their own struggles with mental health.

"It has been a ride," Harris adds. "I am so thankful for my time as an understudy because I learned so much. I really learned how to pull it together, and no one needed to worry about me because I knew my stuff. It taught me resilience, strength, and patience. Being Alana, I learned to enjoy myself and cultivate my role. There have been many amazing people before me, and now I get the chance to do what I want to do and have ownership over the role. I'm very lucky that I came into the production with (knowledge of) both sides."

“I'm twenty-six years old, and I get to do what I love for a living, and in such an important show."

Read more about Harris in the Broadway World story and in her summer interivew with TIME magazine

Featured image at the top: Ciara Alyse Harris on tour with Dear Evan Hansen.

Headshot of Jaime Sharp

Jaime Sharp

CCM Graduate Assistant, Marketing + Communications

Jaime Sharp is a master's student studying Vocal Performance at CCM. She serves as the Vice President of the CCM Graduate Student Association and Student Liaison for the CCM DEI Committee. Jaime holds a bachelor's from the University of Michigan.