Stacey Mindich shares her journey from Newhouse to Broadway

Stacey Mindich talks to Newhouse students

The "Dear Evan Hanson" producer discusses how to find a great story and her career path thus far.
Published: October 3, 2022
Broadway producer Stacey Mindich sits down with Newhouse's Aileen Gallagher.
Stacey Mindich answers questions from the audience in the Halmi Screening Room on Sept. 30.

Stacey Mindich, the lead producer of Dear Evan Hansen and a former journalist, sat down for a conversation on Sept. 3o with Aileen Gallagher, chair of the magazine, news and digital journalism department at the Newhouse School.

Mindich began the conversation with advice on pitching a successful story, emphasizing how it is not about the writer or their self-interest but about the story that needs telling.

“Take the ‘I am, I want, I do,’ out of it,” Mindich said. “It’s not your story.”

She elaborated by explaining that an editor or producer must make sure a story is delivered in a way that successfully translates to the audience. Mindich said narratives are shaped by carefully selecting which stories to write and engaging the writer in conversation that fosters the story.

When asked for advice on taking criticism, Mindich said that her career in journalism taught her not to fear backlash in the theater industry. She had already succeeded in one field and was not afraid to fail in another. Several times throughout the conversation, Mindich stressed the importance of choosing pieces that move the writer, hoping it moves others the same way.

“A story with really good bones is a story that lasts,” Mindich said.

When asked about her most recent, and arguably most popular, work, Dear Evan Hansen, Mindich dove into the unexpected but valuable lessons that came along with producing it.

The show became ‘the mental health show,’ according to Mindich. She said they hired a psychiatrist to offer support for the cast when struggling fans reached out.

“[We were] scared that it would be the kind of thing to kill us, but it fueled us on more,” Mindich said.

Along with the other difficult decisions a producer is faced with, Mindich talked about Broadway life during the pandemic and how the industry was affected. She explained how she believes Broadway hasn’t yet fully escaped the pandemic and that the industry is very much struggling today.

“It takes an incredible amount of energy, perseverance, and wit to be successful during COVID,” said Mindich.

Dear Evan Hansen closed for two full years and was one of the last shows to reopen. Even after reopening, the experience and audience are not truly the same, according to Mindich.

Mindich wrapped the conversation up by reflecting on who she was as a Newhouse student before making it to Broadway.

“That girl was probably crazy, but she was also really brave, and now 36 years later I could use a little advice from her, or maybe even you,” Mindich said.