Jordan Fisher in Hadestown. Photo by Matthew Murphy.
Jordan Fisher in Hadestown. Photo by Matthew Murphy.

Jordan Fisher on the Human Connectivity Represented in Hadestown

From Mark Cohen’s scarf to Evan Hansen’s blue striped polo, and now Orpheus’s suspenders and bandanna, Jordan Fisher has donned some of musical theater’s most recognizable costumes. On top of that, he is often the first actor of color to step into these leading roles. He wrapped his run as the first actor of color to play Anthony Hope on Broadway in the 2023 Tony Award–nominated revival of Sweeney Todd on June 18, before diving into the Underworld as Orpheus in Hadestown on November 20.

Taking on beloved roles in musicals like Rent, Dear Evan Hansen, and Hadestown could mean immense pressure for some actors. For Fisher, he knows that his identity, childhood growing up in the Bible Belt, and other lived experiences add nuanced layers that give audiences a new understanding of the character.

“I remember that I’m coming from a place of truth. [Hadestown director] Rachel Chavkin is incredible and has given me space to explore and give it my own take,” says Fisher. “It’s easy to be paranoid, but I trust the work, the creative team, and the company.”

Jordan Fisher and the cast of Hadestown. Photo by Matthew Murphy.
Jordan Fisher and the cast of Hadestown. Photo by Matthew Murphy.

Audiences know Fisher from his musical screen and stage roles alike, including Seacat in Disney Channel’s Teen Beach Movie, Doody in Fox’s Grease Live, and John Laurens/Phillip Hamilton in Broadway’s Hamilton, just to name a few. The breadth of his roles has gifted him the opportunity to sing a diverse range of musical genres, like hip-hop, rap, pop, rock, and classic musical theater. With Hadestown, Fisher adds another style to his repertoire, through Anaïs Mitchell’s folk songs.

“Anaïs is so soulful,” he says. “She is the truest encyclopedic definition of a songwriter who walks this earth. She puts poetry on the page. That’s Orpheus’s whole thing — he has to finish the song, he has to build this thing that has the potential to heal and the propensity for the world to spin with peace, balance, and harmony. In a very dramatic sense, it’s the songwriter’s job to make people feel less lonely, and that’s the resonance for me.”


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Hadestown follows the intertwining mythological love stories of Eurydice and Orpheus and Persephone and Hades. After Eurydice is lured to Hades’s Underworld, Orpheus journeys down to rescue her. Fisher (and his family) quickly fell in love with Mitchell’s Tony-winning score, seeing the Tony-winning musical shortly after it opened on Broadway, and even attending the cast album release party. In addition to the music, Fisher was eager to explore the world of Hadestown, as he is a self-proclaimed “Greek mythology nerd,” after The Odyssey led him down a YouTube rabbit hole. Already having an affinity for the mythological world, Fisher had a two-week process of getting to know Orpheus as a person before rehearsals started.

“The angle that has always stuck with me is the human connectivity part of it. Orpheus experiences so many dramatic firsts in his life — anger, jealousy, love, euphoria. Unlocking those memories for me helped discover his. I’m trying to go back to those first moments in my life when I felt these emotions that this guy’s feeling in sequence.”

Solea Pfeiffer and Jordan Fisher in Hadestown. Photo by Matthew Murphy.
Solea Pfeiffer and Jordan Fisher in Hadestown. Photo by Matthew Murphy.

While Fisher’s first performance was a “beautiful blur” — “You’re often just trying to survive in one piece,” he notes — he now feels fully immersed in his role. He has found the ways in which he relates to Orpheus, but also how the story relates to the modern world. His favorite moment taps into the musical’s relevancy to the current political and social landscape: Orpheus’s toast in “Living It Up on Top.”

“I get to chew on some words that are so applicable with what’s happening globally and what’s happening in our domestic economy,” he says. “‘If no one takes too much, there will always be enough. She will always fill our cups, and we’ll always raise them up. To the world we dream about, and the one we live in now.’ I get to look out into the audience and make eye contact with the audience. That line is all of us as humans, because we dream of utopia in our own ways. And in full recognition of that moment, the world stops, and there’s complete silence on stage. I do really lean into the silence, because I think it’s important for us to understand that we’re all packed into this little building on 48th Street right now and sharing this story.”

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