Trevor Musical
Trevor Musical

The Journey of Trevor: The Musical, Now on Disney+

The Off-Broadway musical Trevor, about a teen on a path of self-discovery, is set to make its small-screen debut on Disney+ beginning on Friday, June 24. The show is inspired by the 1994 Oscar-winning short film also titled Trevor. The film famously paved the way for the creation of The Trevor Project, a suicide-prevention nonprofit dedicated to young people, specifically LGBTQIA+ and questioning youth. Fourteen-year-old Holden Hagelberger stars as the titular character, under the direction of theater veteran Marc Bruni (Beautiful: The Carole King Musical). NY1 journalist Frank DiLella recently caught up with Holden and Marc to talk the upcoming release of Trevor.

Marc, you’ve been working on Trevor for years. Talk about your journey with this property.

MARC BRUNI: I’ve been working on Trevor for six years. The producers got the rights to the short film and brought on writers Julianne Wick Davis and Dan Collins, and I came on board when it was four songs and an outline. We did a number of readings. We did a developmental reading in Chicago. And then we had a break for about three years, and we went to Stage 42 in New York City. We rehearsed right before the pandemic; we were three weeks into rehearsal and we had to stop. And then we picked back up and ran in the fall.

Holden, who is Trevor to you?

HOLDEN HAGELBERGER: Trevor is a strong individual — and he’s a force of nature.

Holden Hagelberger and Sammy Dell in <i>Trevor: The Musical</i>. Photo by Joan Marcus for Disney.
Holden Hagelberger and Sammy Dell in Trevor: The Musical. Photo by Joan Marcus for Disney.

How do you relate to Trevor?

HOLDEN: I relate to Trevor in that I’m not going to let people’s words get to me — and that’s what Trevor does in the show. He believes in himself and he believes who he is.

Marc, talk about finding Holden and casting him as your Trevor.

MARC: We got 1,400 tapes from kids around the country. It was largely a virtual audition because we were in the middle of COVID. But the callbacks were in New York. And we saw Holden a number of times in New York over the course of the week of callbacks. And every time he came in, people looked around the room and said, “That’s our Trevor.”

Trevor has been saving lives since he was introduced to the masses by artist Celeste Lecesne three decades ago.

MARC: It’s an amazing story. It has a kid with big dreams at the center of it, which is the oxygen musicals run on. And so the idea of doing something that could be both meaningful and hold up as a book musical is something that was exciting to me from the beginning.

Isabel Medina, Echo Deva Picone, Sammy Dell, and the cast of <i>Trevor: The Musical.</i> Photo by Sarah Shatz for Disney.
Isabel Medina, Echo Deva Picone, Sammy Dell, and the cast of Trevor: The Musical. Photo by Sarah Shatz for Disney.

Holden, how thrilled are you to see more people taking in this story about this incredible kid? 

HOLDEN: I’m so happy to know that the show we’ve worked so hard on will be around the world. And people can finally see and hear this beautiful story and message.

How did you get involved with theater?

HOLDEN: What got me into it was seeing the School of Rock national tour in Houston. And what got me into it was seeing those kids in the show playing instruments and dancing and singing. That’s when I knew this is what I want to do.

You got to perform this show in New York City this past fall. What was your favorite part about being a part of the New York theater community?

HOLDEN: Working with everyone – and big names in the business!

It seems like you’re here to stay in theater. What’s your dream role?

HOLDEN: Evan Hansen in Dear Evan Hansen and Christian in Moulin Rouge!.

Yasmeen Sulieman, Holden Hagelberger and the cast of <i>Trevor: The Musical</i>. Photo by Joan Marcus for Disney.
Yasmeen Sulieman, Holden Hagelberger, and the cast of Trevor: The Musical. Photo by Joan Marcus for Disney.

Marc, it’s amazing to have Disney+ presenting this musical during Pride Month.

MARC: I can’t think of a more appropriate and more incredible next step for the Trevor journey — to be seen on this wide of a level. When we were Off-Broadway, we were able to get 500 people in a night. But when it starts airing, we will have anyone in their living room watch it around the globe. And that’s a special thing.

Holden, what do you want young kids to take away from Trevor?

HOLDEN: That you can be who you are. Just be yourself.