PROVIDENCE, RI: Trinity Repertory Company continues its 2021-22 Season with Tiny Beautiful Things, based on the book of the same name by Cheryl Strayed and adapted for the stage by Nia Vardalos. Directed by Trinity Rep’s Artistic Director Curt Columbus, the show features resident company member Angela Brazil as Sugar, an anonymous advice columnist who draws from her own past to help those writing to her build a better future. Tiny Beautiful Things runs January 13 – February 13 with press opening night Wednesday, January 19 at 7:30 pm. Tickets start at $27. More information is available at trinityrep.com/beautiful.
ABOUT THE SHOW
A celebration of the simple beauty of being human, this funny, deeply touching, and uplifting play is an exploration of resilience, based on Cheryl Strayed’s journey as the beloved anonymous advice columnist for “Dear Sugar.” Over the years, thousands of people turned to Sugar for words of wisdom, compassion, and hope. Reluctant to claim that she has all the answers, Sugar looks to her own past and draws on her life experiences to bring light, laughter, and humanity to others.
“We chose this show a couple of years ago after reading the amazing book that it’s based upon, and then this wonderful adaptation,” director Curt Columbus said. “It is such a powerful collection of wisdom, heartache, and joy, that we knew our audiences would love it. I feel that now, more than ever, Cheryl Strayed’s words will resonate and illuminate like nothing else we could program at this time.”
CAST AND CREATIVE TEAM
Director Curt Columbus has been The Arthur P. Solomon and Sally E. Lapides Artistic Director since January 2006. His directing credits for Trinity Rep include Macbeth, Ragtime, Beowulf: A Thousand Years of Baggage, Middletown, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, The Merchant of Venice, His Girl Friday, Camelot, Cabaret, Blithe Spirit, A Christmas Carol, Cherry Orchard, and the world premieres of The Completely Fictional—Utterly True—Final Strange Tale of Edgar Allen Poe and Social Creatures.
Columbus will work alongside Baron E. Pugh (set design), Amanda Downing Carney (costume design), Dawn Chiang (lighting design), and Peter Sasha Hurowitz (sound design).
The cast of this production includes Angela Brazil as Sugar, who has been a member of the resident acting company since 2000. She’ll be joined by fellow resident artists Stephen Berenson, Phyllis Kay, and Brian McEleney and guest actors Marcel Mascaró and Jenna Lea Scott, all as various letter writers throughout the show. Brown/Trinity Rep student Gunnar Manchester ‘21 will feature as the show’s musician.
Tiny Beautiful Things book author Cheryl Strayed is the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling memoir Wild, the New York Times bestsellers Tiny Beautiful Things and Brave Enough, and the novel Torch. Wild was chosen by Oprah Winfrey as her first selection for Oprah’s Book Club 2.0. Strayed’s books have been translated into nearly forty languages around the world and have been adapted for both the screen and the stage. Strayed is the host of the New York Times hit podcast, Sugar Calling and also Dear Sugars, which she co-hosted with Steve Almond. Her essays have been published in The Best American Essays, the New York Times, the Washington Post Magazine, Vogue, Salon, The Sun, Tin House, The New York Times Book Review, and elsewhere. Strayed holds an MFA in fiction writing from Syracuse University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota. She lives in Portland, Oregon.
Playwright Nia Vardalos is an alumna of Chicago’s The Second City and a Joseph Jefferson Award winner whose most recent theatre credits include Sugar in Tiny Beautiful Things directed by Thomas Kail in two consecutive seasons (The Public Theater) and Jennie in Company directed by Gary Griffin (Theatre 20). Her writing/acting credits for film include My Big Fat Greek Wedding and its sequel (Academy Award and Golden Globe Award nominations, Independent Spirit and People’s Choice Awards), Connie and Carla, and I Hate Valentine’s Day. Her film and television acting credits include My Life in Ruins; For a Good Time, Call…; “Graves”; and “Jane the Virgin.” Ms. Vardalos’s memoir Instant Mom was a New York Times best seller, and all proceeds are donated to adoption groups.
The play was co-conceived by Vardalos, Marshall Heyman, and Thomas Kail. Tiny Beautiful Things premiered at the Public Theater Off-Broadway in 2016, with Vardalos in the role of Sugar. Since then, it has become one of the country’s most produced 21st–century plays.
HEALTH AND SAFETY
Trinity Rep is one of nine Rhode Island performing arts organizations and venues requiring proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 (at least 14 days have passed since the final dose), or proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken in the prior 72-hours, or proof of a negative COVID-19 antigen test taken in the prior 6-hours. All patrons regardless of vaccination status must wear masks over their nose and mouth at all times while inside the venue (unless actively eating or drinking). All details of Trinity Rep’s health and safety protocol can be found at trinityrep.com/health.
Continuing Trinity Rep’s tradition of offering affordable tickets for all, the theater will have discounted previews of Tiny Beautiful Things. Thursday, January 13 is a Pay What You Wish performance. Pay What You Wish tickets go on sale at 6:30 pm that evening and are limited to one per person. Other special performances for this production include Open Captioning performances of the show on January 16 and February 9, 12, and 13 at 2:00 pm and February 9, 10, 11, 12, and 13 at 7:30 pm. The Sensory-Friendly performance of Tiny Beautiful Things is on Wednesday, February 2 at 7:30 pm.
One hour before each show, a cast member will lead a Prologue discussion This 30-minute spoiler-free discussion and Q&A about the show’s themes and production process is included with every ticket.
Throughout the show’s run patrons can write anonymous letters to themselves or others that, with the consent of the letter writer, can be posted in the theater lobby. Alternatively, guests may keep letters they write themselves. The theater will also work with What Cheer Writer’s Club to engage with local writing communities.
TRINITY REPERTORY COMPANY
Rhode Island’s Tony Award-winning theater, Trinity Rep has created unparalleled professional theater for and with its community since its founding in 1963. Trinity Rep strives to facilitate human connection and has been a driving force behind the creativity that fuels and defines the region for more than 50 years.
Trinity Rep is committed to reinventing the public square and inspiring dialogue by creating emotionally-stimulating live productions that range from classical to contemporary and innovative education programs for all ages and abilities. Its annual production of A Christmas Carol has brought families together for more than four decades and made memories for over a million audience members. The 2021-22 Season launched in November with the holiday classic and continues with four subscription series productions which will run January through June, 2022: Tiny Beautiful Things, August Wilson’s Gem of the Ocean, Sueño, and Fairview. For more information on the 2021-22 Season, visit Trinity Rep’s website at www.TrinityRep.com.
AT A GLANCE
Tiny Beautiful Things
Based on the book by Cheryl Strayed
Adapted for the stage by Nia Vardalos
Co-conceived by Marshall Heyman, Thomas Kail, and Nia Vardalos
January 13 – February 13, 2022
Director Curt Columbus
Music Director Gunnar Manchester
Set Designer Baron E. Pugh
Costume Designer Amanda Downing Carney
Lighting Designer Dawn Chiang
Sound Designer Peter Sasha Hurowitz
Stage Manager Buzz Cohen
Assistant Stage Manager Kelsey Emry
Cast: The cast of this production features resident company members Stephen Berenson, Angela Brazil, Phyllis Kay, and Brian McEleney. Joining them are Brown/Trinity Rep student Gunnar Manchester, Brown/Trinity Rep alum Marcel Mascaró ‘18, and guest artist Jenna Lea Scott.
Tiny Beautiful Things Opening Press Night | Wednesday, January 19 at 7:30 pm
Invitations and RSVP instructions coming soon
Pay What You Wish Thurs., Jan. 13 at 7:30 pm
Open Caption Performances Jan. 16, Feb. 9, 12, and 13 at 12:00 pm; Feb. 9, 10, 11, 12, and 13 at 7:30 pm
Sensory Friendly Performance Feb. 2 at 7:30 pm
Ticket Office (401) 351-4242; 201 Washington Street, Providence, RI 02903
Group Sales (401) 453-9238; discounts for groups of 10 or more.
Ticket Prices Starting at $27
Season Sponsors Ocean State Job Lot Charitable Foundation and RISCA
Production Media Sponsor GBH
Official Airline of Trinity Rep Southwest Airlines
Opening Night Sponsor 110 Grill