TINY, BEAUTIFUL THINGS To Open At The Armory
Portland Center Stage at The Armory brings the critically acclaimed adaptation of Cheryl Strayed's Tiny Beautiful Things to debut in the author's hometown. Adapted by Nia Vardalos (writer and star of My Big Fat Greek Wedding), co-created by Vardalos, Thomas Kail (director of Hamilton) and Marshall Heyman, and directed by Rose Riordan, Tiny Beautiful Things explores the time Cheryl Strayed spent as the anonymous advice columnist behind "Dear Sugar," and the honest, intimate connection she forged with her readers. Dana Green takes on the role of Sugar, joined by Leif Norby, Lisa Renee Pitts, and Brian Michael Smith who play the letter writers.
Speaking of the adaptation of the book to the stage, director Riordan said, "It's faithful in text, but dramatized in an ingenious way that allows us to hear from Sugar's readers." She continued, "The letters to Sugar are a glimpse into the soul of America in the middle of the night. Sugar's insightful responses are just the remedy we all need."
Strayed, who was involved in the process to adapt the script for its world premiere in New York, spoke of her excitement to have the show produced in her hometown: "I'm so touched by it. It's really, really moving to me and I'm deeply grateful. I'm particularly excited that it's at Portland Center Stage at The Armory, where I have seen so many beautiful, powerful plays."
A celebration of the simple beauty of being human, this funny and deeply touching exploration of resilience is based on Cheryl Strayed's journey as the anonymous advice columnist for "Dear Sugar." Over the years, thousands of people turned to Sugar for words of wisdom, compassion, and hope. At first unsure of herself, Sugar finds a way to weave her own life experiences together with the deep yearning and heartrending questions from her readers.
Strayed began writing the "Dear Sugar" column anonymously in 2010 for the literary website The Rumpus. In 2012, she revealed herself as the author and a collection of the letters and her responses was published under the title, Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar. The book became a bestseller and, in 2013, Heyman shared the book with Kail who reached out to Vardalos about its potential for a stage adaptation. They approached Strayed to get the rights and began work on the script, working with Cheryl throughout the process. The play had its world premiere at The Public Theater in New York in 2016, starring Vardalos and directed by Kail, and played to sold-out houses in an extended run. The New York Times made it a Critic's Pick, noting that "Tiny Beautiful Things is about the endangered art of listening to - and really hearing and responding to - other people ... it works beautifully as a sustained theatrical exercise in empathy."
Cheryl Strayed, AUTHOR
Cheryl Strayed is the author of the number one The New York Times bestselling memoir Wild, The New York Times bestsellers Tiny Beautiful Things and Brave Enough, and the novel Torch. Strayed's books have been translated into nearly forty languages around the world and have been adapted for both screen (Wild) and stage (Tiny Beautiful Things). Strayed's 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. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and their two children.
ADAPTOR & CO-CREATORS
Tiny Beautiful Things is adapted by Nia Vardalos, the writer and star of My Big Fat Greek Wedding (Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay, a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress, Independent Spirit and People's Choice Award). The stage adaptation was co-conceived and created by Vardalos, Thomas Kail, and Marshall Heyman. Kail is best known as the director of the Off-Broadway and Broadway productions of Lin-Manuel Miranda's Hamilton, for which he received the 2018 Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical, and In the Heights; he also directed the Broadway productions of Lombardi and Magic/Bird. Heyman was the author of the Wall Street Journal social column "Heard and Scene" and has also contributed to The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and many others.
Regular tickets range from $25 to $82 and are on sale now. Tickets may be purchased at www.pcs.org, 503.445.3700, or in-person from the box office (128 NW Eleventh Avenue, Portland, OR). Rush tickets are $20. Students; patrons who are 30 or younger; and active duty or veteran military personnel and their families get 50% off tickets in seating areas 1-3. $5 tickets are available for Oregon Trail Card holders through the Arts for All program. All prices vary by date and time, and are subject to change.