Posted by Bob Evans
Advice Column Brought to Life at Unicorn Theatre
KANSAS CITY, MO. — Rehearsals have begun at Unicorn Theatre for Tiny Beautiful Things, based on the book by Cheryl Strayed (Wild) and adapted for the stage by Nia Vardalos (My Big Fat Greek Wedding). Tiny Beautiful Things is directed by Sidonie Garrett and will feature a cast that includes Carla Noack, Darren Kennedy, Jackie Price, and Darrington Clark.
The play is based on the true story of an unlikely advice columnist who discovers the importance of reaching when you’re stuck, healing when you’re broken, and finding the courage to take on the questions which have no answers. Funny and Honest. Tissues are recommended.
While waiting for a book to be published in 2010, writer Cheryl Strayed was asked by a friend to take over writing the online advice column “Dear Sugar” for The Rumpus. She agreed to write the column, anonymously and without pay. She helped her readers with their questions for two years by using her own personal experiences, sometimes in raw detail. Strayed revealed her identity as the voice of “Dear Sugar” at a coming out party in a 2012. In an interview with The New Yorker the same year, Strayed said,
“I’ve always written the column as if I were a naked woman standing in a field showing you everything but her face.”
In July 2012 Strayed published Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar as a compilation of essays from her favorite and most popular “Dear Sugar” columns and it quickly became a New York Times Best Seller.
Writer and actress Nia Vardalos, along with Director Thomas Kail and Writer Marshall Heyman co-conceived the idea of adapting Tiny Beautiful Things for the stage. Vardalos was given a copy of the book to read on a long flight, and “lost it,” she said in an interview with Variety in 2019.
Vardalos said that she was so taken by Strayed’s writing, adding:
“What’s so surprising about the bottomless empathy in Cheryl’s responses is that whether you can relate to the subject matter or not, there is something to be learned from every single exchange,” she notes. “And that was surprising for me because I like to create material that’s for everyone.”
Cynthia Levin, Producing Artistic Director for Unicorn Theatre, was also moved by Strayed’s writing.
“I was completely drawn in to this script the first time I read it. Cheryl Strayed is one of our finest and most intimate writers. Her personal experience is wild and varied which makes her the perfect person to explore life’s complicated journey. Her story is completely captivating and surprisingly touching,” said Levin.
Tiny Beautiful Things will begin previews on Wednesday, March 9, 2022 and will run through Sunday, March 27, 2022. Opening Night will be on Saturday, March 12, 2022. Audiences can get tickets or learn more at unicorntheatre.org or by calling the box office at (816) 531-7529.