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Tiny Beautiful Things

February 09 - March 17

Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre
Conrad Prebys Theatre Center

Photo Credits
(from left) Opal Alladin, Dorcas Sowunmi, Keith Powell, and Avi Roque. Photo by Jim Cox.
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
Directed by James Vásquez

Based on the best-selling book by Cheryl Strayed, Tiny Beautiful Things follows the relationships between an anonymous advice columnist named Sugar and the many real-life readers who pour out their hearts to her. Academy Award nominee Nia Vardalos (My Big Fat Greek Wedding) adapts Strayed’s book into an enrapturing and uplifting play that surges with emotion and is called by Variety “a theatrical hug in turbulent times.” Tiny Beautiful Things is about reaching when you’re stuck, recovering when you’re broken, and finding the courage to ask the questions that are hardest to answer. Tissues recommended.  Contains strong language and adult content.

Running time: One hour and 20 minutes. There is no intermission.

Production Sponsors
Sheila and Jeffrey Lipinsky
Theatre Forward


Cast and Creatives



Cheryl Strayed (Original Book) is the author of Tiny Beautiful Things, Torch, Brave Enough, and the No. 1 New York Times best seller Wild. Her books have been translated into more than 40 languages around the world. The Academy Award–nominated film adaptation of Wild was released in 2014. Ms. Strayed’s essays and stories have appeared in The Best American Essays, Vogue, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and elsewhere. She is the co-host of The New York Times’s “Dear Sugar Radio” podcast, which originated with her popular “Dear Sugar” column.

Nia Vardalos (Adaptor, Co-Conceiver) 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.

Marshall Heyman (Co-Conceiver) has written for The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Vogue, InStyle, W, Harper’s Bazaar, New York, and many others. He recently wrote for the AMC show “Dietland.”

Thomas Kail (Co-Conceiver) directed the Broadway productions of Hamilton (Tony Award), In the Heights (Tony nomination), Lombardi,and Magic/Bird. His selected credits include the world premieres of Hamilton, Dry Powder, Tiny Beautiful Things,and Kings (The Public Theater), the world premiere of In the Heights, Broke-ology, and the world premiere of When I Come to Die (Lincoln Center Theater), and the world premiere of Daphne’s Dive (Signature Theatre Company). He is the co-creator and director of the hip-hop improv group Freestyle Love Supreme. Mr. Kail’s television credits include “Fosse/Verdon” (upcoming), Grease Live! (two Emmy Awards),“2 Broke Girls,”and The Oprah Winfrey Oscar Special.

James Vásquez (Director) recently directed the world premiere of American Mariachi at The Old Globe. Previously with the Globe, he directed Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, Rich Girl, and Richard O’Brien’s The Rocky Horror Show; served as associate director for Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax; andprovided musical staging for The Comedy of Errors, Boeing-Boeing,and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, among others. With The Old Globe and University of San Diego Shiley Graduate Theatre Program, he has directed Clybourne Park and the world premiere of Acquainted with the Night. He received the Craig Noel Award for Outstanding Direction of a Musical in 2018 for In the Heights (Moonlight Stage Productions) and in 2010 for Sweeney Todd (Cygnet Theatre Company). His other recent directing/choreography credits include American Mariachi (Denver Center for the Performing Arts Theatre Company), The Lorax (Children’s Theatre Company), The Addams Family and Chicago (Moonlight Stage Productions), West Side Story and Cats (San Diego Musical Theatre),the West Coast premiere of [title of show], Pippin,and Next Fall (Diversionary Theatre), and Hedwig and the Angry Inch and Pageant (Cygnet Theatre Company), as well as developmental workshops at La Jolla Playhouse and Goodspeed Musicals. Mr. Vásquez is a graduate of The Juilliard School.

Wilson Chin (Scenic Design) returns to The Old Globe after designing Ken Ludwig’s Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery, Rich Girl, Othello, The Winter’s Tale,and Anna Christie (Craig Noel Award nomination). His designs for world premiere productions include Next Fall (Broadway), Pulitzer Prize winner Cost of Living (Manhattan Theatre Club, Williamstown Theatre Festival), Pass Over (Lincoln Center Theater, Steppenwolf Theatre Company), The Thanksgiving Play (Playwrights Horizons), Wild Goose Dreams (The Public Theater, La Jolla Playhouse), Teenage Dick (Ma-Yi Theater Company/The Public Theater), My Mañana Comes (The Playwrights Realm), By the Water (Manhattan Theatre Club), Aubergine (Berkeley Repertory Theatre), The Great Leap (Seattle Repertory Theatre), Too Much Too Much Too Many (Roundabout Theatre Company), Len, Asleep in Vinyl (Second Stage Theater), and Tiger Style! (Alliance Theatre, Huntington Theatre Company). His opera designs include Lucia di Lammermoor (Lyric Opera of Chicago), Eine Florentinische Tragödie and Gianni Schicchi (Canadian Opera Company; Dora Mavor Moore Award), and I Am Harvey Milk (Avery Fisher Hall). Mr. Chin is a graduate of Yale School of Drama. @wilsonchindesign.

Shirley Pierson (Costume Design), a San Diego–based, award-winning costume designer, is pleased to return to The Old Globe to design costumes for Tiny Beautiful Things. Previously at the Globe she designed Ken Ludwig’s Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery and Rich Girl, and for The Old Globe and University of San Diego Shiley Graduate Theatre Program, she designed Richard III. Her other regional theatre credits include The Fantasticks (Pasadena Playhouse), Hir and Shockheaded Peter (Craig Noel Award for Outstanding Costume Design), The Wind and the Breeze, Pageant, The Importance of Being Earnest (Craig Noel Award nomination), Travesties, Assassins, A Christmas Carol, Parade (Craig Noel Award for Outstanding Costume Design), Spring Awakening, Mistakes Were Made, The Glass Menagerie, Little Shop of Horrors, Our Town, Cabaret, Sweeney Todd, Private Lives, It’s a Wonderful Life, and The History Boys (Cygnet Theatre Company), The Moors, The Boy Who Danced on Air, Now or Later, Marry Me a Little, The Further Adventures of Hedda Gabbler, When Last We Flew, Pippin, Next Fall, and Harmony, Kansas (Diversionary Theatre), and Seascape and Into the Woods (New Village Arts). Ms. Pierson has also designed costumes and puppets for Kaiser Permanente’s Educational Theatre Program, which focuses on issues of literacy, nutrition, and conflict management in schools throughout Southern California. Ms. Pierson received her M.F.A. in Theatrical Design from San Diego State University. shirleypiersondesigns.com.

Amanda Zieve (Lighting Design) is delighted to be back at The Old Globe, having previously designed Barefoot in the Park, Native Gardens, The Wanderers, and Rich Girl. She recently designed Sweeney Todd and Roof of the World (Kansas City Repertory Theatre) and Billy Elliot: The Musical and Titanic (Signature Theatre Company). Her associate credits include The Heart of Rock & Roll, Bright Star, and Allegiance (The Old Globe) and Escape to Margaritaville, Hollywood, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and Chasing the Song (La Jolla Playhouse). She enjoys a career in both San Diego and New York City, where she had the privilege of working on her 17th Broadway production this spring. One of her most rewarding experiences has been assisting on Hamilton. She received her B.A. in Theatre from California State University, Northridge. amandazieve.com.

Melanie Chen Cole (Sound Design) is delighted to be returning to The Old Globe after designing The Imaginary Invalid in 2017.Sheis a San Diego–based sound designer who has worked all over the country. Her recent regional credits include the 2019 POP Tour Light Years Away, At the Old Place, and the 2017 POP Tour #SuperShinySara (La Jolla Playhouse), Aubergine, Actually, and Vietgone (San Diego Repertory Theatre), Steel Magnolias (Dallas Theater Center), Sherwood: The Adventures of Robin Hood (PlayMakers Repertory Company), Mrs. Warren’s Profession (A Noise Within), Moon Over Buffalo, The Father, and This Random World (North Coast Repertory Theatre), Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley, Avenue Q, and Men on Boats (New Village Arts), and Smokefall and Bachelorette (Backyard Renaissance Theatre Company). She holds an M.F.A. in Sound Design for Theatre & Dance from UC San Diego. melaniesound.com.

Caparelliotis Casting (Casting) has cast for The Old Globe for the past five seasons, including Familiar, Barefoot in the Park, Native Gardens, The Wanderers, The Importance of Being Earnest, Picasso at the Lapin Agile, and Skeleton Crew. Their Broadway casting credits include The Waverly Gallery, The Boys in the Band, Three Tall Women, Saint Joan, Junk, Meteor Shower, A Doll’s House Part 2, The Front Page, Les Liaisons Dangereuses, The Glass Menagerie, Jitney, The Little Foxes, The Father, Blackbird, An Act of God, Airline Highway, Fish in the Dark, It’s Only a Play, Disgraced, Holler If Ya Hear Me, Casa Valentina, The Snow Geese, Orphans, The Trip to Bountiful, Grace, Dead Accounts, The Other Place, Seminar, The Columnist, Stick Fly, Good People, Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, The House of Blue Leaves, Fences, Lend Me a Tenor, and The Royal Family. They also cast for Manhattan Theatre Club, Atlantic Theater Company, Signature Theatre Company, LCT3, Ars Nova, Goodman Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, McCarter Theatre Center, and Arena Stage, among others. Their film and television credits include HairBrained with Brendan Fraser, “New Amsterdam” (NBC), “American Odyssey” (NBC), “How to Get Away with Murder” (ABC pilot), “Ironside” (NBC), and Steel Magnolias (Sony for Lifetime).

Chandra R.M. Anthenill (Production Stage Manager) has worked on the Globe productions of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Twelfth Night (Globe for All), Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax, A Thousand Splendid Suns, Guys and Dolls, Camp David, and The Comedy of Errors. Her credits as production stage manager include Fun Home, Beachtown, Roz & Ray, Into the Beautiful North, R. Buckminster Fuller: THE HISTORY (and Mystery) OF THE UNIVERSE, Outside Mullingar, The Oldest Boy, Everybody’s Talkin’: The Music of Harry Nilsson, Oedipus El Rey, and Honky (San Diego Repertory Theatre), The Last Wife, Bad Jews, Sons of the Prophet, True West, Fool for Love, Spring Awakening, Assassins, and Company (Cygnet Theatre Company), and Pippin (Diversionary Theatre). Her credits as assistant stage manager include Junk: The Golden Age of Debt (La Jolla Playhouse), In the Next Room or the vibrator play, The Who’s Tommy, Walter Cronkite Is Dead, Tortilla Curtain, and Zoot Suit (San Diego Repertory Theatre), and Dirty Blonde (Cygnet Theatre Company). Ms. Anthenill is a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association.


Vicki and Carl Zeiger Insights Seminars

This series provides Old Globe patrons with an opportunity to closely connect with productions both onstage and backstage. A panel selected from the artistic company of each show (playwrights, actors, directors, designers, and/or technicians) engages patrons in an informal and illuminating presentation of ideas and insights to enhance the theatre going experience. Each Insights Seminar takes place 90 minutes before curtain time on the Tuesday after performances begin, and includes an informal reception 30 minutes before the start. FREE; no reservations necessary.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019 at 5:30 p.m.


Post-Show Forums

Join us after the show for an informal and enlightening question-and-answer session with cast members. Get the "inside story" on creating a character and putting together a professional production. Post-show forums are scheduled after select Tuesday and Wednesday evening performances. FREE; no reservations necessary.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Wednesday, March 6, 2019


Subject Matters

Explore the ideas and issues raised by a production through brief, illuminating post-show discussions with local experts, such as scientists, artists, historians and scholars. Subject Matters will ignite discussion, bring the play's concerns into sharp focus, and encourage you to think beyond the stage! Subject Matters discussions follow select Saturday matinee performances. FREE; no reservations necessary.

Saturday, February 16, 2019


"Raw and honest. Directed by James Vásquez with an abiding sense of humanity." —The San Diego Union-Tribune

"Emphasizes the best in what theatre can do! Take a room full of strangers and help them connect to this personal and powerful show.  For someone to connect and listen is a potent thing.” —BroadwayWorld