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Tiny Beautiful Things

February 9 – March 10, 2019
(Opening night: Thursday, February 14)

Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre
Conrad Prebys Theatre Center

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.


Publicity Photos

Cheryl Strayed
Cheryl Strayed. Photo by Joni Kabana.
Nia Vardalos
Nia Vardalos. Photo courtesy of The Old Globe.
Marshall Heyman
Marshall Heyman. Photo by © Kreg Holt.
Thomas Kail
Thomas Kail. Photo courtesy of The Old Globe.
James Vásquez
James Vásquez. Photo by Daren Scott.

Cast and Creative


Cheryl Strayed (Original Book, Tiny Beautiful Things) 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 “Dear Sugar Radio” podcast, which originated with her popular “Dear Sugar” column.

Nia Vardalos (Adaptor, Co-Conceiver, Tiny Beautiful Things) 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 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 is a New York Times best seller, and all proceeds are donated to adoption groups.

Marshall Heyman (Co-Conceiver, Tiny Beautiful Things) 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 is currently writing for the new AMC show “Dietland.”

Thomas Kail (Co-Conceiver, Director, Tiny Beautiful Things) 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 Grease Live! for Fox (Emmy Award),“2 Broke Girls,”and The Oprah Winfrey Oscar Special for ABC.

James Vásquez (Director, Tiny Beautiful Things)previously directed The Old Globe’s American Mariachi, Rich Girl, Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas!,and Richard O’Brien’s The Rocky Horror Show; and provided musical staging for the Globe’s The Comedy of Errors directed by Scott Ellis, Boeing-Boeing,and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. He will next associate direct Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax. With The Old Globe and University of San Diego Shiley Graduate Theatre Program, he has directed Clybourne Park and the world premiere of Keith Reddin’s Acquainted with the Night. He received two Craig Noel Awards for Outstanding Direction of a Musical: in 2018 for In the Heights (Moonlight Stage Productions) and in 2010 for Sweeney Todd (Cygnet Theatre Company); as well as nominations for the world premiere of Harmony, Kansas and the West Coast premiere of [title of show] (Diversionary Theatre). His other recent directing/choreography credits include American Mariachi (Denver Center for the Performing Arts Theatre Company), The Addams Family (Moonlight), West Side Story and Cats (San Diego Musical Theatre), Tell Me on a Sunday (Vista’s Broadway Theater), Pippin, the West Coast premiere of Birds of a Feather and Next Fall (Diversionary), and Hedwig and the Angry Inch and Pageant (Cygnet), as well as developmental workshops at La Jolla Playhouse and Goodspeed Musicals. Mr. Vásquez is co-founder of Daisy 3 Pictures. Their latest feature film, That’s What She Said, made its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival. Mr. Vásquez is a graduate of The Juilliard School.