Theatre KAPOW finishes its 15th season with the New Hampshire premiere of “Tiny Beautiful Things” based on the best-selling book by Cheryl Strayed and adapted for the stage by Nia Vardalos. The show will be performed at the Bank of New Hampshire Stage in Concord June 9 – 11.
Based on the acclaimed book by Cheryl Strayed (author of the New York Times best-selling “Wild”), “Tiny Beautiful Things” follows Sugar, an online advice columnist who uses her personal experiences to help the real-life readers who pour their hearts out 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.
“The sincerity, empathy, and sometimes shocking personal honesty with which she writes is beautiful and so compelling,” says theatre KAPOW company member Carey Cahoon, who plays Sugar in the production. “Working on this production has required an incredible amount of vulnerability from all of us. The power of live theatre to invite and engage audiences’ empathy is so important in our world right now. I think we can all find something in Sugar’s advice that we can learn from.”
For Matt Cahoon, the director, the strength of this play is rooted in its resonance. “As a company, we are always looking for shows that speak to the universality of the human experience,” Cahoon said, “ ‘Tiny Beautiful Things’ accomplishes that in profound ways. By its very nature, Sugar’s column sought to provide advice that would be applicable to a wide swath of readers, the play accomplishes a similar resonance by having just three actors stand in for a large number of letter writers. But,” Cahoon continued, “the play also allows for an opportunity to use some of the magic of theatre making to tell these stories in fascinating and expressive ways.”
Meg Cronin, Professor of English and Director of College Writing at Saint Anselm College will be leading a post-show discussion along with the company following the matinee performance at 2 p.m. on Sunday, June 11. Professor Cronin’s talk will center on the process of adaptation and track the changes in this piece as it has evolved from real life experiences to an online advice column, then to a book, the play, and finally has made it to the screen in a new series being streamed on Hulu. Professor Cronin’s research and writing explores adaptations of the works of Jane Austen from novel to play to performance, and she will apply some of the process and insights from that research to her exploration of Cheryl Strayed’s work.
“Tiny Beautiful Things” features Carey Cahoon as Sugar and Peter Josephson, Rachael Longo, and Madaline Falcone as the Letter Writers. The show is directed by Matt Cahoon and stage managed by Samantha Autumn. Kyrie Ellison is working with the company again as Intimacy Coordinator. Longtime tKAPOW collaborator Tayva Young will be providing the lighting design and Barbara Holbrook returns as Costume Designer.
Performances are June 9 and 10 at 7:30 p.m. and June 11 at 2 p.m. at the Bank of New Hampshire Stage in Concord. For tickets or more information, visit tkapow.com.
Cheryl Strayed is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller “Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail,” which was made into an Oscar-nominated film. Her bestselling collection of Dear Sugar columns, “Tiny Beautiful Things,” was adapted for a Hulu television show and as a play that continues to be staged in theaters nationwide. Strayed’s other books are the critically acclaimed novel, “Torch,” and the bestselling collection “Brave Enough”, which brings together more than one hundred of her inspiring quotes. Her books have sold more than 5 million copies around the world and have been translated into forty languages. Her award-winning essays and short stories have been published in The Best American Essays, the New York Times, the Washington Post Magazine, Vogue, and elsewhere. Strayed has also made two hit podcasts, Dear Sugars, which she co-hosted with Steve Almond, and Sugar Calling. She lives in Portland, Oregon.
theatre KAPOW (tkapow.com) develops ensemble productions of great dramatic literature to explore the human experience and inspire and challenge both artist and audience. tKAPOW places emphasis on the importance of rigorous formal training to develop an ensemble of skilled and dedicated theatre artists.
Visit tkapow.com to learn more.