Advice from the heart powers Theatre of Dare’s ‘Tiny Beautiful Things’

Published 3:18 pm Thursday, January 18, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

A woman wondering when to say “I love you.” A man considering some sexy holiday cosplay. A father grieving the loss of his only son and wondering how to go on.

These are just some of the questions that author Cheryl Strayed replied to during a two-year stint as an online advice columnist named Sugar, and it’s those questions that take center stage in Theatre of Dare’s production of “Tiny Beautiful Things,” opening January 19 upstairs at Dare Arts in Manteo.

The play, adapted from Strayed’s bestselling book by “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” star Nia Vardalos, is a dramatic retelling of some of those real-life questions and answers in the Dear Sugar column from 2010-2012.

Get the latest headlines sent to you

“I think everyone will find something they can relate to in this show. I know I did,” says Jannie Kenyon, who is making her Theatre of Dare debut in the role of Sugar. “The questions, and Sugar’s answers, are all about the things that life throws at all of us.”

During the course of the play, Sugar answers the questions of four “letter writers” (Brandy Hayes, Tyler Hudson, Pauline Sweeney and Kevin Walker) by conveying experiences in her own troubled past and urging them to reach for acceptance, forgiveness and healing to rise above their problems. Those problems range from the comedic to the heartbreaking.

“I’m not going to sugar coat it. Some of the issues brought up in this play are harrowing,” says director Tim Hass. “But beyond those troubles lies the heart of the play: that we all have it within us to withstand and survive the difficulties of life, and find joy in everyday beauty.”

Expect a little laughter, a few tears and a lot of heart from “Tiny Beautiful Things.”

“Tiny Beautiful Things” will be performed at 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 19, 20, 26 and 27 with matinees Jan. 21 and 28 at 2 p.m. All performances will be upstairs at Dare Arts in Manteo, located at 300 Queen Elizabeth Avenue. Tickets are available online at and at the door, subject to availability. This show contains adult situations and language.

This is an Off-TODway production and is not included in the season ticket package.