May 28 – June 25, 2022
(Cincinnati, OH) Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati (ETC) closes its 2021-2022 Season with the regional premiere drama Tiny Beautiful Things. Based on the acclaimed book by Cheryl Strayed (author of the best-selling book Wild), this story was brilliantly adapted for the stage by Nia Vardalos, the Academy Award-nominated writer and star of My Big Fat Greek Wedding. A funny and deeply touching exploration of resilience, Variety calls Tiny Beautiful Things “a theatrical hug in turbulent times.” Playing May 28–June 25, 2022. Directed by D. Lynn Meyers.
Tiny Beautiful Things follows a writer as she takes over the unpaid, anonymous position of an advice columnist named Sugar. At first unsure of herself, she finds a way to weave her own life experiences together to help those seeking guidance. This captivating and uplifting play is about reaching out when you’re stuck, recovering when you’re broken, and finding the courage to ask the questions that are hardest to answer.
“The reason I felt compelled to include Tiny Beautiful Things in the season is that we are all lacking connection. We were forced into separation the last couple of years to keep each other safe, but it also did a lot to pull us apart,” says Producing Artistic Director D. Lynn Meyers. “The Dear Sugar columns and all these other outlets that are there for us to connect with strangers might just help us to reconnect with those we love and care about. This show allows us to reach out to each other and say we’re in it together, as cliché as it sounds. Tiny Beautiful Things celebrates our uniqueness, but also our universal need to connect with another human, to open our hearts to listening, and to share that which we can give as best we can.”
About the Cast
Connan Morrissey (Sugar) returns to Ensemble Theatre having last appeared in Pipeline (2020) and A Doll’s House, Part 2. Her previous credits include roles in new and classical plays at Arena Stage, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Asolo Theatre Center, Folger Theatre, Virginia Stage Company, Round House Theatre, Olney Theatre Center, Clarence Brown Theatre, PlayMakers Repertory, Capital Repertory, North Carolina Stage Company, Vermont Stage Company, and Peterborough Players. Some of her other work experiences include performance coaching for executives at Deloitte, PWC, Unilever, and Fifth Third Bank and the care and transport of family members throughout Cincinnati. Connan has an MFA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Michael G. Bath (Letter Writer #1) was last seen at Ensemble in Cinderella, as well as The Frog Princess, Fly By Night, The Dancing Princesses, The Legend of Georgia McBride, Sleeping Beauty, and Hands on a Hardbody, among countless others. Other regional credits include Superior Donuts with Clifton Players and Angels in America at Know Theatre. Michael has also performed with Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati, the Performance Gallery, Showboat Majestic, and Stage First Cincinnati.
Kearston Hawkins-Johnson (Letter Writer #2) makes their Ensemble Theatre debut with this production. Some of their previous credits include The Snowy Day and Other Stories, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park; Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Macbeth, Cincinnati Shakespeare Company; Dragon Play and Susan Swayne and the Bewildered Bride, Know Theatre of Cincinnati; and various films and audio dramas. Kearston is also a multidisciplinary artist whose practice includes photography and filmmaking. They received a BFA in Acting from Northern Kentucky University with additional training at Howard University.
Taha Mandviwala (Letter Writer #3) makes his Ensemble Theatre debut with this production. He is a 2016 graduate from the University of Kentucky with a BA in Theatre, and he was a member of the 2016-2017 Bruce E. Coyle Acting Intern Company at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park. His recent regional credits include The Taming of the Shrew and Witness for the Prosecution, Great Lakes Theater and Idaho Shakespeare Festival; Romeo and Juliet and Love’s Labour’s Lost, Santa Cruz Shakespeare Festival; and Shakespeare in Love, Treasure Island, and multiple seasons of A Christmas Carol, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park.
Production team: Brian c. Mehring (Resident Scenic and Lighting Designer), Dana Rebecca Woods (Costume Designer), Matt Callahan (Sound Designer), Kelly Yurko (Wig Designer), Shannon Rae Lutz (Properties Curator & Design Assistant), and Jack Murphy (Technical Director). Production Stage Manager is Margot Whitney. Assistant Stage Manager is Lexi Muller.
Performances Tuesday-Thursday at 7:30 pm; Friday & Saturday at 8:00 pm; Saturday & Sunday at 2:00 pm. Performances vary. A complete calendar of performances is available at www.ensemblecincinnati.org.
Tickets start at $35 for adults; student tickets are $28; and children are $24. Half-Price Rush Tickets: All remaining tickets for the current day’s performance(s) are available two hours prior to each show time for half-price (discount only applies to adult tickets) when purchasing by phone or in person. $15 Student Rush Tickets: Students may purchase up to two $15 student rush tickets two hours prior to show time with valid student I.D. Available in person only.
2021-2022 Season Presenting Sponsor is the Otto M. Budig Family Foundation.
Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati is supported, in part, by the generosity of community contributions to the ArtsWave Campaign.
The Ohio Arts Council helps fund Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans. Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati also receives funding from the Shubert Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati is a professional theatre dedicated to producing world and regional premieres of works that often explore compelling social issues. We fulfill our mission through our stage productions and educational outreach programs that enlighten, enliven, enrich and inspire our audiences.