‘Tiny Beautiful Things’ to kick off SVSU theatre season

SVSU’s drama department will be putting on its next show on Oct. 5-8. The show being put on this fall is, “Tiny Beautiful Things.”

The play, which is based on the book, follows a struggling writer who is asked to take over an unpaid position of advice columnist. The author, Cheryl Strayed, used her own life experiences to give others advice for a variety of problems and situations.

Dana Samalik, secondary education major, is in the play as Letter Writer number three.

“This show is about a woman who takes over an advice column under the name Sugar,” she said. “We go through her journey responding to the letters she receives and how she responds to them. The show serves as a reminder to those in need that they are not alone. It brings people together to show us all that we are loved.”

Director Dave Rzeszutek picked the play because of the topics it deals with.

“The show grabbed me from my first read – it’s an honest play about topics that we are all aware of, but hesitant to discuss,” he said. “It is based on real letters written to an online advice column, entitled “Dear Sugar.” Some people might be familiar with the title of the play as it was also a New York Times bestseller. It’s a newer play (2018) adapted by Nia Vardalos (creator of “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”) and I am excited to introduce it to the Great Lakes Bay community.”

The show features a small cast and has a quick turnaround time. However, Rzeszutek said the cast is doing well so far.

“The cast is fantastic. This show has the shortest rehearsal process in our season and the four actors are giving it their all,” he said. “There are some great opportunities for the actresses as three of them play multiple roles.”

Samalik was excited to audition for the show.

“I auditioned because I wanted to join SVSU’s theatre department so badly,” she said. “When I saw last year’s production of “Animal Farm”, I knew that I wanted to perform for this school one day. I am so glad that I get to be a part of this extraordinary and heartfelt production with some of the most amazing and talented people.”

Rzeszutek said the story is one that needs to be shared.

“It’s a show about bravery, vulnerability, and love. It is triggering at times, but the truth in life sometimes is,” he said. “It’s a beautiful reminder and story that should be shared.”

Samalik agreed that the shows message means a lot.

“This show means a lot to me,” she said. “There were many times in my life where I had felt alone, trapped and scared to reach out for help. The play teaches the audience that vulnerability is not a weakness and reaching out is OK. The unconditional love that this show has is so powerful. It’s a show I believe everyone should see.”

Alyssa McMillan

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