NECC Observer

The student news website of Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill and Lawrence, Mass.

The celebration continues… “Tiny Beautiful Things” takes the stage

Photo by Mike Dean

On Friday, Nov. 5, the Northern Essex Community College theater department, “held an outdoor performance of the play “Tiny Beautiful Things.”
This was a special performance for staff members and students to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the college, the 50th anniversary of the Haverhill campus, and the 30th anniversary of the Dimitry Building in Lawrence.

Photo by Mike Dean

A lighting display of the number 60 in honor of the college’s anniversary.

The play is based on the memoir by “Wild” author Cheryl Strayed and was adapted to stage by Nia Vardalos of “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” fame.
Strayed, played by award-winning actress and current NECC student Gwynnethe Glickman, writes for an advice column under the alias “Sugar.”
Throughout the play, she attempts to help those who write to her by addressing their questions and problems with sincere honesty, going as far as sharing her own traumatic stories of a similar nature.

Zaida Buzan, Remani Lizana, and Natalie Scott play supporting roles portraying various troubled people seeking out advice from “Sugar”.
As the sun began to set and the air became cooler, the subjects discussed became more mature. Topics ranging from jealousy, work relationships, incest, infidelity, miscarriage, and physical abuse to name a few, complete with coarse language and really frank descriptions especially from “Sugar” herself.
“Tiny Beautiful Things” was certainly not for the easily disturbed. In addition to the disquieting content mentioned above, a lot of palpable emotional tension was powerfully conveyed by the four actors. It was so intense, we the audience could feel it ourselves as we were in the moment. It’s a blunt and moving play that despite all the potentially distressing subjects discussed, ends with a sense of relatability and most importantly, hope.
“I thought that all four performances were extraordinary,” said Brianne Beatrice, director and Performing Arts and Communication program. “I am so unbelievably proud of the production as a whole.”

Vardalos congratulated the crew via Twitter, encouraging them to “break many legs.”

The performance was held at the grassy knoll just outside of Bentley Library on the Haverhill campus.
A simple stage was constructed to provide the actors a platform to play off of.
The event was hosted by President Lane A. Glenn.

Photo by Mike Dean

Refreshments were provided for the audience to enjoy.

A substantial crowd of attendees were offered hot chocolate, hot cider, and cider doughnuts free of charge.
In commemoration of the anniversary, gift bags were handed out to the audience containing an NECC thermal cup as well as a large decorated, frosted butter cookie.
“We had very large crowds and I was extremely grateful,” said Beatrice. “The entire experience was truly life changing.”
The event was considered a big success.