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May 31, 2022 @ 7:00 pm

In-Person | The Year of Magical Thinking: An Evening with Bari Newport and Sara Morsey


May 31, 2022
7:00 pm


Books & Books in Coral Gables
265 Aragon Ave
Coral Gables, FL 33134
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Books & Books and GableStage present…

An Evening with Bari Newport and Sara Morsey


Joan Didion’s The Year of Magical Thinking

Tuesday, May 31, 7 PM LIVE & IN-PERSON at Books & Books, Coral Gables


Books & Books and GableStage are excited to present an evening with director Bari Newport and actor Sara Morsey for an interview ahead of the show The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion running June 3 through June 26 at GableStage.

This conversation is FREE and open to the public. Please RSVP only if you intend to join us.

Tickets for the play The Year of Magical Thinking are available at GableStage website:


Get $5 off per ticket with the special Books & Books promo code BOOKS5

About the Show:

GableStage proudly presents The Year of Magical Thinking, an account of the year following the death of writer Joan Didion’s husband John Gregory Dunne in 2003. The book was immediately acclaimed as a classic memoir about mourning. It won the 2005 National Book Award for Nonfiction and was a finalist for both the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Pulitzer Prize for Autobiography.

On March 29, 2007, Didion’s adaptation of her book for Broadway opened with Vanessa Redgrave as the sole cast member. It has since toured the world with Redgrave reprising her role in London and again in New York City. Now this extraordinary production will be shared with local audiences at the GableStage in the intimate setting it deserves.

Described as “exquisitely controlled and heartbreakingly sad” by The New York Times, Didion recounts in searing detail her experiences of grief upon her husband’s unexpected death, and expands upon the memoir by sharing her ordeal with their daughter Quintana’s concurrent illnesses and subsequent untimely death.

Didion deftly makes sense of both the emotional and physical aspects of both her husband and daughter’s experiences, incorporating medical and psychological research on grief and illness.The title of the play refers to magical thinking in the anthropological sense – thinking that if a person hopes for something enough or performs the right actions then an unavoidable event can be averted. Throughout the play, Didion explores her own magical thinking as she makes sense of the “weeks and then months that cut loose any fixed idea [she] ever had about death, about illness…about marriage and children and memory…about the shallowness of sanity, about life itself.”

It is a remarkable moment in theatre that tells us how people try to make sense of the senseless and how they somehow go on.

Didion’s character is played by classically-trained regional theatre veteran and voice of audiobooks Sara Morsey, who has said that she strives to inhabit her characters so that the author’s intent is crystal clear. “To be a conduit for the words and ideas of Joan Didion is no less than spine-tingling for me. Don’t assume anything about this play, just come see it.” The play is directed by Bari Newport in her first year as GableStage’s luminous Producing Artistic Director. “I have been looking forward to directing this outstanding one-woman theatrical experience. Joan Didion was an extraordinary writer who captured the essence of her revelations about life and death and shares them with exquisite sensitivity.”

Newport is joined by a creative team that includes Production Stage Manager Katie Ellison, Scenic Designer Frank J. Oliva, Sound Designer Matt Corey, Lighting Designer Tony Galaska, and Costume Designer Camilla Haith.

The Year of Magical Thinking is made possible through support from GableStage Trustee Nedra Kalish, in memory of her beloved husband Ron; Trustee Rick Toren and his wife Myrna, in memory of their beloved son David; with additional support from Debbie and Michael Troner, M.D. and Sheila Wagner, in memory of her beloved husband Richard.

The GableStage Theatre is located on the east side of the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables at 1200 Anastasia Avenue, Coral Gables, FL 33134.


Tickets for the play The Year of Magical Thinking are available at GableStage website:


Get $5 off per ticket with the special Books & Books promo code BOOKS5

The Year of Magical Thinking runs from June 4th through June 26th, with performances from Wednesday through Sunday. Preview performance: Friday, June 3rd at 7 p.m. Opening performance: Saturday, June 4th at 8 p.m.


The Year of Magical Thinking runs at GableStage at the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables on…

Wednesdays at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Thursdays at 7 p.m.

Fridays at 8 p.m.

Saturdays at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Sundays at 2 p.m.

About Bari:

Bari Newport joined GableStage as producing artistic director in April 2021. She came to Miami from the Penobscot Theatre Company in Bangor, Maine, where she served as producing artistic director for nine seasons. Previously, she was artistic associate at the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta, artistic associate/literary manager at the Pasadena Playhouse, associate producer at Horizon Theatre and associate director of Florida Repertory Theatre.

As a producer, Newport has been responsible for the creation and stabilization of a wide range of artistic initiatives, including extensive work in new play development, education and community engagement. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Southern California, where she created the Bill White Memorial Theatre Collection, the university’s first and only theatrical library. She received her Master of Fine Arts from the University of Iowa. Bari was a proud recipient of the Theatre Communications Group’s New Generations: Future Leaders grant, funded by the Carnegie and Doris Duke Foundations. She is a member of SDC and AEA.

About Sara:

Sara Morsey (AEA, SAG/AFTRA) has enjoyed a career of over thirty years in professional regional theatre. She is a member of The Ensemble of Actors at Florida Repertory Theatre and has enjoyed a long association with The Hippodrome Theatre in Florida. Recent credits include Driving Miss Daisy, Long Day’s Journey Into Night, The Little Foxes, Other Desert Cities, The Year of Magical Thinking, August: Osage County, Ripcord (directed by Bari Newport at Penobscot Theatre and by V. Craig Heidenreich at The Hippodrome). Sara has appeared at The Edinburgh Festival Fringe and at The National Palace of Culture in Sofia, Bulgaria, as well as in several independent films and regional theatres across the United States. She has a Master of Fine Arts from The University of Louisville.