The play is based off of Harper Lee’s classic novel about racial prejudice in 1930s Maycomb, Alabama. Thomas will portray Atticus Finch, a lawyer who must defend a black man accused of raping a white woman.
“To Kill A Mockingbird,” adapted for the stage by Aaron Sorkin, has become a Broadway juggernaut, capping off this season with nine Tony nominations including an acting nod for Jeff Daniels. It is also now the highest grossing play in Broadway history. The show begins its national run on Aug. 25, 2020.
“I’m thrilled to have been invited to play Atticus Finch. To be entrusted with the opportunity of bringing one of our great American stories to our great American playhouses across the country is a privilege,” Thomas said in a statement. “The play has galvanized audiences with its timeliness and its timelessness, and to join the ranks of the tremendous Jeff Daniels and Aaron Sorkin in carrying on the legacy of Harper Lee is a great honor. I’m a very happy actor and I can’t wait to get started!”
Thomas’ first Broadway role was at age 7 in “Sunrise at Campobello.” His other stage credits include “Little Foxes,” “You Can’t Take It With You,” “The Humans,” and “Twelve Angry Men.” He won an Emmy for his performance in “The Waltons” and has appeared on shows “The Americans” and “Billions.” Thomas also starred in the films “Wonder Boys,” “Anesthesia,” and “Taking Woodstock.”
“We are incredibly fortunate that Richard Thomas has agreed to be our Atticus across America, because he is simply one of the best stage actors in America. He has the soul, kindness, and fire of idealism that the part demands, and I think audiences across the country will get an enormous gift in his Atticus,” said Director Bartlett Sher in a statement.
“To Kill a Mockingbird” will start at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., before touring the country for two years.