Star of stage and screen Richard Thomas will play Atticus Finch in the national tour of Aaron Sorkin’s acclaimed stage adaptation of Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird. Producer Scott Rudin has announced that the Emmy Award-winning actor will lead the coast-to-coast national tour of the production directed by Bartlett Sher. To Kill A Mockingbird, which has been shattering box office records and is the highest grossing American play in Broadway history, will travel the country over commencing August 25, 2020. The tour will launch at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.
In a statement, Mr. Thomas said, “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. 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!”
Richard Thomas, who is best-known to generations of TV watchers for playing Johnboy Walton on the acclaimed television drama The Walton’s, is no stranger to the theatrical stage. At the age of seven, he made his Broadway debut in 1958 in Sunrise at Campobello. Other Broadway credits include The Little Foxes, Race, Democracy, You Can’t Take It With You, and Fifth of July. Throughout the country, Mr. Thomas most recently appeared on stage in the national company of the Tony Award-winning play, The Humans, and the acclaimed revival of Twelve Angry Men, and starred as President Jimmy Carter in the Lawrence Wright drama, Camp David, at Washington DC’s Arena Stage and San Diego’s Old Globe. His feature film performances include Curtis Hanson’s Wonder Boys, Tim Blake Nelson’s Anesthesia, and Ang Lee’s Taking Woodstock. Thomas is also a published author who resides in New York City.
Director Bartlett Sher added, “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.”
To Kill A Mockingbird is currently playing on Broadway at the Shubert Theatre. The show has received nine Tony Award nominations, including Best Actor in a Play, Best Director, Best Featured Actress in a Play, Best Featured Actor in a Play, Best Original Score, Best Scenic Design of a Play, Best Costume Design of a Play, Best Lighting Design of a Play, and Best Sound Design of a Play.
“Set in Alabama in 1934, Harper Lee’s enduring story of racial injustice and childhood innocence centers on one of the most venerated characters in American literature, the small-town lawyer Atticus Finch. The cast of characters includes Atticus’s daughter Scout, her brother Jem, their housekeeper and caretaker, Calpurnia, their visiting friend Dill, a mysterious neighbor, the reclusive Arthur “Boo” Radley, and the other indelible residents of Maycomb, Alabama from the novel.”
Mark Robinson is the author of the two-volume encyclopedia The World of Musicals, The Disney Song Encyclopedia, and The Encyclopedia of Television Theme Songs. He maintains a theater and entertainment blog at markrobinsonwrites.com.