R. Eric Thomas is the national bestselling author of Here For It, or How to Save Your Soul in America, a Read with Jenna book club pick featured on Today and “a laugh-out-loud memoir strongly recommended for everyone” (Library Journal). Hailed as “infused with all the joy of the best teen movies” by Buzzfeed, his YA novel, Kings of B’more, was also featured on Today as part of the inaugural Read with Jenna Jr. book list. His biography of Rep. Maxine Waters, Reclaiming Her Time, co-authored with Helena Andrews-Dyer, makes “the case that political biographies shine bright when they have as much panache as their subject” (Washington Post). He is also a television writer (AppleTV+’s Dickinson, FX’s Better Things), a playwright, and the long-running host of The Moth in Philadelphia. For four years he was a Senior Staff Writer for Elle.com where he wrote “Eric Reads the News“, a daily current events and culture column. For his playwriting, he won the Barrymore Award for Best New Play, the Dramatists Guild Lanford Wilson Award, and the Lambda Literary Award.
He has been published multiple times in The New York Times, TIME, Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Magazine, and others. He has been heard on Pop Culture Happy Hour, It’s Been a Minute with Sam Sanders, Jen Hatmaker’s For the Love, and other podcasts.
His play, TIME IS ON OUR SIDE, was commissioned by Simpatico Theater Project and developed with PlayPenn. It was the recipient of two 2016 Barrymore Awards, including Best New Play, and was named one of six finalists for the Harold and Mimi Steinberg American Theater Critics Association New Play Award. Of the play, The Philadelphia Inquirer wrote, “it’s a superbly crafted two-hour mystery… Thomas creates an entire world with seeming room for all of humanity’s hopes and dreams, foibles and longings.”
The world premiere of MRS. HARRISON was produced by Azuka Theatre, won the Lambda Literary Award for LGBTQ Drama and was nominated for 3 Barrymore Awards, including Best New Play. About it the Philadelphia Inquirer raved “Every once in a (great) while, a new work in Philadelphia premieres with such power and promise that it demands to be seen by a much wider audience. That play is Mrs. Harrison at Azuka Theatre. That playwright is R. Eric Thomas.”
Other plays include THE FOLKS AT HOME (Baltimore Center Stage), SAFE SPACE (Single Carrot Theater; 2020 Lambda Literary Award finalist), BACKING TRACK (commission: Arden Theatre Company), MERLAND (commission: Baltimore Center Stage), THE EVER PRESENT (commission: Theatre Exile), CRYING ON TELEVISION (Everyman Theatre; development: Ingram New Works Fellowship), INFINITY JONES NEEDS SOME SPACE! (development: Act II Theatre), NIGHTBIRD (development: Interact Theater Company/NNPN Commission), HUMAN RESOURCES (City Theatre Summer Shorts, 2015, Finalist: 2015 City Theatre National Award for Short Playwriting, published: City Theatre Anthology 2015).
Eric is an alumnus of The Foundry, a Philadelphia playwrights lab and InterAct Theatre Company’s Core Playwrights program. He was a 2017 Lambda Literary Fellow, a 2018-2019 Ingram New Works Fellow, a member of Baltimore Center Stage’s Playwright’s Collective and the Cohesion Theater Company 2017 Playwright’s Fellowship.