R. Eric Thomas is a playwright, the long-running host of The Moth in Philadelphia and D.C., and he is a Senior Staff Writer for Elle.com where he writes “Eric Reads the News,” a daily current events and culture column. He won the 2016 Barrymore Award for Best New Play and the 2018 Dramatists Guild Lanford Wilson Award. He is the recipient of a 2017/2018 National New Play Network Commission and is at work on his debut memoir-in-essays, entitled Here For It, which will be published by Ballantine Books.
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 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 INFINITY JONES NEEDS SOME SPACE! (development: Act II Theatre), SAFE SPACE (development: Cohesion Theater Company Playwright’s Fellowship) NIGHTBIRD (development: Interact Theater Company/NNPN Commission), MIRIAM1234 (City Theater Shorts-On-Ships 2018; Finalist: City Theatre National National Award for Short Playwriting 2017), HUMAN RESOURCES (City Theatre Summer Shorts, 2015, Finalist: 2015 City Theatre National Award for Short Playwriting, published: City Theatre Anthology 2015), the wordless puppet play FRIEDA THE INVISIBLE WOMAN (developed with Aaron Cromie, FringeArts 2015), WHEN YOU PUT IT THAT WAY IT JUST SOUNDS RIDICULOUS (Finalist: 2014 City Theatre National Award for Short Playwriting), ALWAYS THE BRIDESMAID (Quince Productions).
With over a million social media shares, Eric’s ELLE.com column “Eric Reads the News” has quickly become an online humor staple. Covering pop culture, politics and current events, the column is a sardonic and sassy take on our world. Since its inception, it has been praised by such personalities as Lin-Manuel Miranda, Mariah Carey, Maxine Waters, Tamron Hall, and Tituss Burgess.
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 member of Baltimore Center Stage’s Playwright’s Collective and the Cohesion Theater Company 2017 Playwright’s Fellowship, and will be developing a play in 2018 as part of the Nashville Rep’s Ingram New Works Fellowship.