Richard Thomas will play the lead role of Atticus Finch in Aaron Sorkin’s stage adaptation of To Kill a Mockingbird on the first national tour. The Broadway production is currently the highest grossing American play of all time and recently earned nine Tony Award nominations.
The tour launches August 25, 2020, at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. The tour will continue for over two years.
Thomas was last seen on Broadway in The Little Foxes opposite Cynthia Nixon and Laura Linney, who alternated the roles of Regina and Birdie. Thomas earned a Tony nomination for his performance in the play. Prior to that, he replaced in the 2014 Broadway production of You Can’t Take it With You, 2012’s An Enemy of the People, 2009’s Race, 2005’s A Naked Girl on the Appian Way, and more.
On tour, he played Juror #8 in the 2006 national tour of Twelve Angry Men and Erik Blake in 2018’s The Humans.
In a statement, 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!”
The tour will be directed by Bartlett Sher, who earned a Tony nomination for his direction of Mockingbird on Broadway. “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,” said Sher.
Set in Alabam 1934, To Kill a Mockingbird is based on the novel of the same name by Harper Lee. The stage version is crafted as a memory play, as Scout Finch remembers the summer her father, Atticus, defended a black man falsely accused of rape in the Jim Crow South. The play refocuses on Atticus as its driving force—the man who wrestles with the questions and his own inner flaws.