Work samples

  • Here for It: Introduction
    This is the introduction to my forthcoming memoir-in-essays, Here for It or, How to Save Your Soul in America.
  • Crying On Television_Scene 2.pdf
    An excerpt from my comedy, Crying on Television.

About R. Eric

Baltimore City

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 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 and received… more

Here For It or, How to Save Your Soul in America

R. Eric Thomas didn’t know he was different until the world told him so. Everywhere he went—whether it was his rich, mostly white, suburban high school, his conservative black church, or his Ivy League college in a big city—he found himself on the outside looking in.

In essays by turns hysterical and heartfelt, Eric redefines what it means to be an “other” through the lens of his own life experience. He explores the two worlds of his childhood: the barren urban landscape where his parents’ house was an anomalous bright spot, and the verdant school they sent him to in white suburbia. He writes about struggling to reconcile his Christian identity with his sexuality, the exhaustion of code-switching in college, accidentally getting famous on the internet (for the wrong reason), and the surreal experience of covering the 2016 election, and the seismic changes that came thereafter. Ultimately, Eric seeks the answer to these ever more relevant questions: Is the future worth it? Why do we bother when everything seems to be getting worse? As the world continues to shift in unpredictable ways, Eric finds the answers to these questions by re-envisioning what “normal” means and in the powerful alchemy that occurs when you at last place yourself at the center of your own story.

Here for It will resonate deeply and joyfully with everyone who has ever felt pushed to the margins, struggled with self-acceptance, or wished to shine more brightly in a dark world. Stay here for it—the future may surprise you.

For more information, visit the Penguin Random House site.

  • Here for It jacket cover

Safe Space

A new comedy by R. Eric Thomas examining the clash between contemporary cultural conversations and the legacy of slavery. Premiering at Single Carrot Theater in January 2020.

Unlocking the past can be a dangerous thing. In this Clue!-inspired farce from award-winning playwright  R. Eric Thomas, the past comes back to haunt in more ways than one. Helen, a white nonprofit-executive, needs a door unlocked in the definitely-not-a-former-plantation she inherited. Courtney, a young black locksmith, is here to help her out. Charlotte, the ghost of a slave trapped in the house for over one-hundred and fifty years, is ready to pounce. Good intentions and sinister subtext clash in the Maryland world of nonprofit politics, haunted basements, ghostly reparations, and zero cell reception.
  • Poster for forthcoming Safe Space production
    Poster for Single Carrot 2020 production of Safe Space.

Crying on Television

Four strangers; one apartment building; unlimited channels. After a chance meeting in the elevator of an apartment building full of strangers, Mackenzie, a video editor, realizes that she’s seen Ellison somewhere before. Namely as a contestant on a reality dating show 10 years earlier. Struck by the girl she remembers from the decade-old clip, Mackenzie decides they should be friends and quickly gets caught up in an escalating series of hijinks to make that happen in this platonic romcom. Mackenzie’s quest pulls in Chris, her brother’s ex who is doing his best to be a weird loner, Taffy, an amateur sleuth who never met a stranger, and Kenley, a praise and worship leader at Chris’ church who seems to have figured out life’s greatest mystery: how to make friends as an adult.