Emmy Award-winning actor Richard Thomas (“The Waltons,” Fifth of July, “The Americans”) stars in A Distant Country Called Youth, an intimate look at the making of an artist, adapted by Steve Lawson from early letters Tennessee Williams sent to his family, friends, and professional associates.
Spanning Tennessee Williams’s life from his seminal younger years in St. Louis to the successful Broadway opening of The Glass Menagerie more than 20 years later, this one-man show weaves together elements from his extraordinary life, tormented family relationships, distant travels, casual lovers, and career ups and downs. This was the raw material that Williams fashioned into his theatrical masterpieces. At turns humorous, poignant, and highly personal, A Distant Country Called Youth reveals Williams as a writer as poetic and passionate in his letters as he was in his plays.
A Distant Country Called Youth was adapted by Steve Lawson from The Selected Letters of Tennessee Williams, Volume I: 1920-1945, edited by Albert J. Devlin and Nancy M. Tischler, published by New Directions, and presented by special arrangement with Samuel French Inc.
Richard Thomas starred in the award-winning series “The Waltons,” for which he won an Emmy Award for Best Lead Actor in a Drama Series. He has continued to star in series, films, plays, and over 50 movies for television. His theatre career began at age seven with the 1958 Broadway production of Sunrise at Campobello and continued with such shows as Fifth of July, The Seagull, The Front Page, Tiny Alice, Peer Gynt, Richard II, Richard III, Hamlet, and The Stendhal Syndrome. His other stage credits include Broadway’s Democracy and A Naked Girl on the Appian Way, the national tour of the Broadway revival of 12 Angry Men, and Unusual Acts of Devotion by Terrence McNally. His recent projects include the Broadway production of David Mamet’s Race; the title role in The Public Theater’s Timon of Athens; Standing on Ceremony: The Gay Marriage Plays for the Minetta Lane Theatre; and the world premiere of Camp David at Arena Stage. He last appeared on Broadway in the Manhattan Theatre Club revival of An Enemy of the People. Thomas can currently be seen on the hit FX series “The Americans.” He also had starring roles on series such as “Just Cause,” “It’s a Miracle,” and “The Adventures of Swiss Family Robinson.” His television films include the Stephen King miniseries Nightmares & Dreamscapes, Stephen King’s It, All Quiet on the Western Front, The Silence, The Red Badge of Courage, The Master of Ballantrae, Johnny Belinda, Berlin Tunnel 21, Living Proof: The Hank Williams, Jr. Story, Hobson’s Choice, Roots: The Next Generations, Go Toward the Light, In the Name of the People, The Christmas Secret, The Miracle of the Cards, Beyond the Prairie: The True Story of Laura Ingalls Wilder, Anna’s Dream, Annie’s Point, Wild Hearts, and most recently Hallmark Channel’s film Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow. As a producer, Thomas has worked on such television projects as What Love Sees and For All Time. Thomas has appeared in such movies as The Wonder Boys, Battle Beyond the Stars, The Todd Killings, Last Summer, Winning, Red Sky at Morning, Ang Lee’s Taking Woodstock, and the forthcoming Anesthesia.