Guyanese actor awaits new big role

Sean Patrick Thomas.
Photo by Tangerine Clarke
Photo by Tangerine Clarke

Sean Patrick Thomas, the son of Guyanese immigrants, is ready for his next big role after an euphoric performance in “A Raisin In the Sun,” the Tony Winning Best Revival Play that captivated audiences during a sold out, four-month run at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre.

During an interview backstage on Thursday, June 12, the “Save the Last Dance” actor said his debut on the Broadway stage was exciting, and he is thrilled that the play he was cast in, won a Tony.

The gifted actor who adapted an African accent to play the role of Asagi, a fast-talking Nigerian immigrant, enthralled patrons during his scene-stealing performance that garnered him a standing ovation.

“I practiced the Nigerian accent in just two weeks in February before the play opened in March,” said Thomas, who was the second choice for the part. However, the last minute call to play Asagai did not impede the actor’s skillful adoption of the character that allowed him to jump right in and worked hard to keep up with cast members.

Thomas was part of a stellar ensemble that included veteran actor Denzil Washington, LaTanya Richardson Jackson, Sophie Okonedo and Anika Noni Rose, all whose dynamic performances contributed to the plays’ three Tony wins.

“It’s really unbelievable. I have always wanted to be on Broadway, but I never thought it would be so exciting and all this,” added Thomas who had the distinct opportunity to perform for President Barack Obama whom he met backstage after the performance.

He is still on cloud 9 that Mayor Bill de Blasio and Supreme Court justices were in the audience – “And then the Tony win.” “My experience on Broadway kept topping itself,” added the “Barbershop,” and “Barbershop 2” film star.

“I will leave the Broadway stage feeling fulfilled, more competent, and more experienced as an actor,” said the award-winning artist who credits the exceptional ensemble cast for the success of the play. “Everyone stepped up and did the job well,” he added.

Thomas returned to California to await his next big role that could be in “Game of Thrones” or “Mad Men,” two cable series he has his eyes on.

But before leaving, the “Courage Under Fire” actor thanked his Guyanese heritage for his success. “Whatever I accomplished in my life is all due to my Guyanese upbringing and the beautiful culture I am a part of.”

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