‘A Quick 5′ with Thomas Langston

Thomas Langston plays Tommy in Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater’s production of 'Ah, Wilderness!.' Photo courtesy Arena Stage.

Thomas Langston is currently playing Tommy in Ah Wilderness at Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater. His Washington-Baltimore appearances include Bert in All My Sons at Everyman Theatre and several area theatrical productions, including Peter Pan, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and Snow White (as Grumpy). Thomas has also been seen in the feature films J. Edgar and Meet Dave with Eddie Murphy. His TV credits include Tommy in Paternity, an episode of Law & Order: SVU, and young Thomas Adams in the HBO production John Adams. Thomas is one talented 10-year-old kid and I know we are going to be seeing more of him in the future.

What is your first memory of being on stage?

My first memory of being on stage was when I was in Peter Pan at CCBC (Community College of Baltimore County), which is a children’s theater. I played a Lost Boy, and my brother was Michael. It was my first show and we got to be in it together. After that, we kept on doing shows with CCBC and learning a lot from them. Then I started auditioning for other things and I just started getting lucky. I was in the movie J. Edgar Hoover, and even though I had a little part, Clint Eastwood was very nice to me.

Thomas Langston as Tommy in Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater’s production of 'Ah, Wilderness!.' Photo by Scott Suchman.

What is the best part about being in Ah, Wilderness!?

My favorite thing is getting to play Tommy! He gets to use sparklers and firecrackers and run around, oh my goodness, it is just so fun. He plays a lot of tricks on people, and he is always the chubbiest, hungriest little boy in the family. He always wants to eat, he loves fish, and he loves, loves, loves lobster. I do like using the sparklers and firecrackers, but eating the fish and lobster, not so much. But the soup we get to eat on stage is delicious! I also really like working with the older actors. They are such great teachers and are really nice to us kids.

When you are not performing what do you like to do for fun?

I love reading, and I love to play soccer. I was on a soccer team for a long time, but once I got this, well, you have to give up sports to do acting. So I gave up soccer for a couple of seasons. I also love geography, history, and math. I like geography because I enjoy learning about different places and I like history because I enjoy learning the truth and background about things. With math, well, you can be good at almost anything if you are good at math.

Kimberly Schraf as Lily Miller and Thomas Langston as Tommy in Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater’s production of 'Ah, Wilderness!.' Photo by Scott Suchman.

Do you plan to continue performing as you get older?

I really, really want to, because it’s a fun thing to do, and to learn about. Some people think you don’t learn a lot in acting, but you learn a ton, especially when you are in all different kinds of plays. With this play, I learned so much about comedy. My mom and my uncle were both Broadway actors, and they did a lot of acting when they were my age, so I kind of just wanted to try acting, and it was very fun when I first tried it.

Where can we see you on stage next?

I don’t have anything lined up right now, but I am hoping something good comes along. A lot of times, you get disappointed because you don’t always get everything you try out for, but you just have to keep trying. My dream is to be in The Music Man someday, but I missed the audition for that here at Arena. I hope you’ll see me on stage again soon!


Ah, Wilderness plays through April 8, 2012 in the Fichlander at Arena Stage at The Mead Center for American Theater, 1101 Sixth Street SW, Washington DC. For tickets, call 202-488-3300, or purchase them online.