Audiences, critics, artists (and her mom and dad!) alike have hailed chandra thomas as “brilliant”, “superb” and “excellent”. chandra brings her unique combination of wit, beauty, intelligence and sensitivity to her work as an actor-writer-producer-social media consultant-arts advocate.
This busy, young and dynamic talent recently wrapped an extended run of David Lindsay-Abaire‘s award-winning play, Good People, which the New York Times described her performance “played with winning
chandra’s early training as a performer began by watching her mother and family members tell stories. Her fascination with storytelling quickly translated into her imaginative writing, training as a concert pianist and her weekly live-action shows based on her favorite Saturday morning cartoons. Her more formal training began with performances in shows and school choruses before doing plays and musicals, and starting an improv group in college. chandra continued her training at the MFA program at Columbia University.
chandra booked her first major job shortly after graduating and has continued to work steadily since. Her projects widely vary from her roles in shows like the CBS primetime hit, The Good Wife and supporting roles like in the independent drama Sweet Lorraine (also starring Tatum O’Neal, Peter Greene and Steven Bauer; written & directed by Christopher Frieri) to her Barrymore Award-nominated turn in Nilaja Sun’s No Child…, where she played eight different characters and choreographed/performed a closing dance to the incredible play, to rapping through the hip-hop musicals Dunkfest ’88 at Ars Nova’s ANT Fest and THE MOST EXCELLENT (AND BUSTED) BATTLE at Playwrights Horizons, both directed by award-winning director Wendy C. Goldberg. chandra also works in voiceover, print and commercials.
On stage, chandra has performed at a host of Off-Broadway, New York and regional theatres including the Public Theater, Classical Theatre of Harlem, the Guthrie Theater, the Alliance Theatre, the Cherry Lane Theatre, the Denver Center, Pittsburgh Public Theater, P.S. 122, Women’s Project, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Hartford Stage, Theaterworks Hartford, among others. With a particular passion for new works, chandra has originated roles in various plays like the comedic musical Pinning Hope, where she played First Lady Michelle Obama, to the drama Daughter by Cassandra Medley, where she was a young soldier re-entering civilian life after her face was blown off by a bomb in Iraq. She is a member of the League of Professional Theatre Women.
Similar to her work as an actor, chandra’s work as a writer and producer primarily explores fresh and reflective storytelling. As a writer, her work includes new media projects like Complete Sentences? and plays like a rhyme for the UNDERground, Standing At… (Heideman Award Finalist—National Ten-Minute Play Contest of Actors Theatre of Louisville/Source Festival Semi-Finalist; named a top play in the Downtown Urban Theatre Festival) and Forgive to Forget. chandra also writes screenplays and performance poetry.
As a producer, chandra produces new media, film and theatre including her original web comedy Complete Sentences? and spork*Festival, a festival of original short plays, films and discussion connected to the theme of being an “in-betweener”.
chandra is also highly active in various causes, particularly arts education and youth advocacy. She co-founded viBe Theater Experience (viBe), an award-winning, non-profit, performing-arts education organization that provides free creative and collaborative space for young, urban women to share their stories and use their voices to transform themselves and their communities. As a producer/performer, chandra co-developed and co-produced the LOVE/YOUTH Project, a collaborative theatrical response of professional artists to the violence against LGBT youth. She is also the founder of For the Artist, a company providing innovative workshops, tools and seminars specifically designed to empowering artists to become working professionals.
chandra, who spells her name in all lowercase, puts into practice the Ghanaian proverb,