The mission of Eighth Child Productions is to bring real African American life and history to the stage. It is my hope that the plays I write, sculpt and ultimately present will bring attention to African American people who are not widely known or acknowledged but who have done something positive to better the human condition. I tell stories about “ordinary” people who happen to be African American; and present universal stories seen through an African American lens.

Some of my plays are based on true events and real people, others are fictionally based. In each play, it is my intention to educate, inform, or just entertain and leave people wanting to talk. I believe that people sharing thoughts can start dialogues that provide opportunities for understanding.

About Laura A. Thomas

I am a playwright born and raised in Rochester, New York. I am the eighth child of Eunice and Abraham Thomas, hence the company name, “Eighth Child Productions.”

After a 32-year career with the Monroe County Law Department as a legal secretary, a paralegal and a senior paralegal, I retired in 2021 to commit time to my love of theatre and playwrighting. From about the age of nine, I wanted to be an actress but in high school my interest in playwriting overtook the desire to act on stage and screen. My first production to appear on stage was a one-act play in 2003 called, “The Stage Mother; A Love Story.” My early plays center around family dynamics. Coming from a large family, it was natural for me to adhere to the maxim “write what you know.” In addition to writing for the joy of creating, I hope my plays will be a tool for learning. African American stories often get overlooked and are lost to history. I want to shine a light on untold African American stories.

My first efforts in this regard are a full-length play titled, Mr. Soul! and a one-act play titled, Isabella Dorsey, a House of Love. Mr. Soul! is based on the television show Soul!, which aired from 1968 1973, and its host, Ellis Haizlip. Isabella Dorsey is a glimpse into the life an African American woman in early 20th century Rochester, who opened her home to mostly orphaned African American children. African Americans have a history rich with beautiful, courageous and fascinating stories to tell. I want to help bring those stories to life on the stage.