Lanny Thomas has worked and studied all aspects of the theatre, training at Case Western Reserve University, American University and the University of Maryland (BA in Theater, 1976), culminating in a production of Romeo and Juliet, playing Romeo. He repeated that role for the DC Shakespeare Festival, touring in National Parks, until settling at the Sylvan Theater, a natural amphitheater just down the hill from the Washington Monument. It was the first of three years at that venue, with stints as the dual role of both Antipholus of Syracuse and Ephesus in Comedy of Errors, and Grumio in Taming of the Shrew.
Lanny earned his Masters in Acting from the California Institute of the Arts (1980) near Los Angeles. He was a founding member of two theatre companies there, and was the Literary Manager for the LA Performance Unit. Fast forward to his arrival in Tallahassee, where he appeared in multiple productions at Tallahassee Little Theater, including Benedict in Much Ado About Nothing. He also co-directed The Boys Next Door with Chuck Olsen, then directed Agatha Christie’s Black Coffee and Witness for the Prosecution. He was a member of the Board of Directors at Tallahassee Little Theater for four years, and became the chair of the Artistic Advisory Committee for the 2011-2012 season, selecting plays and directors for the following year. He also became a founding member of the acting company of Tallahassee’s Irish Repertory Theater, appearing in several productions including Outside Mullingar and The Craic. He began directing for Irish Repertory Theater, mounting productions of Playboy of the Western World, Irish Folktales (which he adapted for the stage), The Irish Curse, and The Shaughraun.