Founder and Artistic Director, is an Actress, Director, and former Associate Professor in the Theater Department’s BFA acting program at The City College of New York from 1983 to 1996. As an actress, Ms. Thomas has numerous credits which include stage, television and film. In 2010, Ms. Thomas played Nina Dubois, in Charles Smith’s Knock me a Kiss at the Abrons Art Center in NY, and in 2011 at the National Black Theater Festival in Winston Salem, NC. As a result of her performance she was awarded the AUDELCO AWARD (Black Theater Award) for Best Supporting Actress in November, 2011. In the summer of 2013 Ms. Thomas revived her role as Nina DuBois in Knock me A Kiss at the National Black Theater Festival in Winston-Salem, NC. In 2008, Ms. Thomas appeared as Cassandra Sommers in Amber Kain’s, The Summer House at the Passage Theater in Trenton NJ. In 2004, at the Yale Repertory Theater in New Haven, Connecticut, Ms. Thomas played Goneril in a production of Shakespeare’s King Lear starring Avery Brooks as Lear, Simone in Samm-Art Williams’ The Dance on Widow’s Row at The National Black Theater Festival in Winston-Salem, NC and at The Harry De Jur Theater in NY. She appeared as Dorabelle in The Disappearance at Crossroads Theater in New Brunswick, NJ with Ruby Dee and Carl Lumby, and also as Sister Moore in The Amen Corner by James Baldwin. The reviewers consistently mentioned her energy, enthusiasm, and focus in the production, qualities which she emphasizes at Theater Workshop as valuable tools not only for performing, but necessary for leading a full and productive life. .
Other theater credits include her critically acclaimed performance as Pam in Richard Wesley’s The Talented Tenth in New York and Atlanta, GA at the National Black Festival in 1990 staring Ms. Thomas and Glynn Turman. She received the Audelco Award (Black Theater Award) for Best Actress in 1989 for her performance. Ms. Thomas was on Broadway in Don’t Bother Me I Can’t Cope, Off-Broadway in Split Second, The Brothers at Lincoln Center in The Duplex & Antigone, and won another Audelco nomination for her performance as Josephine Baker in An Evening with Josephine Baker. Frank Rich, who was the theater critic for The New York Times wrote in his review that Ms. Thomas was an actress of “awesome range”. On television she has appeared in The Cosby Mysteries, Amen, L.A. Law, Knots Landing, The Doctors (3yrs as a contract player), One Life to Live, and As the World Turns
Ms. Thomas directed Prophet Among Them by Wesley Brown at The Blue Heron Theater in NY in 2001. As a teacher she was able to bring her professional expertise to children by her association with The New Jersey Performing Arts Center’s Theater Academy as a teaching artist in schools and director of their Youth Performance Workshop in 1996. She was also an evaluator for Teaching Artists for NJPAC’s theater academy. She conducted workshops in theater for the East Orange Board of Education as an artist-in-residence and directed the East Orange Summer Youth’s Theater production of Don’t Bother Me, I Can’t Cope in 1997, West Side Story in 1998, Fame in 1999, Voices of the Harlem Renaissance in 2000, and Motown and the Movement in 2001 at the Hart Complex Auditorium. The last two plays written by Ms. Thomas.
Ms. Thomas has received the NAACP Award for Outstanding Achievement in Drama, the Business Woman of the Year Award from the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Club, Inc., is listed in “Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers”, and received the Alumni Achievement Award from Spelman College in 1999. She and The Peppermint Players were chosen as one of the 10 honorees for CBS’s, Fulfilling the Dream sequence honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in February 2001.
Ms. Thomas believes that working with children not only stimulates her own creativity, but gives her a wonderful opportunity to give of her talents to others; the results of which are enormously satisfying.
Director of The Workshop Marie Thomas Foster
A Proclamation from the Office of the Mayor, Ras Baraka, and the City of Newark was given to Marie Thomas Foster on June 12, 2016 at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center which acknowledged her as an outstanding role model, actor, director, teacher, performing artist, and advocate. She has inspired and empowered youth and audiences alike with her talent, energy and wisdom.
Also, she recently completed filming “Sweet Dreams, Momma” written by Diane Kirksey where she played a woman with Alzheimers whose daughter has become her Caregiver and thus begins a roller coaster ride of turmoil and heartbreaking emotions.