An author, playwright, producer and director, Alretha Thomas is making her name through her pen. Award winning plays and wanting to help her community, Alretha’s background is as diverse as her personality. She started at the age of ten, when her 5th grade teacher picked and read her short story assignment in front of the class – that simple, loving act empowered a new writer. Continuing in high school, her numerous original oratorical conquests on the Speech Team led her to a journalism concentration at the University of Southern California where she was a team player on the Daily Trojan & the KUSC Radio station. Like most aspiring young women journalists, Alretha dreamed of being the next Barbara Walters.
Upon graduating, Alretha soon realized that her interest in journalism was not heartfelt. While at the taping of a live sitcom, the producer noticed her and encouraged her hand at modeling. Modeling didn’t mean much to her, but it did lead her to acting and a NAACP Theatre Award Nomination (1993) for BEST ACTRESS. She feels that this acting stint gave her more fuel to write, and particularly, a better understanding of character development.
Alretha left acting and began to write full time. Her church gave her an outlet to fulfill her writing desires through their Liturgical Fine Arts Department wherein Alretha penned twelve theatre pieces - the community response was overwhelming. This led to full length plays outside of the church, NAACP Theatre Award winning play, Civil Rites (2004) and The Stella Adler Theater presented A Shrine to Junior (2002) nominated for an NAACP Theatre Award as well. Alretha’s play Grandpa’s Truth (2006) ran at the Inglewood Playhouse in Inglewood, Ca, and was extended more than once by popular demand. Not only did radio station KJLH support by recommending this production to its listeners, but notables like the Mayor of Inglewood, Roosevelt Dorn and music legends like Freda Payne and Stevie Wonder had critical acclaim for Grandpa’s Truth. This wonderful piece was featured on Channel 5 (KTLA News) by Entertainment Reporter, Sam Rubin. Most recently, Alretha’s play, Sacrificing Simone (2007) had a successful run at Stage 52 in Los Angeles and was called “an inspirational crowd pleaser” by the Los Angeles Times.
DAUGHTER DENIED set in the 1960’s is Alretha’s first novel. She has also completed her first feature length screenplay, Reddie Maid Wife, a romantic dramady taking off on the fairy tale, Cinderella with a modern urban twist. We expect to hear more from Alretha.
Alretha resides in California with her husband Audesah.