Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

Thom Sesma

July 23-27: Thom Sesma and Sklyer Adams Star in Music Theatre Wichita’s Catch Me If You Can

www.Kansas.com writes:

Thom Sesma is grouchy, by-the-book FBI man Carl Hanratty, and he proves to be a terrific showstopper when he and his black-suited, fedoraed G-men (like a line of dancing Don Drapers) strut, swagger and pony their way through “Don’t Break the Rules.”

Sesma, a Broadway veteran best remembered here as the king in last summer’s “The King and I,” plays Hanratty as an impatient, exasperated but lovable grouch. It’s a layered role of a man fighting his own demons while trying to save the world.

Read more here.

Actor/director Thom Sesma is a familiar presence on Broadway and Off-Broadway, in regional theatres, as well as on television. In January 2012, he returned to New York from Las Vegas where he played Scar in Disney’s The Lion King for a two and a half year run at The Mandalay Bay Theatre.

Thom Sesma. Photo by Lia Chang

Thom Sesma. Photo by Lia Chang

On Broadway he starred in the Twyla Tharp-Bob Dylan collaboration,The Times They Are A-Changin’. Other credits on and off Broadway and in national tours include leading roles in Miss Saigon, Titanic, Search & Destroy, Man of La Mancha (2003), and in Ivanov, Rashomon, Baba Goya, In a Pig’s Valise, As Thousands Cheer, A Hard Heart, Cymbeline, and Othello. Other credits include Durango, Dinner with Friends, The Molly Maguires, Romeo & Juliet, The Normal Heart, Sweeney Todd, A Little Night Music, Pacific Overtures, Twelfth Night, The Winter’s Tale and The King & I, at some of America’s leading theatres including Yale Rep, The McCarter, The Old Globe, Arena Stage, Baltimore Centre Stage, Berkeley Rep, and others.

TV and film credits include guest starring roles on “Person of Interest,” “Third Watch,” “Law & Order,” “Whoopi,” “Trinity,” “Lay the Favorite,” “Over/Under,” among many others and daytime soaps. He trained for several years with the late Uta Hagen, with Sam Waterston, and voice with Joan Lader.

His directing credits include Jennifer Camp’s Natural History, (Walnut Street Theatre), LIFE (x) 3 (Repertory Theatre of St. Louis), and Outcry (NAATCO), along with Hair, Lend Me a Tenor, The Drawer Boy, Once in a Lifetime, Waiting for Lefty and others in various regional and stock theatres across the country.

Sesma is a member of Actors Equity Association (AEA), Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Radio and Television Artists (SAG-AFTRA), and the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC).

Sesma just participated in the all-star Shinsai: Theaters for Japan benefit at Cooper Union’s Great Hall in NYC, in memory of the tragic events of March 2011 and in tribute to the heroic recovery efforts of the Japanese people.

In rehearsal at Lincoln Center for Shinsai: Theaters for Japan, a collaborative benefit by New York’s leading theater companies as a gesture of solidarity with theater communities in Japan devastated by the 2011 Earthquake and Tsunami, on March 9, 2012. Photo by Lia Chang

In rehearsal at Lincoln Center for Shinsai: Theaters for Japan, a collaborative benefit by New York’s leading theater companies as a gesture of solidarity with theater communities in Japan devastated by the 2011 Earthquake and Tsunami, on March 9, 2012. Photo by Lia Chang

Photos: In Rehearsal with Director Bartlett Sher and the cast of Shinsai: Theaters for Japan
Photos: Highlights of Shinsai: Theaters for Japan (3pm) with Andre Bishop, Mary Beth Hurt, Jennifer Lim, Angela Lin, Philip Kan Gotanda, Thom Sesma, Sab Shimono, Richard Thomas, Jay O. Sanders, and more
Photos: Highlights of Shinsai: Theaters for Japan (8pm) with Oskar Eustis, Patti LuPone, Lisa Emery, Ann Harada, Paolo Montalban, Thom Sesma, Sab Shimono, Henry Stram, Richard Thomas, John Weidman and more

Thom was born in Sasebo, Japan (his mother is Japanese and his father was a Latino-American) and raised in San Diego, California. He is a graduate of the University of California, San Diego, where he holds a degree in Modern European Intellectual History.

Thom Sesma, Photo by Lia Chang

Thom Sesma, Photo by Lia Chang


Click below to watch the video of Thom’s remarkable transformation.

Other articles by Lia Chang:

Related articles:
Thom Sesma, Emily Padgett, J. Elaine Marcos and Thai Superstar Bie Sukrit lead the cast of the world premiere of WATERFALL at The Pasadena Playhouse, May 29 – June 28 and Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theatre, October 1-25
Christine Toy Johnson, Thom Sesma, Cindy Cheung, Raymond J. Lee, Pearl Sun, Marc delaCruz, Arielle Jacobs, Daniel J. Edwards, Kamala Sankaram, Mel Sagrado Maghuyop & More Set for The Asian American Composers and Lyricists Projects’ “Arriving In Asian America”
Nicole Ari Parker, Esau Pritchett, Thom Sesma, Everett Quinton and More Set for Antony and Cleopatra at McCarter Theatre
Thom Sesma and Sklyer Adams Star in Music Theatre Wichita’s Catch Me If You Can
Thom Sesma and Michele Ragusa Star in Greg Edwards & Andy Sandberg’s Craving for Travel through February 9, 2014 
Photos: Backstage Q & A with Thom Sesma and the cast of Signature’s Miss Saigon
Thom Sesma and Michele Ragusa to Star in Off-Broadway World Premiere of CRAVING FOR TRAVEL at Peter J. Sharp Theater
A Summer in Bangkok for Thom Sesma, Star of Signature’s Miss Saigon
Production Photos: Music Theatre of Wichita’s The King and I Starring Thom Sesma, Kim Huber, Alan Ariano, Karl Josef Co, Kay Trinidad, Tami Swartz at Century II Performing Arts Center through July 14, 2013
Christine Toy Johnson, Thom Sesma, Ali Ewolt, Jose Llana, Ann Harada, Telly Leung and More Set for The Asian American Composers and Lyricists Project at The Alice Griffin Jewel Box Theatre on May 19, 2013
Thom Sesma, Francis Jue, Robin de Jesus and John Tartaglia set for MUNY’s Aladdin, July 5-13
Thom Sesma is the keynote speaker for the Library of Congress celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (APAHM) at the Mary Pickford Theater on May 17
Photos & Video Disney’s The Lion King Las Vegas-In the Makeup Chair with Thom Sesma
Spotlight on Shanghai Moon’s Thom Sesma
Photos: Highlights of Shinsai: Theaters for Japan (3pm) with Andre Bishop, Mary Beth Hurt, Jennifer Lim, Angela Lin, Philip Kan Gotanda, Thom Sesma, Sab Shimono, Richard Thomas, Jay O. Sanders, and more
Photos: Highlights of Shinsai: Theaters for Japan (8pm) with Oskar Eustis, Patti LuPone, Lisa Emery, Ann Harada, Paolo Montalban, Thom Sesma, Sab Shimono, Henry Stram, Richard Thomas, John Weidman and more
Extended through 8/23- “In Rehearsal” Lia Chang Theater Portfolio at Library of Congress Featuring Robert Lee and Leon Ko’s Heading East Starring BD Wong, Thom Sesma as Scar in The Lion King Las Vegas
Photos: On the town with Rick Shiomi, Co-Editor of “Asian American Plays for a New Generation”, in D.C. & NY
Backstage at The Lion King Las Vegas with Thom Sesma
Thom Sesma as Scar in The Lion King at Mandalay bay
Thom Sesma, Peter Kim and Andrew Cristi star in Durango
Thom Sesma Stars in Jeanne Sakata’s Dawn’s Light: The Journey of Gordon Hirabayashi
Thom Sesma in The Epic Theatre Ensemble’s A HARD HEART
Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive.

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