Thom Cox

Ensemble Member

Since 1988

Teaching Artist

Thomas J. Cox is a founding Ensemble Member of Lookingglass, a dedicated theatre educator, and proud member of Actors Equity Association and the Screen Actors’ Guild, performing in theaters around the region.

Since graduating from Northwestern University in 1988, Thom has worked with Lookingglass as an actor, director, adapter, and educator. He has appeared in more than thirty productions, most recently Cascabel (with Rick Bayless) and Big Lake, Big City (directed by David Schwimmer), as well as: The Great Fire; The Master and Margarita; Steven Berkoff’s West; Charles Mee’s Summertime; The Jungle (adapted and directed by David Schwimmer); dreaming lucia (in which he played James Joyce); Algren in Nelson Algren: For Keeps and a Single Day (Jeff Award Nomination for Solo Performance); Hook in Peter Pan (a play); Winston Smith in 1984; and Mary Zimmerman’s productions of The Odyssey, The Arabian Nights, and S/M. Also for Lookingglass, he was seen as Quilp in The Old Curiosity Shop (Jeff Award Nomination for Outstanding Actor in a Supporting Role); and, as an understudy, he has performed three out of four tracks in Lookingglass Alice, more roles in that show than any other actor. Additional understudy roles include: Moby Dick (Ahab/Stubb), Title and Deed, Still Alice, and Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo.

He has also appeared in productions at Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Goodman Theatre, Court Theatre, Northlight Theatre (notably The Outgoing Tide with John Mahoney and Rondi Reed, also at the Galway Arts Festival), Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, The House Theatre of Chicago, The Gift Theatre, Victory Gardens Theater, Madison Repertory Theatre, and Illinois Theatre Center. Thom directed his own Jeff Award-Nominated adaptation of The Scarlet Letter for Lookingglass and Chicago Theatres On the Air, as well as his original adaptations of several short stories in a show titled American Voices for Piven Theatre Workshop, and Suddenly Last Summer for Eclipse Theatre. In 2001, a television version of Nelson Algren: For Keeps and a Single Day was co-produced by Lookingglass and WTTW, which was nominated for a Chicagoland/Regional Emmy Award. Film/Television: Since You’ve Been Gone (Miramax), Brotherhood (Showtime), and Chicago Fire (NBC).

Over ten years, he worked at the Weston Playhouse Theatre, where he performed in numerous and wide-ranging shows and served as the Director of the Playhouse’s Young Company, organizing and leading workshops related to the theatre profession, including workshops with Tony Award-winning composer Adam Guettel, as well as directing Weston Playhouse’s inaugural children’s theatre production, A Year with Frog and Toad, and Adventures from Ezra Jack Keats.

As a teacher for most of his adult life, he has worked with many educational organizations and has served as an adjunct faculty member in the Departments of Theatre at Northwestern University and the University of Illinois at Chicago, teaching a variety of acting classes. He was an original faculty member of The Actors Gymnasium of Evanston, for which he created Imaginastics, a storytelling and tumbling class which became the Gym’s most popular, and was cited by Chicago magazine as the “Best Children’s Drama Class” (June 2004).

As former Master Teacher for Lookingglass’ Education and Community Programs, he has worked in schools all over Chicago, including: Bell School; Hamilton School; Mary Meyer Preschool; Lookingglass’ Summer Camp at Lincoln Park Zoo; and many tour performances and workshops. He directed the Lookingglass Outreach Tour production of Romeo and Juliet, and directed ten original Young Ensemble productions between 1999 and 2016. For five years, he was the Lookingglass Artist-in-Residence and Director of the Drama Program at the A.N. Pritzker School, directing eight original productions, as well as in-class curriculum units.

Thom and his wife live in West Ridge in Chicago with their daughter, Joanie.

Bio as of 2017


More Videos




    • Electra, Man in the Ring, Agamemnon, Orlando, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Raisin, Fraulein Else (Court Theatre)
    • Richard III (The Gift Theatre)
    • Season on the Line (The House Theatre of Chicago)
    • The Outgoing Tide, Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, Pride and Prejudice (Northlight Theatre)
    • Rock N Roll (Goodman Theatre)
    • The Elephant Man (Steppenwolf Theatre Company)


    • End of the Rainbow (Milwaukee Repertory Theatre)
    • Urinetown, Blithe Spirit, Kiss Me, Kate, The Full Monty, Tartuffe, Ragtime, Hello, Dolly!, Morning’s at Seven, Oklahoma!, Chicago, Pirates of Penzance (Weston Playhouse Theatre)
    • Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me (Big Leap Productions)

    • Since You’ve Been Gone (Directed by David Schwimmer)

    • Chicago Fire (NBC)
    • Brotherhood (Showtime)

    • Jeff Award for Best Ensemble for The Arabian Nights (Lookingglass Theatre Company, 1993)
    • Jeff Award for Best Ensemble for West (Lookingglass Theatre Company, 1992)
    • Jeff Award for Best Ensemble for Eurydice (Lookingglass Theatre Company, 1992)
    • Jeff Award for Best Ensemble for The Odyssey (Lookingglass Theatre Company, 1991)
    • Jeff Award for Best Ensemble for The Jungle (Lookingglass Theatre Company, 1991)
    • Jeff Award Nomination for Best Solo Performance for Nelson Algren: For Keeps and a Single Day (Lookingglass Theatre Company, 2007)
    • Jeff Award Nomination for Best Actor in a Supporting Role as Quilp for Old Curiousity Shop (2006)