Thomas Derrah

On Friday, October 6, we mourned the sudden passing of our dear colleague, teacher, and friend, Tommy Derrah. Tommy leaves an indelible spirit that we will forever cherish; he will be deeply missed.

Tommy was brilliant, kind, intelligent, funny, artistic, compassionate to his very marrow, and unfailingly brightened the lives of every single person he encountered. He could turn a classroom full of slightly doubtful students into a group of enthusiastic theater lovers in two hours flat. Our students were blessed to have him as their teacher, and we at MTA knew how lucky we were to have him as our compatriot in theater and in life.

Tommy joined the MTA family in 2013, and was also a lecturer of Theater, Dance & Media at Harvard University. A distinguished, award-winning actor, Tommy appeared on Broadway and Off Broadway, and regionally with the Alley Theatre, the American Conservatory Theater, the Berkeley Repertory Theatre, and the SpeakEasy Stage Company, among other world-renowned companies and theaters here in the United States, and throughout Asia and Europe. Tommy was also a founding member of the American Repertory Theater, where he performed in 120 productions. It is safe to say that his contributions to the theater community were tremendous, and the community at large will certainly feel effects of this loss.

As Tommy's family and friends continue to deal with the immense pain of his unexpected passing, we offer the sympathy and loving support of his MTA family. We are working with Tommy's family to plan a memorial to celebrate his life in the spring. We invite you to share your stories and memories of Tommy with his family by emailing

With our love and deepest sympathies,
MIT Music & Theater Arts