CSI: Crime Scene Investigation‘s leading man Laurence Fishburne (Dr Ray Langston) takes the stage alone for Thurgood, the play he is currently performing in Washington, DC.
As CSI Files previously reported, Fishburne had to do some research on the subject of the one-man play, Chief Justice Thurgood Marshall, who was the first African-American individual to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States. “Before I read the script for Thurgood, I knew nothing about Thurgood Marshall,” the actor told CNN. “He was a very, very funny man. He was also a very serious man when it came time to be serious. I think he understood there was a time and a place for all kinds of behavior from human beings, and he indulged in those things at the appropriate times.”
Although Fishburne is the only person on stage for 90 minutes, he doesn’t feel like he’s alone during the play. “The wonderful thing about this piece even though it’s a one-man show, I have a scene partner,” he explained. “My scene partner is the audience. So that makes it really important for me to be paying attention and seeing how people respond.”
The role provided an acting challenge for Fishburne. “It’s all there,” he said. “I mean, we deal with his flaws and we deal with his strengths, we deal with his history, we deal with his disappointments as well as his victories. So, it’s all there. It’s all there in the show. Warts and all.”
Marshall was a storyteller, and the audience is able to relate to him during Thurgood. “The last thing that he says in the play, he quotes [poet] Langston Hughes, and he says ‘America will be.’ This is a work in progress, that this is the great experiment. And it is,” Fishburne explained. “And that we all have a stake in it. That we are all sort of in a way responsible for realizing it. Whether we accept that responsibility or not, the fact of the matter is we’re all here together.”