Tracy Thomas found a home in the drama department at Kennewick High.
The 1987 grad was part of every production during her time at the school, even playing the lead in “Oklahoma!” her senior year.
That experience stoked her love of performing — and helped set her on a path to a successful career in TV and movies. She’s co-producer of a new widely released film, “God Bless the Broken Road,” which opened Friday.
It’s playing locally at AMC Classic Kennewick 12 and the Fairchild Cinemas - Pasco.
“It’s been a wild ride,” Thomas said of her career.
The producer, who still has family in the Tri-Cities and visited to celebrate the opening of her new film, earned a fine arts degree from Southern Oregon University. She worked in wardrobe at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland for several years, and even did a stint in the costume shop at a circus in Japan.
Eventually, she settled into TV and film, starting as a production assistant and working her way up.
For “God Bless the Broken Road,” she traveled to Michigan to work on the shoot.
The film was directed by Harold Cronk, who also helmed the popular “God’s Not Dead” and its sequel.
Like those movies, “God Bless the Broken Road” is faith-based.
It centers on Amber, a young mother who struggles after her soldier-husband is killed in Afghanistan.
The film stars Lindsay Pulsipher as Amber, with Makenzie Moss as her daughter, Kim Delaney as her mother-in-law and Andrew W. Walker as a race car driver who moves into town. Jordin Sparks play Amber’s close friend.
Thomas now splits her time between Los Angeles and Woodland, Wash.
Her mother, Alta Thomas, lives in the Tri-Cities, along with her sisters, Christi Thomas and Lisa Julson, and their families.
Her father, Bill, died last year.
She’s excited for her family and hometown to see “God Bless the Broken Road.”
“It’s very gratifying to be able to bring a film home that I’m proud of — that my nieces and nephews and family can all go see,” Thomas said. “It’s wonderful to be able to provide (something like that).”
A portion of proceeds from the film will go to the nonprofit Disabled American Veterans. A “Bless a Vet” campaign also is under way to provide veterans and service members with a movie ticket and dinner gift card. To learn more or donate, go to blessavet.com.