For 50 years, the elite boarding school Charles R. Drew Prep has stood by its traditions and prepared young black men to lead. But times and finances have changed, and the pressure on Drew’s legendary gospel choir is high. So when Pharus, an ambitious and talented student, is told to ignore a gay slur to take his place as the choir’s leader, he has to decide who he is and what he’s willing to fight for. A music-filled story of masculinity, tradition, coming of age, and speaking your truth from the writer of The Brother/Sister Trilogy (The Brothers Size, In the Red and Brown Water, Marcus; Or the Secret of Sweet).
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POWERFUL! This Choir Boy sings a stirring tune.
This daring play should be required theatergoing for anyone who believes in the transformative power of the stage.
The rich language and music, coupled with emotionally-charged acting, and a compelling story make Choir Boy one to see.
Artistic Director David Muse kicked off the first rehearsal event for Choir Boy by outlining the relationship of playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney and Studio Theatre. At the age of 34, McCraney is arguably one of the most celebrated, awarded, and important voices in the American theatre. McCraney is most well-known for his trilogy The Brother/Sister Plays, all three of which have received individual productions at Studio Theatre. Muse also introduced and welcomed director Kent Gash to Studio for the first time. Gash collaborated with McCraney on early developmental readings of Choir Boy, and McCraney personally recommended Gash as a director when Studio was assembling the production’s artistic team.Read More
Tarell Alvin McCraney writes at the intersection of culture and history. His work is characterized by rich emotional landscapes and lyrical, character-driven language. In the three dramas that comprise his acclaimed triptych The Brother/Sister Plays, ancient West African myths inform contemporary stories of redemption, devastation, and discovery on the Louisiana bayou. His drama Head of Passes draws from the Book of Job to explore faith and family in the wake of a natural disaster.Read More
At 33 years old, Tarell Alvin McCraney has skyrocketed to fame. His plays are produced on stages around the world, his adaptations are praised, and his awards include a residency with the Royal Shakespeare Company in 2008, election to the Steppenwolf Theatre Company Ensemble in 2010, and a prestigious MacArthur Foundation “Genius Grant” Fellowship in 2013. But in McCraney’s eyes, success is not measured in accolades, but in achievements; awards only matter if “the award buoys the work—makes it more fascinating to people, more acceptable.”Read More
The songs that the five members of choir sing in Choir Boy alternatively amplify and run counterpoint to the mood and situations of the play, sometimes revealing an emotional reality and other times injecting a humor into the play’s investigation of coming of age.Read More
The choir is at once a unified collective and highly stratified ensemble, as its structure requires the organization and constant reconfiguration of vocal parts to create harmony. A conductor or choirmaster decides upon music to sing, leads rehearsals, and conducts the singers at every step from practice to performance.Read More
Studio Theatre’s student matinee program provides local area students with the experience of live, intimate, contemporary theatre—and also enriches students' learning by offering support materials and interactive workshops. Education Apprentice Kaitlyn McElrath spoke with Capital City Public Charter School instructor Jill Weiler about her class’s response to Choir Boy and the connections her students made between the play's events and characters and their own lives and experiences.Read More