Choir Boy

Pharus is a senior at the Charles R. Drew Prep School for Boys, and the proud leader of its legendary gospel choir. The prestigious school is committed to building “strong, ethical Black men,” but conforming to their traditions becomes harder as he learns to accept his identity as a young gay man.

Choir Boy is a love letter from Tarell Alvin McCraney (the Academy Award–winning screenwriter of Moonlight) to the healing power of music. It weighs reconciliation and rebellion and features beautifully sung a cappella hymns.

Choir Boy

Director Mike Payette said, “Tarell Alvin McCraney’s writing invokes a unique harmony of poetry and contemporary prose through a powerful backdrop of community and coming-of-age. The journey of this brotherhood is celebrated through its complications and discoveries and reminds of the human need to belong and let our voice rise. The talents of the artists lift this story to spiritual heights, and the piece is one that will resonate in our hearts and souls long after the final bow.”

Choir Boy

Ashlie Corcoran, the Arts Club’s Artistic Director, added, “Starring Canadian Idol competitor Andrew Broderick, this coming-of-age piece explores contrasting representations of Black masculinity—something often not represented in popular media. I’m so excited for our audience to experience playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney’s finely wrought scenes and the piece’s gorgeously harmonized gospel music.”

Prior to the Arts Club’s co-production with Canadian Stage, Choir Boy was produced at the Royal Court, the Manhattan Theatre Club, the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles, and on Broadway at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre.

In 2019, it was nominated for four Tony Awards, including Best Play.

Choir Boy

Dates: January 25 to February 25
Times: Tue.–Thu., 7:30 PM; Fri. & Sat., 8 PM, Wed., 1:30 PM; Sat. & Sun., 2 PM
Venue: Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage, 2750 Granville Street, Vancouver
Tickets: From $29; available online in advance

About the Playwright

Tarell Alvin McCraney is an acclaimed writer. His script In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue is the basis for the Oscar-winning film Moonlight, directed by Barry Jenkins, for which McCraney and Jenkins won an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay. He wrote the film High Flying Bird, directed by Steven Soderbergh, which premiered on Netflix. Other plays include Ms. Blakk for President (co-written with Tina Landau), The Brother/Sister Plays trilogy, Head of Passes, and Wig Out!.

Photos by Dahlia Katz.

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