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Choir Boy (2019)

Production still from Choir Boy, 2019

Tarell Alvin McCraney (Playwright)

8 January – 10 March, 2019

           Choir Boy follows a group of young, black students at Charles R. Drew Prep School for Boys as they struggle with issues of identity and sexuality. Pharus is the vivid central character, a bright-eyed, smart and enthusiastic Drew student. His pride in singing the school anthem at the graduation ceremony is sullied by the gay slurs hissed at him from one of his fellow students in the audience. Pharus may not speak of his sexuality, but he’s not really hiding this beaming light under a bushel, either. The action begins as he refuses to divulge the name of the boy who taunted him, maintaining that this would be a breach of the school’s honor code. Even under the threat of expulsion, Pharus insists on behaving “as a Drew man should.” But Pharus also knows that he can exact his own private revenge. Gospel music at Drew is a tradition as old as the school itself, and that tradition is embodied in its choir, where Pharus stands out and be different without fear – because he’s the choir’s best. And as leader of the choir, he has the power to decide who can and cannot sing. And in the choir’s first school year meeting, after a few tart exchanges the boy he believes humiliated him, Pharus flares into righteous mode and kicks Bobby out. (Source: The New York Times)

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