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Chicago actor Jos N. Banks joins the cast of Steppenwolf Theatre Company's hit play CHOIR BOY

Chicago actor Jos N. Banks joins the cast of Steppenwolf Theatre Company's hit play CHOIR BOY

Buy tickets for performances now through July 24, 2022.

Steppenwolf Theatre Company will welcome Chicago actor Jos N. Banks (He/They) to the cast of its hit play CHOIR BOY, written by Oscar-winning ensemble member Tarell Alvin McCraney (Moonlight). Banks, last seen in Steppenwolf's Ms. Blakk for President, will replace Tyler Hardwick in the role of Pharus Young through July 24, 2022 in Steppenwolf's Downstairs Theater. Directed by Kent Gash, the cast also includes La Shawn Banks, Sheldon D. Brown, Richard David, William Dick, Gilbert Domally and Samuel B. Jackson.

CHOIR BOY - threaded throughout with soul-stirring a cappella gospel hymns - is the story of a young gay Black man and his battle between identity and community. Pharus Young is a senior at the Charles R. Drew Prep School for Boys, an institution committed to building "strong, ethical Black men," where he endeavors to be the best leader of the school's prestigious choir in its 50-year history. But in a world built on rites and rituals, should he conform to the expectations of his peers in order to gain the respect he desperately seeks? This Tony-nominated play is an elegy to quiet rebellion, filled with the sound of longing and aspiration.

Single tickets for CHOIR BOY ($20 - $98) are on sale now at steppenwolf.org and the Box Office at (312) 335-1650.

Jos N. Banks (Pharus) MS. BLAKK FOR PRESIDENT; Tours: Kinky Boots, HAIR, THE COLOR PURPLE. Regional: What To Send Up When It Goes Down (Congo Square Theatre), Jesus Christ Superstar (Paramount Theatre), The Color Purple, Smokey Joe's Cafe (Drury Lane), The Scottsboro Boys (Porchlight). Television: THE CHI, Work In Progress. Representation: Paonessa Talent. www.FearlessJos.com @JosNBanks

La Shawn Banks (Headmaster Marrow) originally hails from Buffalo, New York, and received his BFA in Musical Theatre from SUNY Fredonia. He is thrilled to return to Steppenwolf, where he was last seen in the national premiere of The Wheel. Favorite productions include: Oedipus, The Book of Will, Twelfth Night, The Island, A Streetcar Named Desire, Edward Albee's Seascape, The Taming of the Shrew, The Critic, Of Mice and Men, Troilus and Cressida and Richard III (American Players Theatre); The Scene, Isaac's Eye, Travels With My Aunt, The Turn of the Screw and The Liar (Writers Theatre); Sweat (Mark Taper Forum); Around the World in 80 Days (Indiana Rep); Short Shakespeare! Twelfth Night, Short Shakespeare! Macbeth and Edward II (Chicago Shakespeare Theater); A Year With Frog & Toad (Chicago Children's Theatre) and Le Switch (About Face). He currently lives in Los Angeles. TV and film credits include Chicago PD, Chicago Justice, The Exorcist, Shameless, Snowfall and Veep. "Thank you my Creator, with whom anything is possible."

Sheldon D. Brown (AJ) is proud to make his Steppenwolf debut. His Chicago credits include: The Tragedy of Othello the Moor of Venice, Oedipus Rex and Man In The Ring (Court Theatre); Magnolia Ballet, This Bitter Earth and Time Is On Our Side (About Face Theatre); A Wonder In My Soul (Victory Gardens Theater); The Shipment (Red Tape Theatre); and 1980 (Jackalope Theatre) and more. He also has numerous credits in Boston including: The Grand Inquisitor, directed by Peter Brook through ArtsEmerson. His film/TV screenwriting credits include: Cicada (Spirit Award Nominated, Best First Screenplay), The Canyonlands and The Big Leap (FOX). You can also catch Sheldon in Steppenwolf for Young Adults' production of 1919. Sheldon received his BFA in Acting from Emerson College and is represented by Stewart Talent & Innovative Artists.

Richard David (David) is Akron-born, Atlanta- raised creating chaos on a Tuesday morning. Steppenwolf Theatre Company: Debut. Chicago: Nell Gywnn, Macbeth (u/s) (Chicago Shakespeare Theater); In The Sick Bay of the Santa Maria (Goodman). For the Loyal, (Interrobang Theatre Project). Letters Home (Griffin Theatre Co.). Regional: Every Tongue Confess (Horizon Theatre Company). Film: Addicted To You, Christmas With My Ex. Television: Chicago P.D., Ruthless, Empire, Chicago Med. Web Series: Brothers From The Suburbs. Education: BFA, Roosevelt University; Tisch School of the Arts Summer Intensive. "Black boy falling forward... for you Granny." thericharddavid.com @richarddavidhatcher Represented by Stewart Talent.

William Dick (Mr. Pendleton) Chicago: We All Went Down To Amsterdam (Steppenwolf Theatre Company); All's Well That Ends Well, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Cyrano de Bergerac, Henry VIII, The Madness of George III, Macbeth, Cymbeline, The Merchant of Venice and many others (Chicago Shakespeare Theater); A Christmas Carol, Bernhardt/Hamlet, Father Comes Home From the Wars, Blind Date, Moonlight and Magnolias, House and Garden, The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia? (Goodman Theatre); The Book Of Will (Northlight Theatre); The Pitman Painters (Timeline Theatre). Regional: Asolo Repertory Theatre, Studio Arena Theater, Los Angeles Theater Center, extensive work at Milwaukee Repertory Theater. Television: A League Of Their Own, 4400, Fargo, Chicago Fire, Crisis, Empire. Film: The Company, Stranger Than Fiction, The Break Up, The Promotion, The Merry Gentleman, Fred Claus, Oz The Great And Powerful. williamdick.net

Gilbert Domally (Bobby) is excited to be making his Steppenwolf Theatre Company debut! Some of his credits include: The Color Purple (Drury Lane Theatre); The Total Bent (Haven Theatre); Memphis, Dreamgirls (Porchlight Music Theatre); Hairspray, The Little Mermaid, Jesus Christ Superstar, Elf, Cabaret, Legally Blonde (Paramount Theatre); Madagascar (Chicago Shakespeare Theater); Next to Normal (BoHo Theatre); Dessa Rose, The Wild Party (Bailiwick Theatre); Choir Boy (Yale Rep). Gilbert is grateful to God for every opportunity to do what he loves, and to his family and friends for their unending support!

Samuel B. Jackson (Junior) is excited to be making his debut at the Steppenwolf Theatre Company! He sends all his love to the magnificent creative team and amazing cast. Education: BA, University of Notre Dame; The School at Steppenwolf. For Mom and Tom! @samuelbjackson

Tarell Alvin McCraney (Playwright) 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 which premiered on Netflix directed by Steven Soderbergh. McCraney's plays include: MS. BLAKK FOR PRESIDENT (co-written with Tina Landau), The Brother/Sister Plays trilogy, Head of Passes, Wig Out! and Choir Boy, which was nominated for four Tony Awards. McCraney is the recipient of a MacArthur "Genius" Grant, the Whiting Award, Steinberg Playwright Award, the Evening Standard Award, the New York Times Outstanding Playwright Award, the Paula Vogel Playwriting Award, the Windham Campbell Award and a USA Artist Award. He is currently Chair of Playwriting at Yale School of Drama; an ensemble member at Steppenwolf Theatre Chicago; and a member of Teo Castellanos/D-Projects. McCraney is currently working on an original scripted TV series, David Makes Man, for Oprah Winfrey's OWN Network, produced by Michael B. Jordan and Page Fright Productions.

Kent Gash (Director) is the new Artistic Director of The Acting Company, which returns to National Touring in 2022 with a World Premiere adaptation of The Three Musketeers by Kirsten Childs, conceived and directed by Mr. Gash centering Alexander Dumas and the Black imagination responsible for the classic swashbuckler, playing in rep with Leah Gardiner's Romeo and Juliet. Mr. Gash directed the World Premiere of Robert O'Hara's Barbecue at The Public Theatre and is co-author and director of Langston in Harlem (2010 Audelco Awards Best Musical). New York productions include: Cori Thomas' Lockdown for the Rattlestick Playwrights Theater and the virtual co-production with WP Theater, Broke-ology at the Juilliard School, the Off Broadway premiere of Miss Ever's Boys for Melting Pot Theatre Co., the York Theatre presentation of Ellington's Beggar's Holiday and the Off-Broadway revival of Samm-Art William's Home. Most recent among nearly one hundred regional productions are Dominique Morisseau's Paradise Blue for City Theatre, "Master Harold"... and the Boys at Arizona Theatre Co., Guys and Dolls at the Guthrie, The Wiz at Ford's Theatre (Washington Post Ten Best, Broadway World Best Musical Award, Three Helen Hayes Awards), August Wilson's The Gem of the Ocean at South Coast Rep (LA Times Ten Best), The Mountaintop at Trinity Rep, Tarell Alvin McCraney's Wig Out for Studio Theatre, D.C., Choir Boy at the Studio Theatre in D.C. and Marin Theatre Co. (Bay Area Critics Award for Best Production) and The Comedy of Errors, set in the Harlem Renaissance at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Mr. Gash is the former Associate Artistic Director of The Tony Award winning Alliance Theatre (2001-2009) and The Alabama Shakespeare Festival (1999-2001), is an Arts Professor at Tisch School of the Arts, NYU where he is Founding Director of the New Studio on Broadway. Mr. Gash is a graduate of the Carnegie-Mellon School of Drama (BFA in Acting) and UCLA (MFA in Directing for Theatre and Television).

PRODUCTION DETAILS

CHOIR BOY

By ensemble member Tarell Alvin McCraney

Directed by Kent Gash

Featuring Jos N. Banks, La Shawn Banks, Sheldon D. Brown, Richard David, William Dick, Gilbert Domally and Samuel B. Jackson

In Steppenwolf's Downstairs Theater, 1650 N. Halsted St., Chicago

Now through July 24, 2022

Ticket information: Single tickets for CHOIR BOY ($20 - $98) are on sale now at steppenwolf.org and the Box Office at (312) 335-1650.

The creative team includes Arnel Sancianco (Scenic Designer), Kara Harmon (Costume Designer), Jason Lynch (Lighting Designer), Pornchanok (Nok) Kanchanabanca (Sound Designer), Stan Brown (Company Voice & Text Coach), JC Clementz, CSA (Casting Director) and Laura D. Glenn (Production Stage Manager). For full cast and creative team bios, visit https://www.steppenwolf.org/tickets--events/seasons/2021-22/choir-boy/.

Steppenwolf Theatre Company's trailblazing new 50,000 square foot theater building and education center, the Liz and Eric Lefkofsky Arts and Education Center, was designed by world-renowned architect Gordon Gill FAIA of Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture, with construction by Norcon. The centerpiece of the new Arts and Education Center is the new 400-seat in-the-round Ensemble Theater in Honor of Helen Zell-one of its kind in Chicago-with theater design and acoustics by Charcoalblue.

The expanded Steppenwolf campus is a cultural nexus for Chicago, offering bold and ambitious opportunities for creative expression, social exchange, unparalleled accessibility, and arts-driven learning for Chicago youth in The Loft, Steppenwolf's first-ever dedicated education space. The campus expansion also features bright new lobbies and two new full-service bars for socializing designed by fc STUDIO, inc. The $54 million new building is part of Steppenwolf's multi-phase $73 million Building on Excellence expansion campaign. Learn more about Steppenwolf's campus expansion at steppenwolf.org/buildingonexcellence.

Steppenwolf is part of the growing coalition of more than 70 Chicagoland performing arts venues and producers that have agreed upon COVID-19 vaccination and mask requirements for all audiences, artists and staff. Audience members must provide proof of vaccination in addition to wearing masks. Learn more about Steppenwolf's guidelines at steppenwolf.org/welcomeback.

Steppenwolf has worked over the past year with our operations team, public health advisors and HVAC consultants to prepare its facility to safely welcome patrons back for performances. The addition of the new Liz and Eric Lefkofsky Arts and Education Center has expanded the square footage of the lobbies to nearly twice the previous amount of space offered to guests. Two additional elevators and multiple stairways have also been added to Steppenwolf's campus for ease of transition between seating levels. The HVAC systems have undergone upgrades to allow for increased filtration and a higher percentage of circulated fresh air across all three theaters.

Steppenwolf offers accessible services to ensure all audience members have access to our work, including American Sign Language interpretation (available for student matinees as scheduled with education staff or per public performances below), Spanish Language captions, wheelchair accessible seating and more. With questions, email access@steppenwolf.org.

Choir Boy is generously supported in part by Ameriprise Financial. United Airlines is the Official and Exclusive Airline of Steppenwolf. Steppenwolf is also grateful for the significant season support from the Ralla Klepak Foundation for Education in the Performing Arts, Northern Trust, Allstate Insurance Company, ComEd, JPMorgan Chase, PNC, and Vinci Restaurant.

Steppenwolf Theatre Company is a Chicago theater that is home to America's ensemble. The company began performing in the mid-1970s in the basement of a Highland Park, IL church-today Steppenwolf is the nation's premier ensemble theater with 49 members who are among the top actors, playwrights and directors in the field. Deeply rooted in its ensemble ethos, the company is committed to equity, diversity, inclusion and making the Steppenwolf experience accessible to all. Groundbreaking productions from Balm in Gilead and August: Osage County to Downstate and Pass Over-and accolades that include the National Medal of Arts and 12 Tony® Awards-have made the theatre legendary. Artistic programming includes a main stage season; a Steppenwolf for Young Adults season; LookOut, a multi-genre performance series; and the Steppenwolf NOW virtual stage. The nationally recognized work of Steppenwolf Education engages more than 20,000 participants annually in Chicagoland communities promoting compassion, encouraging curiosity and inspiring action. While firmly grounded in the Chicago community, more than 40 original Steppenwolf productions have enjoyed success nationally and internationally, including Broadway, Off-Broadway, London, Sydney, Galway and Dublin. 2021 marks the opening of Steppenwolf's landmark Liz and Eric Lefkofsky Arts & Education Center-deepening the company's commitment to Chicagoland teens and serving as a cultural nexus for Chicago. Glenn Davis and Audrey Francis are the Artistic Directors and E. Brooke Flanagan is Executive Director. Eric Lefkofsky is Chair of Steppenwolf's Board of Trustees.

Steppenwolf's Mission: Steppenwolf strives to create thrilling, courageous and provocative art in a thoughtful and inclusive environment. They succeed when we disrupt your routine with experiences that spark curiosity, empathy and joy. They invite you to join our ensemble as we navigate, together, our complex world.




From This Author - Grace Cutler


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