CHOIR BOY By Tarell Alvin McCraney Opens Season 50 Of Centaur Theatre
Centaur Theatre opens its 50th season with Choir Boy, written by Tarell Alvin McCraney, the Oscar-winning writer of Moonlight. Mike Payette returns as Director after closing Centaur's previous season with his sensitive direction of Hosanna. Floydd Ricketts, Conductor of the McGill University Chorus and the Assistant Conductor of McGill's Schulich Singers, provides the Musical Direction and Arrangements. Choir Boy had its world premiere in 2012 at the Royal Court in London (UK) with its Broadway debut scheduled for December 2018. This is an opportunity for local audiences to see a Montreal production on home turf.
Choir Boy is a beautifully told coming-of-age story buoyed by the joyous harmonies of Gospel music and R&B. The Drew Prep School for Boys is dedicated to the formation of strong, ethical Black men. Pharus was born to sing and wants nothing more than to take his rightful place as leader of the school's legendary choir. Will the school have the courage to accept a gay choirmaster or will it muzzle this angelic voice determined to be heard? Choir Boy presents a moving portrait of young Black men focused on their dreams, finding their way to adulthood through the confusing social and sexual mores typical at a pivotal age.
"It is incumbent upon me, as the leader of an arts organization, to open doors. The recent, long overdue discussion about cultural context and inclusivity in theatre gives me the opportunity to discover artists that I don't know or haven't yet met and put them on the Centaur stage to depict a broader, more inclusive reflection of our world. When Mike Payette brought Choir Boy to me, it opened the door to an honest, rarely told story about young Black men in pursuit of their dreams, summoning the courage to be who they were meant to be. The striking Spiritual, Gospel and R&B music, the golden voices of these gifted actors, and the incredible design team make Choir Boy the most compelling choice to open Centaur's landmark 50th season." - Eda Holmes, Centaur Theatre Artistic and Executive Director Media Call: Tuesday October 9, 2018 at 12:30pm.
Patrick Abellard, Vlad Alexis, Quincy Armorer, Steven Charles, Lyndz Dantiste, Christopher Parker, and Paul Rainville NEW Preview Pre-show Convo: Thursday October 11 at 7PM in the Ted T. Katz Family Trust Gallery. Free and open to the public. Meet Choir Boy's team of designers in a behind-the-scenes Q&A exploring the subtle and meticulous crafts that bring a playwright's words and a director's vision to life.
Sunday Chat-Up: Sunday October 14 at 12:30pm in the Ted T. Katz Family Trust Gallery. Join Gazette Editor-in-Chief, Lucinda Chodan, in conversation with Floydd Ricketts, Choir Boy's Musical Director and Arranger. The African American Spiritual, and how to perform the genre to help it flourish without cultural appropriation, will be the focus of the discussion. Free public event with refreshments provided by Bonaparte Restaurant.
Post-Show Talkbacks: Thursday October 18 and Sunday October 21. Audience members are invited to stay after the performances for a Q&A with select members of the cast and design team.
Saturday Salon: Saturday October 27 following the matinée performance in the Ted T. Katz Family Trust Gallery. Using two Centaur current season plays with "children" in the title-Hannah Moscovitch's Other People's Children and Lucy Kirkwood's The Children-Centaur's Artistic and Executive Director, Eda Holmes, and Imago Theatre's Artistic Director, Micheline Chevrier, discuss what makes a play relevant and necessary as a piece of theatre. Both plays, written and directed by women, explore the experience of being a parent and a citizen in today's world.