Temple Theaters to Present Tarell Alvin McCraney's CHOIR BOY in October

An exploration of Black queerness and the power of music.

By: Sep. 18, 2023

Temple Theaters to Present Tarell Alvin McCraney's CHOIR BOY in October

How can you find harmony while remaining true to your voice? Written by Tarell Alvin McCraney, the Academy Award-winning writer of MOONLIGHT (based on his play "In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue"), CHOIR BOY is underscored by gospel and R&B performances (Choir directed by Vinroy David Brown, Temple MFA). The Tony Award-nominated play has been called a "tender meditation on Black queerness told through sublime music" by Alexis Soloski of the Guardian and Time Out New York's Adam Feldman says CHOIR BOY is "lyrical and touching...[bringing] a ringing, unapologetic queer black voice ...[that] offers valuable perspective on struggles that have too long been unsung."

CHOIR BOY, directed by Devon Sinclair, will be performed October 5th-8th 2023, at Tomlinson Theater, 2020 N. 13th St., Philadelphia, PA featuring Temple student performers. Tickets can be purchased through this ticketing link: Click Here

After its premiere at London's Royal Court Theatre in 2012, CHOIR BOY was performed in theaters worldwide. Opening on Broadway at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre in 2018, the production was awarded a Drama Desk award for Outstanding Music in a Play and a Tony Award for Best Sound Design. The highly-lauded Philadelphia premiere of the show was at Philadelphia Theatre Company in 2022.

A dramatic coming-of-age story filled with soaring music, CHOIR BOY takes place at the elite all-boys, all-Black Charles R. Drew Prep School for Boys where the story follows a young student, Pharus, on his journey to take his place as choir leader while navigating his queerness, his devotion, and his understanding of self. His peers surround him, some with support, some with vitriol, all exploring their own identities as young men of color.

St. Augustine is quoted as saying, "one who sings, prays twice." In CHOIR BOY the role of music is similarly captured as a way to create a double meaning, as a way to promote prestige, but also bring the corporeal to spiritual plane. The play shows how crucial it is, particularly for young people like Pharus, searching for meaning, to find beauty and discover themselves through music.

Content Warning: Racist and homophobic language with related violence, partial nudity.


Temple University continues to be informed by guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the City of Philadelphia. Masking is no longer a requirement in Philadelphia, and is optional in indoor, non-healthcare spaces at Temple University. Due to the size of our venues, and for the safety of our unmasked performers, we strongly encourage audience members to be masked. Additionally, we ask any patron who is exhibiting symptoms to please coordinate with the Box Office to reschedule their visit. Visit the university's COVID-19 Resource Hub for additional information.


Located on the northern edge of the Avenue of the Arts, Temple Theaters, is the production arm of the Department of Theater, a program that has established itself as a destination for some of the finest university theater training in the nation. Temple University's Department of Theater offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in acting, design, directing, musical theater, playwriting and theater education. As part of Center for Performing and Cinematic Arts, the School of Theater, Film and Media Arts offers hallmark programs in theater, film and media arts that engage students with nationally and internationally recognized faculty and fuse the high-quality training with rigorous scholarship and artistry. 

 Performance Details: 


By Tarell Alvin McCraney

Directed by Devon Sinclair

October 5th-8th, 2023 (5th, 6th & 7th at 7:30pm and 7th & 8th at 2:00pm) 


Artistic Team 

Director Devon Sinclair

Asst. Director Malik Muhammad

Music Director Vinroy Brown

Vocal Coach Lynne Innerst

Intimacy Coordinator Melanie Julian

Set Designer Mike Merluzzi

Costume Designer Wayne Fuller

Lighting Designer Maddy Connors

Sound Designer Michael Kiley

Props Master Lindsey Silver

Dramaturg Julissa Norment

Stage Manager Scarlet Garcia Pena


Pharus Young Aaron Stanford u/s Jayson Brown

David Heard Max Yilah u/s Avery Hannon

Anthony Justin "AJ" James Zachary White u/s Nigel Grant Jr.

Bobby Marrow Myles Knight u/s Rafi Mills

Junior Davis Jeremy Mitchell u/s Rafi Mills

Headmaster Marrow Matthu Minns u/s Nigel Grant Jr.

Mr.Pendleton John Fioravanti u/s Paul Scheb

Ensemble Rafi Mills, Avery Hannon, Jayson Brown, Nigel Grant Jr.

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