Casting Announced For ACT and The 5th Avenue Theatre's CHOIR BOY

Performances run September 9 – October 23, 2022.

By: Aug. 10, 2022
Casting Announced For ACT and The 5th Avenue Theatre's CHOIR BOY

ACT - A Contemporary Theatre and The 5th Avenue Theatre today announced complete cast and creative team for their 10th co-production together, the tender yet invigorating coming-of-age play with music, Choir Boy. Written by the celebrated American playwright of the "The Brother/Sister Plays" and Oscar-winning screenwriter Tarell Alvin McCraney, Choir Boy tickets are on sale now and are available for purchase at or by calling the ACT Box Office at (206) 292-7676.

For half a century, the Charles R. Drew Prep School for Boys has been dedicated to the education of strong, ethical Black men. One talented student, Pharus Young, has been waiting for years to take his rightful place as the leader of the legendary gospel choir. But can he make his way through the hallowed halls of this institution if he sings in his own key? This riveting show is an intersectional coming-of-age story and a powerful examination of personal identity against institutional traditions: here, being black and queer in a prestigious all-male prep school. From Tarell Alvin McCraney, the Academy Award-winning writer of Moonlight, Choir Boy electrified Broadway with its soaring gospel, spiritual, and R&B performances.

Choir Boy will feature Nicholas Japaul Bernard (Disney's Beauty and the Beast, The 5th Avenue Theatre) as Pharus, Jaron Williams (HBO's Treme) as Bobby, Donovan Manannah (Film Short: Wannabe) as Junior, Kyle Ward (Dallas Theatre Center, Hairspray) as Anthony Justin "AJ" James, Brandon Starling (Folger Theatre, Henry IV Part 1) as David, Arlando Smith (Lyric Theatre, Dream Girls) as Headmaster Marrow, and Larry Paulson (Denver Center, Twelfth Night) as Mr. Pendleton.

The co-production, led by director Jamil Jude (Artistic Director of Kenny Leon's True Colors Theatre) and associate director Shermona Mitchell (The Race 2020!, Citizen), will feature scenic design by Tony Cisek (Denver Center, Sweat), costume design by Trevor Bowen (American Players Theatre, The Brothers Size), lighting design by Andrew Smith ( Book-It, Seattle Shakespeare Company, WET), sound design by Erin Bednarz (Village Theatre), music direction by Jada Cato, choreography by Juel D. Lane (When the Beat Drops), and fight direction and intimacy choreography by Kaja Dunn (Amazon Prime, "Harlem").

ACT's Artistic DirectorJohn Langs said, "Choir Boy marks our 10th co-production with The 5th Avenue Theatre and it is a joyful departure from some of the traditional musicals that have previously been the focus of our partnership. Choir Boy provides all the joy and open-hearted emotion we love about musicals. But it is very much a play. We wanted to open our season with a story of joy, courage, and hope, with a director who could take this partnership to another level. We are so happy to welcome Jamil Jude, who has a long history with this play, to take the helm.

On a more personal note, the last few years have been challenging to say the least. It has been a comfort and a blessing for both institutions, ACT and The 5th Avenue Theatre, to support one another and continue to build our relationship through the long investment in this partnership that has lent each of us strength as we bring back this co-production model which has become a reliable favorite for audiences."

The 5th Avenue Theatre's Producing Artistic Director Bill Berry added, "Choir Boy is a unique and powerful story that expands how we think of and create musical theater. I'm grateful for our continued partnership with ACT and that we get to collaborate on this new production made by and for the Pacific Northwest community."

Director Jamil Jude said, "I'm excited to revisit this show, especially to present it to Seattle audiences. I've visited the area a few times and I've always been impressed with the audiences and the way they lean into stories. Choir Boy is full of 'lean in moments' and I'm certain audiences will enjoy what this cast and the story will deliver."