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Alliance Theatre Announces Choir Boy

The Alliance Theatre is pleased to announce the American premiere of CHOIR BOY, a modern coming of age story by Tarell Alvin McCraney, winner of the 2008 Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition for his play In The Red and Brown Water.  The American premiere of Choir Boy is co-produced by the Manhattan Theatre Club in New York, where Choir Boy opened earlier this month to outstanding reviews.  The New York Times called it “vivid, magnetic, and moving,” and New York Magazine described it as “gorgeously sung & staged.”  The New York production has been extended twice due to popular demand and will close August 11.  Choir Boy will run on the Hertz Stage at the Alliance Theatre September 20 – October 13, 2013.  Opening night is Wednesday, September 25, 2013.

The Charles R. Drew Prep School for Boys is dedicated to the creation of strong, ethical black men.  Pharus’s confidence, charisma, clarity of purpose, and talent hide the struggle he endures at school.  Gospel music at Drew is a tradition as old as the school itself, and that tradition is embodied in its vaunted choir. The choir is where Pharus can stand out and be different without fear – because he’s the best.

Choir Boy is led by Director Trip Cullman.  With new vocal arrangements by Music Director Jason Michael Webb, Choir Boy is a play featuring stirring gospel and spiritual music.

Leading the cast in the role of Pharus is Jeremy Pope (Little Shop of Horrors).  The cast also features Nicholas L. Ashe (The Lion King), Joshua Boone (Regional: In the Heights), Grantham Coleman (As You Like It), Scott Robertson (Cabaret), John Stewart (Alliance Theatre: The Whipping Man), and Charles E. Wallace (Jekyll & Hyde).

“Since the world-premiere of In the Red and Brown Water, Tarell has become an international playwriting sensation with productions from coast to coast and in London,” said Alliance Theatre Director of New Projects Celise Kalke.  “I’m so proud that Atlanta audiences experienced his talent so early in his career because of the Alliance/Kendeda competition, and that the Alliance is bringing this amazing production to Atlanta.”

“I feel like working at the Alliance has been a part of my artistic process,” said McCraney.  “It allows me to engage with a sophisticated audience that is different from those around the globe.  I’m excited to hear how Choir Boy sings at the Alliance.”

In addition to winning the Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition, McCraney has been awarded The New York Times Outstanding Playwright Award, the 2009 Steinberg Playwrights Award, and the Paula Vogel Playwriting Award.

The Alliance is thrilled to play a role in the development of new American playwrights through its commitment to the Alliance/Kendeda competition.  The competition, which celebrates its 10th Anniversary this year, provides developmental opportunities and readings for all finalists as well as a full production for one winning play each season.  Over the lifetime of the competition the Alliance has had the honor of recognizing and supporting early career playwrights who have gone on to have highly successful careers in theatre.

Performances of Choir Boy are Tuesday through Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 2:30 p.m. and 8 p.m., and Sundays at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., September 20 through October 13, 2013.  Opening Night is September 25, 2013.  There will be no 2:30 p.m. performance on September 21.

Tickets start at $25 and are available at the Woodruff Arts Center Box Office in person or by calling 404-733-5000.  Tickets are also available online at www.alliancetheatre.org/choirboyDiscounted rates for groups of 10 or more are available by calling 404-733-4690.  Discounted rates are also available for members of the military, seniors and students.  The Alliance Theatre is located at the Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree Street, NE, Atlanta, GA 30309, at the corner of Peachtree and 15th Street, in Midtown.

Choir Boy is part of the Turner Series on the Hertz Stage.

The Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition is supported by a 2005 gift by the Kendeda Fund, the National Endowment for the Arts, and The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust.