• Jun 4, 2015 - Jul 5, 2015
Regular Show

Choir Boy


By Tarell Alvin McCraney
Directed by Kent Gash

Presented By

Marin Community Foundation, The Bernard Osher Foundation, The Shubert Foundation, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

From the writer of In the Red & Brown Water and Head of Passes comes a powerful coming-of-age story threaded throughout with stirring a cappella gospel music. Pharus is a brash, young gay man; Bobby, a well-connected legacy student. When these two compete to lead the legendary choir at their elite African-American prep school, their confrontations lead to huge revelations about identity, loyalty and friendship.

Listen Now to some of Choir Boy's stunning music.

Featuring Rotimi Agbabiaka, Jelani Alladin, Charles Shaw Robinson, Ken Robinson, Forest Van Dyke, Alan Wade, Dimitri Woods and Jaysen Wright

CONTENT ADVISORY: This production contains nudity, language and adult content. Please contact our Box Office with any questions you have about the suitability of this show for young audiences.

LENGTH OF SHOW: One hour and forty minutes, with no intermission.

TICKET PRICES: $20 - $55. All prices subject to change without notice.


When Tarell Alvin McCraney received his unprecedented three-theater Bay Area debut in 2010, the San Francisco Chronicle declared his “Brother/Sister Plays” “one of the most unforgettable events of the decade.” Now one of the top playwrights in the US and UK, McCraney recently received a MacArthur “Genius Grant,” served as the Royal Shakespeare Company’s International Playwright in Residence and was featured in “Playwright: From Page to Stage” on the PBS series Independent Lens.

Charles Shaw Robinson*

Charles Shaw Robinson*

Johan Jorgen Holst/Finn Grandal

Rotimi Agbabiaka*

Rotimi Agbabiaka*

Junior Davis

Jelani Alladin*

Jelani Alladin*

Pharus Jonathan Young

Ken Robinson*

Ken Robinson*

Headmaster Marrow

Forest Van Dyke

Forest Van Dyke

David Heard

Alan Wade*

Alan Wade*

Mr. Pendleton

Dimitri Woods

Dimitri Woods

Bobby Marrow

Jaysen Wright*

Jaysen Wright*

Anthony Justin ‘AJ’ James

Tarell Alvin McCraney

Tarell Alvin McCraney


Darius Smith

Darius Smith

Music Director

Chris Houston

Chris Houston


Kurt Landisman

Kurt Landisman

Lighting Designer

​Callie Floor

​Callie Floor

Costume Designer

​Sean McStravick*

​Sean McStravick*

stage manager

Kent Gash

Kent Gash


Jason Sherwood

Jason Sherwood

Scenic Designer

Kirsten Royston

Kirsten Royston

Props Artisan

Video Gallery

Image Gallery

A Beast in a Jungle

Playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney doesn’t pull punches in Choir Boy, the provocative, sensitive, and deeply satisfying play having its West Coast premiere this month at Marin Theatre Company ... McCraney’s pace and the play’s complete lack of didacticism reveal a confidence in his material and characters bordering on breathtaking, and Marin Theatre Company has assembled a perfect cast to bring it vividly alive ... Kent Gash directs one of the best acting ensembles I’ve seen on any Bay Area stage recently. Strongly recommended.

America Magazine | The National Catholic Review

"A wonderful play, I could easily want to see it a second timeIt is replete with memorable songs and drama."

Atlanta Journal-Constitution

"Exceptionally beautiful, heart-pummeling piece of theater”

Bay City News

"...skillfully written, there is enough song and dance to woo any audience anywhereand the cast is world class."


A coming-of-age story with tremendous insight and lovingly observed characters ... beautifully written and flawlessly acted ... directed with stunning intensity by Kent Gash.

For All Events

Choir Boy is a masterpiece ... Kent Gash powerfully directs this exceptionally beautiful piece of theatre. This is pure theatre magic! Choir Boy is at the top of my list of shows not to be missed.


"Exceptionally beautiful, heart-pummeling piece of theater” – Atlanta Journal-Constitution

“Vivid, magnetic and moving” – The New York Times

"Best Play of the Year" – Los Angeles Times

"Exhilarating, genuinely sizzles." – The Guardian

"Powerful... Choir Boy sings a stirring tune." – The Washington Post

"Revelatory! A rare thoughtful play whose rousing commercial instincts enhance its insights" – Hollywood Reporter

"Sings with smarts and heart" – Variety

"Best play of the year" – Creative Loafing Atlanta

“Bracing and provocative” – New York Post

"This daring play should be required theatergoing for anyone who believes in the transformative power of the stage." – DC Theatre Scene

"Rich language and music, coupled with emotionally-charged acting, and a compelling story make Choir Boy one to see." – Broadway World

Los Angeles Times

"Best Play of the Year" 

Marin IJ

"Soaring spirituals and heartbreaking drama in MTC’s ‘Choir Boy'. ... The play is powerfully staged by Kent Gash ... Pharus (wonderfully exuberant Jelani Alladin) is a talented singer and student who’s grown accustomed to being ostracized for being gay ... Pharus’ only real friend is his roommate, Anthony (sweetly sympathetic Jaysen Wright), a heterosexual athlete whose steadfast friendship is deeply touching ... Throughout the play the cast keeps breaking into a cappella spirituals, and the vocal performances and arrangements, directed by Darius Smith, are stunningly beautiful. Pharus has a big speech about the sustaining power of these spirituals, and this show makes you feel that deep in your bones."

Mill Valley Herald

‘Choir Boy’ is a powerful drama buoyed by spirituals … The seven “Choir Boy” cast members are superb, with each of the six black performers layering individualized vocal chops onto their thespian skills.

My Cultural Landscape

The ensemble's singing is nothing less than thrilling ... Janeli Alladin's riveting portrayal of Pharus is a tour de force ... His performance is a theatrical gem which should definitely not to be missed.

San Francisco Chronicle

'Choir Boy' sings sweet gospel in Marin ... A cappella gospel mingles with the chaotic hormones and restless minds of teenage boys to richly dramatic ends ... [a] deeply moving, thoughtful experience ...especially with the committed performances of director Kent Gash’s actors. Even more so with the gorgeously sung songs that seem to rise from deep wellsprings of the heart and soul under Darius Smith’s music direction. ... Jelani Alladin, reprising the lead role from Gash’s recent production in Washington, D.C., inhabits young Pharus as if born to the part. As the voices of Forest Van Dyke’s class misfit, Alladin, Wright and, in a magical solo, the headmaster played by Ken Robinson rise to the heavens, they lift “Choir” with them.

Sonoma County Gazette

Rare is the theatre that can encompass it all and do it well. Such is Tarell Alvin McCraney’s 'Choir Boy', an emotionally devastating yet ultimately life affirming “play with music” that closes out Marin Theatre Company’s 48th season … The entire cast, under the direction of Kent Gash, gives flawless performances as the young men and the adults in their school lives … If you love great theatre, Choir Boy will sing to you.

Talkin' Broadway: San Francisco

... A superb production of Tarell Alvin McCraney's Choir Boy ... This is a powerful piece of theatre, spectacularly directed by Kent Gash and featuring seven brilliant actors ... The actors are pitch perfect when they break into song ... Music director Darius Smith's arrangements are striking.

The New York Times

“Vivid, magnetic and moving”

The San Mateo Daily Journal

Playwright McCraney is a talent to be reckoned with ... “Choir Boy” is a noteworthy addition to his canon ... It’s a thought-provoking, absorbing, coming of age story told with empathy, music, humor and drama ... Director Kent Gash keeps the action flowing smoothly, aided by an outstanding ensemble cast ... they do a lot of wonderful a cappella singing.

Theatre Eddys

Must-see regional premiere ... As Pharus, Jelani Alladin is masterful in the role ... Equally stellar in his role is Jaysen Wright ... In Choir Boy, Mr. McCraney raises many questions with no easy answers, leaving us both uplifted by heavenly music and shouldered with earthly challenge. This is a play to be seen and heard, to be contemplated and discussed.


... Beautiful play .... The action is punctuated movingly and spectacularly by the performance of the boys in choir. The plot requires that the choir singing be of unparalleled excellence and the actors deliver that, superbly directed by Darius Smith ... the entire cast was called back enthusiastically to take a second curtain call for an audience that would not stop applauding. Most likely, you’ll keep applauding too.


This excellent production closes out yet another standing ovation 48th season at MTC. ... The cast is full of powerful singers ... Jelani Alladin and Jaysen Wright, who both deliver exceptionally strong performances, have the kinds of voices their roles require, with Alladin bringing the roof down with some of his solos ... An evening you will remember.