By Tarell Alvin McCraney
Directed by Christopher D. Betts
For half a century, the Charles R. Drew Prep School for Boys has been dedicated to the education of strong, ethical Black men. One extraordinary student, a gifted singer, has been waiting to take his rightful place as the leader of the legendary school choir. But can he make his way through the hallowed halls of this institution and still sing in his own key? Brimming with soul-stirring a cappella singing, the joyously life-affirming play, Choir Boy, written by Yale Rep’s Academy Award-winning Playwright in Residence Tarell Alvin McCraney, will be directed by David Geffen School of Drama M.F.A. candidate Christopher D. Betts.
Yale Rep’s vaccination policy requires proof of a booster shot for all ticketholders who are eligible to receive it, in addition to the initial one- or two-shot vaccine regimen, as well as a photo ID. ASTM (available on site), 3-ply, N95, or KN95 masks must be worn at all times while inside the theater; cloth masks are acceptable only when double-masking in combination with one of these approved masks.
Meet the Artists
Tarell Alvin McCraney
Tarell Alvin McCraney
Tarell Alvin McCraney is the Chair and Professor in the Practice of Playwriting at David Geffen School of Drama at Yale and is the Playwright in Residence at Yale Rep. He is also a member of Teo Castellanos/D-Projects Theater Company in Miami and a member of the Steppenwolf Theatre Ensemble. He co-wrote the 2016 film, Moonlight, based on his own work In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue, for which he received an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay. His other plays include Head of Passes, Wig Out!, and the The Brother/Sister Plays trilogy, which includes The Brothers Size, In the Red and Brown Water, and Marcus; or the Secret of Sweet. He is the creator of the OWN series, David Makes Man, and wrote the screenplay for High Flying Bird. His numerous awards include the Whiting Award, Steinberg Playwright Award, Doris Duke Artists Award, Windham-Campbell Prize, London Evening Standard Award for Most Promising Playwright, New York Times Outstanding Playwright Award, the Paula Vogel Award, and a 2013 MacArthur Fellowship.
Christopher D. Betts
Christopher D. Betts
Upcoming: Dreamgirls (The Paramount Theatre) and Legally Blonde (NYU Tisch). Christopher recently directed In the Southern Breeze (Off-Broadway) and Dutch Kings (Off-Off Broadway). At Yale Cabaret, he directed Is God Is, We Are Proud to Present…, Fireflies, littleboy/littleman, School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play; and How Black Girls Get Over Fuckbois, Vol. 1 and The Winter’s Tale at David Geffen School of Drama. Christopher is also the creator, writer, director, and executive producer of MAJOR, a film executive-produced by Tarell Alvin McCraney. Other collaborations include Spring Awakening (NYU Tisch); Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors (PopArt Johannesburg/Market Theatre Lab); The Cave: A Folk Opera (New York premiere); Carrie (2015 Broadway World Best Musical nomination); a series of new works with the OBIE Award-winning Fire This Time Festival; workshops of Goodnight Tyler (Kennedy Center/Alliance Theatre) and Refuge of the Damned (Long Wharf); and Barbecue (movement director, The Public Theater). Betts is a recipient of the Julie Taymor World Theater Fellowship, the Richie Jackson Artist Fellowship, and a two-time recipient of the SDCF Observership. He has been an artist in residence at Kampala International Theater Festival and PopArt Johannesburg and a teaching artist at The Market Theatre Lab. Betts is currently a professor in the Department of Undergraduate Drama at NYU Tisch School of the Arts, New Studio on Broadway and a support team member at artEquity. He received his B.F.A. with triple honors from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts (Bachelor’s Representative) and is currently a fourth-year M.F.A. candidate at the Geffen School.
Allen René Louis
Music Director and Vocal Arrangements
Allen René Louis
Allen René Louis is a Haitian-American composer, lyricist, arranger, instrumentalist, trained vocalist, and producer. Known for his masterful arrangements, Allen’s dynamic musicality is deeply rooted in his soulful, gospel background, and influenced by genres such as folk, musical theater, and jazz. Allen served as Music Director for the 2020 Musical Theatre Songwriting Challenge presented by The American Theatre Wing in partnership with The National Endowment for the Arts. He also made an incredible theatrical contribution as the Composer, Lyricist, Arranger, and Music Director of the Inaugural Antonyo Awards, presented by Broadway Black, an organization that fosters and inspires artistic diversity and excellence in theatre. His work as a vocal arranger was also featured on the 2021 CBS “Broadway’s Back” presented The Tony Awards. Most recently, Allen stepped into the role of Artistic Director of the Grammy nominated, Tony Award winning Broadway Inspirational Voices. Allen currently has a number of projects in development and hopes that his work will continue to inspire, uplift and bring about change.
Amy Hall Garner
Amy Hall Garner
Amy Hall Garner is a native of Huntsville, Alabama, and a graduate of The Juilliard School. Her work has been praised internationally and commissioned by Ailey II, ABT Studio Company, Collage Dance Collective, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Paul Taylor Dance Company, Carolina Ballet, The Juilliard School, The Ailey School, Barnard College, The University of the Arts, Columbia Ballet Collaborative, Point Park University, and Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet. She has received virtual commissions from BalletX, Dance Theatre of Harlem, the Guggenheim Museum’s Works & Process digital series, ABT Studio Company, Boulder Ballet, and a virtual collaboration between Miami City Ballet and Paul Taylor Dance Company. Currently, Ms. Garner is creating a new production of The Nutcracker for Baltimore School for the Arts. She personally coached Grammy Award-winner Beyoncé, providing additional choreography for The Mrs. Carter Show World Tour. Theatrical credits include The Color Purple (choreographer, Milwaukee Repertory Theater) and Invisible Thread (associate choreographer, Second Stage Theater, NYC). In 2018, she was selected to participate in Alvin Ailey’s New Directions Choreography Lab supported by the Ford Foundation. Garner was one of the first recipients of the Joffrey Ballet’s Choreography of Color Award (now Winning Works). She is an adjunct professor at New York University’s New Studio on Broadway at Tisch School of the Arts and a Virginia B. Toulmin Fellow at The Center for Ballet and the Arts.
Anna Grigo is a fourth-year M.F.A. candidate at David Geffen School of Drama, where she designed sets for Alice and sets and projections for Reykjavík. Other scenic design credits include Lenny’s Fast Food Kids Gang, Fireflies, and over easy (Yale Cabaret). Selected professional scenic design credits include Women in Jeopardy! (Cortland Repertory Theatre); Matt & Ben (Kitchen Theatre Company); Shining City (Hudson Stage Company); Red and Peter and the Starcatcher (Cider Mill Playhouse). Selected professional costume design credits include Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery (Sierra Repertory Theatre); Fernando (Ice Factory Festival NYC); Thumbprint (Opera Ithaca); and Urinetown (Cider Mill Playhouse). Anna was also a selected finalist for her scenic design of The White Plague for the Prague Quadrennial Common Design Project 2020. annagrigo.com
Stephen Marks is a fourth-year M.F.A. candidate at David Geffen School of Drama, where his credits include costume design for Mr. Burns, a post-electric play; Measure for Measure; and scenic design for Penis Inspection Day at Yale Cabaret. Other credits include Independence and Dancing at Lughnasa (Stella Adler Studio of Acting) and If I’m Alive Next Week, an episodic short series that premiered at the Tribeca Festival. He also served as the associate costume designer for the Classical Theatre of Harlem’s Seize the King. Stephen holds a B.A. in theater and dance from James Madison University. He has worked for John Kristiansen New York, Inc., the Heritage Theatre Festival, and Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival.
Riva Fairhall is a fourth-year M.F.A. candidate at David Geffen School of Drama, where she has designed Manning; Alice; Mr. Burns, a post-electric play; and The Tempest. Her other credits include Bakkhai (Yale Summer Cabaret); Fireflies and School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play (Yale Cabaret). She holds a B.A. in theater studies from Guilford College. rivafairhall.com
Daniela Hart is a NYC-based sound designer, composer, and filmmaker and a fourth-year M.F.A. candidate at David Geffen School of Drama. Select theater credits include Fires in the Mirror (Baltimore Center Stage and Long Wharf); Night Watch (Dorset Theater); Pleasure Machine (Colt Couer); Vapor Trail (MIT Music and Theater Arts); How to Save the World in 90 Minutes (Cherry Lane); Mr. Burns, a post-electric play (the Geffen School); References to Salvador Dalí Make Me Hot (ART, Harvard); Julius Caesar (Vermont Shakespeare); Neighborhood 3 (Rattlestick Theater); The Parlour (Soho Rep). Daniela is also a producer, editor, and sound supervisor with her company UptownWorks.
Eric M. Glover
Eric M. Glover
Eric M. Glover he/him is an assistant professor adjunct of dramaturgy and dramatic criticism at David Geffen School of Drama where he practices. Eric has also worked as a production dramaturg for Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun (Yale Repertory Theatre, canceled due to COVID-19, 2020).
Rebecca Flemister is a second-year student in Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism at David Geffen School of Drama.
Dominick Pinto is a fourth-year M.F.A. candidate at Yale School of Drama, where he has served as the technical director for Fun Home and assistant technical director for Othello. At Yale Rep, he was an assistant technical director on Cadillac Crew and the production electrician on The Prisoner. His technical design credits include Small Town Story (South Orange Performing Arts Center); The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (Memorial Auditorium), Pride and Prejudice (Alexander Kasser Theatre), The Persians and The Big Meal (L. Howard Fox Theatre). Dominick worked as a draftsperson at blackwalnut and Montclair State University and has worked at companies including American Theater Group, McCarter Theatre Company, and HERE! Arts Center. He holds a B.F.A. in theater production and design from Montclair State University.
Kelsey Rainwater is an intimacy coach, fight director, and actress based out of the ancestral lands of the Quinnipiac people. Kelsey’s most recent work was seen in the premiere of Sally and Tom at The Guthrie. Some of her other credits include In the Southern Breeze at Rattlestick, The Public Theater’s Measure for Measure and White Noise by Suzan-Lori Parks, directed by Oskar Eustis; A Raisin in the Sun (canceled due to COVID) and Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? at Yale Rep; Blues for An Alabama Sky with the Keen Company; and Bess Wohl’s film, Baby Ruby. She is a Lecturer in Acting at David Geffen School of Drama, co-teaching stage combat and intimacy, and is a Resident Fight and Intimacy Director for Yale Rep.
Tara Rubin, C.S.A.
Tara Rubin, C.S.A.
Tara Rubin, C.S.A. has been casting at Yale Rep since 2004. Selected Broadway/National Tours: KPOP, Mr. Saturday Night, Six, Ain’t Too Proud, King Kong, The Band’s Visit, Prince of Broadway, Indecent, Bandstand, Sunset Boulevard, Miss Saigon, Dear Evan Hansen, A Bronx Tale, Cats, Falsettos, School of Rock, Les Misérables, The Heiress, The Phantom of the Opera, Billy Elliot, Shrek, Spamalot, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, The Producers, Mamma Mia!, Jersey Boys. Off-Broadway: Gloria: A Life, Smokey Joe’s Café, Jersey Boys, Here Lies Love. Regional: Paper Mill Playhouse, La Jolla Playhouse, The Old Globe, Bucks County Playhouse, Westport Country Playhouse. Film: Billy Crystal’s Here Today. tararubincasting.com
Vanjah Alexander is a Harlem NYC born and raised Black Queer Artist. Vanjah started his musical education at the Choir Academy of Harlem, school of the world-renowned Boys Choir of Harlem. With the BCH he traveled the world singing everything from classical repertoire to jazz, R&B, and gospel. Vanjah attended The Ohio State University and studied Vocal Performance. He has performed at regional theatres including Weathervane Playhouse (Reynoldsburg, Ohio), The Barn Theatre (Augusta, Michigan), and The MUNY (St. Louis, Missouri). He toured with The Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess First National Tour. Vanjah has been working as Associate Producer for Radial Park (Astoria). He is super excited to make and leave a mark in theater, specifically with casting. He wants to help theater and film to reflect the world we live in with a genuine and honest perspective. Thank you to all the folks at Yale Repertory Theatre and especially to Tara Rubin.
Sam Tirrell she/her is a multi-hyphenate theater artist based in Troy, New York. Recent credits include the world premiere of Queen of the Night by travis tate at Dorset Theatre Festival, as well as the world premieres of Girls by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins and Cadillac Crew by Tori Sampson, both at Yale Repertory Theatre. Sam has stage managed productions for the New York Musical Festival (NYMF), New York Theatre Ballet, Troy Foundry Theatre, Theatre Workshop of Nantucket, David Geffen School of Drama, Proctors Theatre, Theatre Institute at Sage, Yale Cabaret, and the International Festival of Arts & Ideas, among others. She has also served as faculty at the School of Performing Arts at Proctors Theatre in Schenectady, New York. B.A.: Russell Sage College. M.F.A.: David Geffen School of Drama.
Assistant Stage Manager
Joanelle Moriah she/her is a graduating third-year stage management student at David Geffen School of Drama at Yale and is excited to be a part of the Yale Rep and Choir Boy family. Joanelle has worked at the Geffen School as stage manager on How Black Girls Get Over Fuckbois, Vol. 1 and Love I Awethu Further and as assistant stage manager on Alice and The Winter’s Tale and A Doll’s House at Yale Cabaret. Member, Actors’ Equity Association.
Jarrett Anthony Bennett
Jarrett Anthony Bennett
Jarrett Anthony Bennett is a native of Roseboro, North Carolina. Bennett has been seen in numerous regional productions and was also seen on the second National Tour of The Color Purple. Bennett would like to thank his mother and father for always believing and supporting him as he continues to pursue his dreams.
Gilbert Domally is a Chicago-based actor. Some of his Chicago credits include The Color Purple (Drury Lane Theatre); The Total Bent (HavenTheatre); Memphis, Dreamgirls (Porchlight Music Theatre); Hairspray, The Little Mermaid, Jesus Christ Superstar, Elf, Cabaret, Legally Blonde (Paramount Theatre); Madagascar (Chicago Shakespeare Theatre); Next to Normal (Boho Theatre); Dessa Rose, and The Wild Party (Bailiwick Theatre). Gilbert is grateful to God for every opportunity to do what he loves, and to his family and friends for their unending support!
Denzel DeAngelo Fields
Denzel DeAngelo Fields
Denzel DeAngelo Fields, a native of Memphis, Tennessee, is an actor, singer, and entertainer currently residing in New York City. He is a graduate of Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia, and received a Master of Fine Arts in acting from Pennsylvania State University. In addition to his passions for acting and singing, Fields is a dynamic motivational speaker: “As long as there is breath in your body, you have a chance to fulfill your purpose. Don’t quit.” Denzel Fields will release his first single, “So Done” on April 22, 2022. Please check it out! Theater credits include Much Ado About Nothing (The Public Theater), Twelfth Night (Yale Repertory Theatre), Born for This: The BeBe Winans Musical (Alliance Theatre), and Othello (Pavilion Theatre). Commercial credits: American Express/NBA Trade.
Israel Erron Ford
Pharus Jonathan Young
Israel Erron Ford
Israel Erron Ford is excited to be back at Yale Rep, where his credits include the Afro-futurist production of Twelfth Night and Father Comes Home From the Wars, Parts 1, 2, & 3. He will appear in the upcoming HBO Max series Rap Sh!t from Issa Rae this summer and is set for the west coast premiere of The Inheritance at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles in the fall. He was most recently seen in Cruel Intentions: The 90’s Musical live in concert. Israel appeared in productions of Blues for Miss Lucille, Hamlet, If Pretty Hurts Ugly Must Be a Muhfucka, and Slave Play, among others at David Geffen School of Drama, where he received his M.F.A. in acting. He also holds a B.F.A. in musical theater from Carnegie Mellon.
Allen Gilmore is pleased to return to Yale Rep where he has appeared in Twelfth Night directed by Carl Cofield, and The Servant of Two Masters, A Doctor in Spite of Himself, and Accidental Death of an Anarchist, all directed by Christopher Bayes. He has worked with other great directors including Bartlett Sher, the late Michael Langham, Mary Zimmerman, Robert Falls, Ron “OJ” Parson, Charles Newell, and Yale alum Henry Wishcamper. His work has been seen in Chicago at Court Theatre, Goodman Theatre, Writers Theatre, Lookingglass, and Congo Square Theatre, and regionally at Berkeley Rep, The Shakespeare Theater, Arena Stage, Jewel, Kansas City Rep, Guthrie, Seattle Rep, Intiman, Portland Stage, and Santa Cruz Shakespeare, to name a few. He is a U.S. Army Infantry veteran originally from Houston. Allen is a 2015 Lunt-Fontanne Fellow, a 2015 3Arts Prize recipient, and a proud ensemble member of Congo Square Theater in Chicago. Allen dedicates these performances to his mom, Lena W. Gilmore.
Anthony Holiday also known as “Holiday,” is an M.F.A. candidate in his final year at David Geffen School of Drama. Holiday’s credits at the Geffen School include Manning by Benjamin Benne, Dutch King by Kristen Imani Spencer, Ain’t no dead thing by a.k. payne, Mr. Burns: a post-electric play by Anne Washburn, Measure for Measure, Locust by Chris Gabo, and Lenny’s Fast Food Kids Gang by Angie B. Jones. Holiday is also received a certificate in acting from Atlantic “Full Time” Conservatory, appearing in the production Last Days of Judas Iscariot by Stephen Adly Guirgus, and upon graduation in This girl laughs, this girl cries, this girl does nothing by Finnegan Kruckmeyer. Holiday is from New Jersey—born and raised—and a graduate of Brookdale Community College, where he received his associate’s degree in acting/humanities.
Anthony Justin "AJ" James
Malik James he/him is a second-year M.F.A. candidate at David Geffen School of Drama at Yale, where he has been seen in Blood Wedding. He holds a B.F.A. in acting from Texas State University, where he performed in The Harvest, The Importance of Being Earnest, We Are Proud to Present…, and The Crucible. Choir Boy is Malik’s professional debut. maliktjames.com
Aaron James McKenzie
Aaron James McKenzie
Aaron James McKenzie is thrilled to be making his Yale Rep debut accompanied by this beautiful company of artists. He was recently seen in the new Broadway-bound musical, A Beautiful Noise, and on CBS’s Bull. He received his B.M. in music theater from Florida State University. He would like to give love to his support system, Link, DGRW, and this company for helping him get to where he is. He loves you all dearly!
Darian Peer is beyond grateful to help tell this story along with this talented cast and crew. This is his Yale Rep debut. He is a native of Davenport, Iowa, and a graduate of Millikin University School of Music (B.M.) and Morgan State University (M.A.) in opera performance. Recent and favorite credits include the world premiere of Part of the Plan (TPAC), Porgy and Bess (Princeton Festival/Palacio de Bellas Artes), Swing! (NCL), Hello Again, Hairspray, and The Color Purple. Television credits: Love Life (HBO Max). Special thanks to Mom, Dad, MTA, and Tara Rubin Casting. @_truthordarian | darianpeer.com
Wildlin Pierrevil he/they is a proud Haitian American artist born and raised in Florida. Choir Boy is Wildlin’s first production at Yale Rep, and the honor has sent him clear over the moon. Last seen Off-Broadway in Mansa Ra’s In the Southern Breeze at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, Wildlin is not only an actor but a writer/composer invested in bringing hip hop and R&B to the contemporary musical theater canon. Beyond his work as a creator, he is also a teaching artist at Book From Tape acting studios and the Editorial Director for the non-profit Broadway for Racial Justice. Find more of Wildlin on IG and TikTok where he’s amassed a following of over 300k: @NotWildlin
Walton Wilson was trained and designated as a voice teacher by Kristin Linklater and was later trained and certified as an associate teacher by Catherine Fitzmaurice. He also studied with Richard Armstrong, Andrea Haring, Meredith Monk, Patsy Rodenburg, and members of the Roy Hart Theatre. As a voice/dialect coach, his New York credits include The Violet Hour and Golden Child on Broadway; the world premiere productions of The Laramie Project and The Laramie Project: 10 Years Later; and Endangered Species. Regional credits include productions at Actors Theatre of Louisville, American Repertory Theater, Berkshire Theatre Group, Double Edge Theatre, Long Wharf Theatre, McCarter Theatre, Shakespeare & Company, and Williamstown Theatre Festival. At Yale Rep, he has served as voice and dialect coach for peerless, Accidental Death of an Anarchist, In a Year with 13 Moons, A Doctor in Spite of Himself, Autumn Sonata, Battle of Black and Dogs, Notes from Underground, Boleros for the Disenchanted, The Evildoers, The Unmentionables, The Cherry Orchard, The Intelligent Design of Jenny Chow, The Black Monk, Medea/Macbeth/Cinderella, Betty’s Summer Vacation, The Birds, and Richard III.
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