Thursday, April 19, 2018

Initial Casting Announced For Manhattan Theatre Club’s Broadway Premiere of "Choir Boy" with Jeremy Pope

Jeremy Pope

Chuck Cooper

Tarell Alvin McCraney

Manhattan Theatre Club

Written by Academy Award Winner Tarell Alvin McCraney (Moonlight)

Directed by Trip Cullman
Following Its American Premiere at MTC

Cast to Feature
Jeremy Pope, Chuck Cooper, and Austin Pendleton

Lynne Meadow (Artistic Director) and Barry Grove (Executive Producer) are pleased to announce initial casting for the Broadway premiere of Choir Boy, by Academy Award winner Tarell Alvin McCraney (Moonlight, The Brother/Sister Plays) and directed by Drama Desk Award nominee Trip Cullman (Lobby Hero, Significant Other, Murder Ballad).

Original MTC cast members Chuck Cooper, Austin Pendleton, and Jeremy Pope will lead Choir Boy on Broadway. Additional casting, creative team, and other listings information will be announced at a later date.

Choir Boy will begin previews Thursday, December 27, 2018 ahead of a Tuesday, January 22, 2019 opening at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre (261 West 47th Street).

Choir Boy will mark Tarell Alvin McCraney’s Broadway debut as well as the second production that transfers to Broadway following an American premiere at MTC’s The Studio at Stage II – Harold and Mimi Steinberg New Play Series, where it debuted in the summer of 2013 to rave reviews and sold-out audiences, extending twice during its run.

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 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? On its American debut at MTC’s Studio Stage II, The New York Times called the play “vivid, magnetic and moving,” and The New York Post hailed it as “bracing and provocative.” Now, we’re thrilled to bring this soaring music-filled work to Broadway. Playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney is an Oscar®-winning screenwriter of Moonlight and a recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship Grant. Directing is Drama Desk Award nominee Trip Cullman (Lobby Hero, Significant Other, Murder Ballad).

Choir Boy was commissioned by Manhattan Theatre Club with support from Time Warner Inc.

As previously announced, MTC’s 2018-2019 season will also include the American premiere of The Nap, written by Olivier Award nominee Richard Bean and directed by Tony Award winner Daniel Sullivan; the world premiere of India Pale Ale, the new play by Jaclyn Backhaus and directed by Lortel Award nominee Will Davis, at MTC at New York City Center – Stage I; and the world premiere of Continuity, by Bess Wohl and directed by Tony Award nominee Rachel Chavkin, at The Studio at Stage II – The Harold and Mimi Steinberg New Play Series.

Manhattan Theatre Club, under the leadership of Artistic Director Lynne Meadow and Executive Producer Barry Grove, has become one of the country’s most prominent and prestigious theatre companies. Over the past four and a half decades, MTC productions have earned numerous awards including 7 Pulitzer Prizes and 23 Tony Awards. MTC has a Broadway home at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre (261 West 47th Street) and two Off-Broadway theatres at New York City Center (131 West 55th Street). Renowned MTC productions include Lillian Hellman’s The Little Foxes; August Wilson’s Jitney and The Piano Lesson; Heisenberg by Simon Stephens; The Father by Florian Zeller with translation by Christopher Hampton; Fool For Love by Sam Shepard; Airline Highway by Lisa D’Amour; Casa Valentina by Harvey Fierstein; Outside Mullingar and Doubt by John Patrick Shanley; The Commons of Pensacola by Amanda Peet; Murder Ballad by Julia Jordan and Juliana Nash; The Assembled Parties by Richard Greenberg; Wit by Margaret Edson; Venus in Fur by David Ives; Good People and Rabbit Hole by David Lindsay-Abaire; The Whipping Man by Matthew Lopez; Time Stands Still by Donald Margulies; Ruined by Lynn Nottage; Proof by David Auburn; The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife by Charles Busch; Love! Valour! Compassion! by Terrence McNally; The Piano Lesson by August Wilson; Crimes of the Heart by Beth Henley; and Ain’t Misbehavin, the Fats Waller musical. For more information on MTC, please visit

Joining MTC’s season of plays is easy! Just call the MTC Clubline at 212-399-3050. Single ticket information for Choir Boy will be announced at a later date.

For more information and to sign up for MTC’s “30 Under 30” program for theatregoers age 30 and under visit


JEREMY POPE (Pharus). An established recording artist and photographer, Pope was nominated for the prestigious Drama League Award for his lead role as "Pharus" in Choir Boy, written by Oscar-winning playwright/screenwriter Tarell Alvin McCraney and directed by Trip Cullman at the Manhattan Theater Club in 2013. Pope also recreated the role in both Atlanta and Los Angeles. He has also performed in the original musicals Invisible Thread; The View Upstairs; and the Broadway-bound Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations, whose inaugural production was at Berkley Rep. He has a lead in the film, The Ranger, directed by Jenn Wexler. The film premiered at the 2018 SXSW Film Festival. His most recent single 'New Love' can be heard in the Netflix film Step Sisters and is also available on iTunes & Spotify.

CHUCK COOPER (Headmaster Marrow) won the Tony Award for his performance in Cy Coleman’s The Life. He has been featured in 15 Broadway shows in every theatrical genre from Shakespeare to musical comedy. His most recent guest-starring TV appearances include "The Good Wife," “House of Cards,” “Madam Secretary,” “Gossip Girl,” “Nurse Jackie,” and “Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight.” His other awards include the Lucille Lortel Award for The Piano Lesson; the San Diego Critics’ Circle Award for Two Trains Running; the Audelco Award for Caroline or Change; two Drama Desk nominations for Choir Boy and The Life. His favorite role is Eddie, Alex and Lilli’s father. He is gratefully married to playwright Deborah Brevoort.

TARELL ALVIN McCRANEY (Playwright) is best known for his acclaimed trilogy, The Brother/Sister Plays which include The Brothers Size, In The Red And Brown Water, and Marcus; Or The Secret Of Sweet. Other plays include Head Of Passes, Choir Boy, and Wig Out!. Tarell’s script In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue is the basis for the Oscar-winning film Moonlight directed by Barry Jenkins, for which McCraney and Jenkins also won a Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar. Among its many other honors, the film has won a Golden Globe for Best Drama, Gotham Award for Best Feature, NAACP Image Award for Best Independent Film, WGA Award for Best Original Screenplay, the Human Rights Campaign’s Visionary Arts Award, and 6 Independent Spirit Awards including Best Picture and Best Screenplay. Tarell is currently working on an original scripted TV series for Oprah Winfrey’s OWN Network, produced by Michael B Jordan and Page Fright Productions, as well as an original movie musical for Disney and David Oyelowo. He has also previously worked with Playtone, HBO and others. Tarell is the recipient of a MacArthur "Genius" Grant, the Whiting Award, Steinberg Playwright Award, the Evening Standard Award, The New York Times Outstanding Playwright Award, the Paula Vogel Playwriting Award, the Windham Campbell Award, and a Doris Duke Artist Award. He was the International Writer-in-Residence for the Royal Shakespeare Company from 2008-2010, and a former resident playwright at New Dramatists. He is an ensemble member at Steppenwolf Theatre Company and a member of Teo Castellanos/D-Projects in Miami. Tarell is a graduate of the New World School of the Arts, the Theatre School at DePaul University, and the Yale School of Drama, and has received an honorary doctorate from the University of Warwick. As Professor of Theatre and Civic Engagement at University of Miami, he created a three-year program in partnership with UM, Miami-Dade County and the African Heritage Cultural Arts Center. He was recently named the new Chairman of the Playwriting Department at the Yale School of Drama, as well as Playwright in Residence at Yale Repertory Theater.

No comments: