Final Week to see Yale Rep’s Production of Tarell Alvin McCraney’s CHOIR BOY Featuring Allen Gilmore, Jarrett Anthony Bennett, Gilbert Domally, Denzel DeAngelo Fields, Israel Erron Ford, Anthony Holiday, Malik James, Aaron James McKenzie, Darian Peer, Wildlin Pierrevil, and Walton Wilson

Allen Gilmore and Israel Erron Ford in CHOIR BOY by Tarell Alvin McCraney, directed by Christopher D. Betts, Yale Repertory Theatre, March 31-April 23, 2022. Photo © Joan Marcus

It is always wonderful to have a moment to catch up with Allen Gilmore, who is currently appearing as Headmaster Stephen Marrow in Yale Rep’s terrific new production of Choir Boy by the theater’s Academy Award-winning Playwright in Residence Tarell Alvin McCraney (Moonlight), through April 23 at the University Theatre (222 York Street).

Allen Gilmore. Photo by Lia Chang

Allen Gilmore returns to Yale Rep where he has appeared in Twelfth Night directed by Carl Cofield, and The Servant of Two MastersA 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, a 2019 Nicholas Ruddall Prize recipient and an ensemble member of Congo Square Theatre Company. Gilmore starred opposite André De Shields in St. Louis Shakespeare Festival’s production of King Lear last summer and was nominated for a 2022 St. Louis Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Supporting Performer in a Drama — Male or Non-Binary Role. Gilmore will reprise his role as Malvolio this summer in Classical Theatre of Harlem’s “Uptown Shakespeare in the Park” production of Twelfth Night in the Richard Rogers Amphitheatre, Marcus Garvey Park, Harlem from Jul. 8 – Jul. 29. www.allengilmore.com

Allen Gilmore and André De Shields in St. Louis Shakespeare Festival’s production of KING LEAR in 2021. Photo by Lia Chang

Helmed by Christopher D. Betts, who made an acclaimed Off-Broadway debut earlier this season (In the Southern Breeze by Mansa Ra, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater) and will receive his M.F.A. from David Geffen School of Drama this spring, Choir Boy began previews and opened on April 7.

Check out the production photos by Joan Marcus below.

Jarrett Anthony Bennett, Malik James, Israel Erron Ford, Aaron James McKenzie, and Anthony Holiday in CHOIR BOY by Tarell Alvin McCraney, directed by Christopher D. Betts, Yale Repertory Theatre. Photo © Joan Marcus

The cast of Choir Boy is comprised of Jarrett Anthony Bennett as Junior Davis, Israel Erron Ford as Pharus Jonathan Young, Allen Gilmore as Headmaster Marrow, Anthony Holiday as Bobby Marrow, Malik James as Anthony Justin “AJ” James, Aaron James McKenzie as David Heard, and Walton Wilson as Mr. Pendleton. Gilbert Domally, Denzel DeAngelo Fields, Darian Peer, and Wildlin Pierrevil round out the ensemble.

Aaron James McKenzie with members of the cast in a scene from CHOIR BOY by Tarell Alvin McCraney, directed by Christopher D. Betts, Yale Repertory Theatre, March 31-April 23, 2022. Photo © Joan Marcus

The production features music direction and vocal arrangements by Allen René Louis, choreography by Amy Hall Garner, scenic design by Anna Grigo, costumes by Stephen Marks, lighting by Riva Fairhall, sound by Daniela Hart, UptownWorks, dramaturgy by Rebecca Flemister and Eric M. Glover, technical direction by Dominick Pinto, intimacy direction by Kelsey Rainwater, casting by Tara Rubin, C.S.A. and Vanjah Alexander, stage management by Sam Tirrell, and assistant stage management by Joanelle Moriah.


Aaron James McKenzie with members of the cast in a scene from CHOIR BOY by Tarell Alvin McCraney, directed by Christopher D. Betts, Yale Repertory Theatre, March 31-April 23, 2022. Photo © Joan Marcus

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, is directed by Yale School of Drama M.F.A. candidate Christopher D. Betts.

Denzel DeAngelo Fields, Jarrett Anthony Bennett, Israel Erron Ford, Aaron James McKenzie, and Darian Peer in CHOIR BOY by Tarell Alvin McCraney, directed by Christopher D. Betts, Yale Repertory Theatre, March 31-April 23, 2022. Photo © Joan Marcus

This year’s Will Power! program, offered exclusively to New Haven Public School classes free-of-charge, includes study guides and other classroom support materials, along with limited engagement streaming of multi-camera video recordings of Choir Boy and Between Two Knees.

Anthony Holiday with members of the cast in a scene from CHOIR BOY by Tarell Alvin McCraney, directed by Christopher D. Betts, Yale Repertory Theatre, March 31-April 23, 2022. Photo © Joan Marcus

Attendance Policies, Ticket Information, and Performance Calendar
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, along with 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.

Jarrett Anthony Bennett and Anthony Holiday with members of the cast in CHOIR BOY by Tarell Alvin McCraney, directed by Christopher D. Betts, Yale Repertory Theatre, March 31-April 23, 2022. Photo © Joan Marcus

Tickets $10 and $45 (weeknights), and $10 and $65 (weekends and matinees). Student tickets are $10 for all performances. Tickets are available online at yalerep.org, by calling (203) 432-1234, and in person at the Yale Rep Box Office (1120 Chapel Street).

Thursday, April 21 8PM
Friday, April 22 8PM
Saturday, April 23 2PM Open Captioning, Audio Description
Saturday, April 23 8PM

Members of the cast in a scene from CHOIR BOY by Tarell Alvin McCraney, directed by Christopher D. Betts, Yale Repertory Theatre, March 31-April 23, 2022. Photo © Joan Marcus
Anthony Holiday, Israel Erron Ford, Darian Peer, Jarrett Anthony Bennett, and Gilbert Domally in CHOIR BOY by Tarell Alvin McCraney, directed by Christopher D. Betts, Yale Repertory Theatre, March 31-April 23, 2022. Photo © Joan Marcus
Aaron James McKenzie, Israel Erron Ford, and Malik James in CHOIR BOY by Tarell Alvin McCraney, directed by Christopher D. Betts, Yale Repertory Theatre, March 31-April 23, 2022. Photo © Joan Marcus
Jarrett Anthony Bennett, Gilbert Domally, Anthony Holiday, Denzel DeAngelo Fields, and Aaron James McKenzie in CHOIR BOY by Tarell Alvin McCraney, directed by Christopher D. Betts, Yale Repertory Theatre, March 31-April 23, 2022. Photo © Joan Marcus
Israel Erron Ford and Malik James in CHOIR BOY by Tarell Alvin McCraney, directed by Christopher D. Betts, Yale Repertory Theatre, March 31-April 23, 2022. Photo © Joan Marcus
Members of the cast in a scene from CHOIR BOY by Tarell Alvin McCraney, directed by Christopher D. Betts, Yale Repertory Theatre, March 31-April 23, 2022. Photo © Joan Marcus
Walton Wilson, Israel Erron Ford, Anthony Holiday, and Malik James in CHOIR BOY by Tarell Alvin McCraney, directed by Christopher D. Betts, Yale Repertory Theatre, March 31-April 23, 2022. Photo © Joan Marcus
CHOIR BOY cast members Gilbert Domally, Israel Erron Ford, Anthony Holiday, Jarret Anthony Bennett, Denzel DeAngelo Fields, Aaron James McKenzie, and Allen Gilmore at Yale Rep’s University Theatre in New Haven on April 20, 2022. Photo by Lia Chang
Allen Gilmore and Denzel DeAngelo Fields. Photo by Lia Chang
CHOIR BOY cast members Israel Erron Ford, Malik James, Wildlin Pierrevil, Allen Gilmore, Gilbert Domally, Jarret Anthony Bennett, Aaron James McKenzie pose with students post-show at Yale Rep’s University Theatre in New Haven on April 20, 2022. Photo by Lia Chang
Allen Gilmore talks to students after the show. Photo by Lia Chang
Allen Gilmore talks to students after the show. Photo by Lia Chang
Allen Gilmore. Photo by Lia Chang
Lia Chang and Allen Gilmore. Photo Denzel DeAngelo Fields
Lia Chang

Lia Chang is a Chinese-American actor, a multi-media content producer, an award-winning filmmaker, and a photo activist and documentarian, who lifts up and amplifies BIPOC communities and artists and the institutions that support them.

Lia moved to New York from her home in San Francisco when she was 17 years of age and made her stage debut as Liat in a national tour of South Pacific with Barbara Eden and Robert Goulet. She spent many years working extensively Off-Broadway, including Signature Theatre’s revival of Sam Shepard’s Chicago. Her film work includes Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, and The Last Dragon. The decades of being viewed by others through the narrow lens of “Asian actor” in the industry brought Lia to a turning point, and she picked up her camera, determined to create awareness by documenting the work and the lives of her BIPOC colleagues, resulting in the creation of thousands of photographs and pieces of video. Her photo archives are housed in the AAPI collection in the Library of Congress’ Asian Reading Room under “Lia Chang Theater Portfolio collection,1989-2011” and in the “Lia Chang Photography Collection” in The Billy Rose Theatre Division of the New York Public Library.

Lia’s awards include the 2000 OCA Chinese American Journalist Award and the 2001 AAJA National Award for New Media. She is also an AAJA Executive Leadership Graduate, a Western Knight Fellow at USC’s Annenberg College of Communications for Specialized Journalism on Entertainment Journalism in the Digital Age, a National Press Photographers Association Visual Edge/Visual Journalism Fellow at the Poynter Institute for New Media, and a Scripps Howard New Media Fellow at the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism.

More recently, Lia co-founded Bev’s Girl Films, which makes films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. She executive produced and starred in the indie films Hide and Seek (AA Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Best Actress Nomination), Rom-Com Gone Wrong, and When the World Was Young (2021 DisOrient Film Audience Choice Award for Best Short Narrative).

Lia is honored to have worked with Prospect Theater Company on a shared mission of lifting up BIPOC theater artists and creating a more diverse and inclusive musical theater canon. A retrospective of Lia’s photographs will be on view at the Museum of the City of New York later this year, documenting her BIPOC colleagues and contemporaries in the performing arts, which will include photos of Prospect Theater Company artists at work. www.liachang.com, www.liachangphotography.com

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