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128 NW Eleventh Ave, Portland, OR 97209 · 503-445-3700 · www.pcs.org
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*Choir Boy* Plot Summary

The play opens with Pharus singing a solo in the school's choir, impressing Headmaster Marrow, who sees potential in Pharus. Pharus is joined by his classmates, who begin to sing "Rockin' Jerusalem" as a group. After the choir practice, the students gather in their dormitory room, where they banter and joke around. Pharus talks to his roommate, AJ, about his struggles to fit in with the other boys and how he is often bullied by Bobby Marrow, the Headmaster's nephew.

The next day, Pharus attends a history class where he participates in a discussion on African American history. When a student asks him if he has a girlfriend, Pharus admits that he is queer. This causes a stir among his classmates, who begin to taunt him. At choir practice, Pharus performs another solo, which impresses the Headmaster. However, Bobby makes homophobic comments and tries to sabotage Pharus' performance. After practice, Pharus and AJ discuss their experiences with homophobia and their struggles to fit in at the school.

The second act opens with the choir performing "Trust and Obey" at a school assembly. After the performance, the Headmaster announces that the choir has been invited to perform at the White House. The boys celebrate their success at a party, where they drink and dance. Bobby and Pharus get into an argument, which results in Bobby punching Pharus in the face. The Headmaster breaks up the fight and suspends Bobby.

The following day, Pharus confronts the Headmaster about the bullying he has faced from Bobby. The Headmaster tries to convince Pharus to keep quiet about the incident, but Pharus refuses to stay silent. At choir practice, tensions between Pharus and Bobby come to a head. Bobby uses a homophobic slur, causing Pharus to react by singing a solo that exposes Bobby's hypocrisy and lack of talent. The Headmaster expels Pharus from the choir and the school. AJ and Pharus sing a duet of the spiritual song "Motherless Child" in their dormitory room. AJ encourages Pharus to pursue his passion for music, and they share a moment of connection.

The third act opens with the choir performing at a memorial service for a former student. Pharus watches the performance from the back of the auditorium. As the choir sings the spiritual song "Trust and Obey," which has become his anthem, Pharus joins in from the back of the room, signaling his continued connection to the music and his commitment to being true to himself.

After the performance, the Headmaster approaches Pharus and tries to apologize for the way he has been treated. Pharus forgives him, but he also asserts his identity and refuses to be silenced or oppressed any longer. The play ends with Pharus standing alone on stage, singing the final notes of "Trust and Obey," emphasizing his resilience and his determination to continue pursuing his dreams, regardless of the obstacles he may face.

Portland Center Stage is committed to identifying & interrupting instances of racism & all forms of oppression, through the principles of inclusion, diversity, equity, & accessibility (IDEA).

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