By Dillon Thomas

DENVER (CBS4)– After a hiatus related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Denver Center for the Performing Arts is proudly welcoming back the production of “Choir Boy” to the performing arts complex. Choir Boy, a show about young Black men navigating maturing in a religious prep school, is currently showing at the Kilstrom Theater.

(credit: DCPA)

The show, which runs just under two hours, follows the journey of young Black men who are discovering their identities while also living a life of faith.

“I think this is a story that isn’t told often,” said Derron Hayes, the lead actor in the show.

Hayes was cast as “Ferris” in the musical, a character who is described as effeminate and outgoing. Ferris is a young boy at a prestigious preparatory high school who aspires to lead his religious school’s choir.

“I manifested this part. I always talked about how I wanted to play an openly gay character on stage and be so authentic,” Hayes said.

The show blends faith, comedy, music, dancing and joy with an underlying message of loving one’s self-identity.

(credit: CBS)

“I am so excited (to share the storyline with Denver),” Hayes said. “The music, the dancing, the story, the fun, the black joy. It is just incredible.”

Brandon G. Stalling, a supporting actor in the performance, said he was able to find some of himself within the storyline and his character. He hoped audience members would be able to do the same, especially young men of color.

“I think it is a very beautiful and telling story for youth,” Stalling said. “I think the story is mainly about growth. How to grow as an individual. How to grow mentally, spiritually and physically as an individual. But, also as a young Black man in society.”

“The play examines the relationship between these boys as they struggle with issues of identity and sexuality and human differences,” Hayes said.

(credit: DCPA)

Choir Boy plays at the Kilstrom Theater in Denver until May 29. Tickets are still available at the DCPA.

“The people who come see it will walk away with a bunch of soul. It will really move them,” Hayes said.

Dillon Thomas