Theatre Arts continues 2019-20 Praxis Series with reading of “Prodigy”

The Department of Theatre Arts at SUNY New Paltz continues its 2019-20 Praxis Series with a staged reading of Jenny Stafford’s “Prodigy” at 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 2.

“Prodigy” tells the story of 14-year-old Emily, who is convinced that she is a prodigy – she just doesn’t know at what. When her cellist father is killed in a car crash right before his biggest competition, she sets out on a journey to discover what makes her special.

The narrative then leaps forward in time to Emily at age 34, whose obsession with music manifests itself in her relationship with Cello (portrayed by an actor throughout the piece). As she navigates an increasingly isolated existence, she is challenged to reexamine who her father was, who she is, and how art and mental illness define the world she has created for herself.

“Prodigy” features music by South African composer, pianist and music director Willem Oosthuysen. Assistant Professor of Musical Theatre Katya Stanislavskaya serves as musical director, and the reading is directed by Assistant Professor of Theatre Arts Catherine Doherty. The performance will be followed by a talk-back.

All Praxis Series performances are pay-what-you can, and tickets can be reserved online. Praxis performances are known to sell out, so attendees are encouraged to claim their seats in advance.

If you have accessibility questions or require accommodations to fully participate in this event, please contact Russell Thompson at

PRODIGY navigates sensitive material with regard to suicide.

About the Praxis Series
Praxis projects provide theatre arts students and the broader campus community with opportunities to develop, explore and stretch their creativity outside of the department’s Mainstage Production season. The series often serves as a venue for student-written work; work with a social justice message; work from an underrepresented group; or new work still in development. For more information, please visit the Department of Theatre Arts’ Praxis Series website.

About the Director
Catherine Doherty is an award-winning director, actor and assistant professor of theatre arts at SUNY New Paltz. Her directing credits with SUNY New Paltz include “Into the Woods,” “Ready Steady Yeti Go,” “Parade,” “Mad Forest” and “To Kill a Mockingbird.” Representative regional directing credits include “See How They Run,” “You Can’t Take it With You,” “Mary Poppins,” “My Fair Lady,” “The King and I,” “Chicago,” “The Elephant Man” and more.

Selected acting credits include “Good People,” “Margie,” “Romeo and Juliet,” “Nurse,” “Lady Bracknell,” and “The Importance of Being Earnest.” Doherty has worked with St. Michael’s Playhouse, Northern Stage, Shadowland Stages, Potsdam Music Theatre, Opera North, Theatre in the Square (Georgia) and Lincoln Center. She has worked for ABC, CBS and Fox Television. She is a past recipient of the Telly Award and the Ida Lupino Award from the Director’s Guild of America.