News: World Premier of "Prodigy"

World Premier of "Prodigy" at CCU

Prodigy, a new musical written by Colorado Christian University theatre director Jenny Stafford with music from Willem Oosthuysen, will debut Wednesday, August 29, at the CCU Music Center, with four additional performances scheduled through September 1.

The original production kicks off a packed theatre schedule that includes The Man Who Came To Dinner, Hello, Dolly!, and the annual One Act Festival.

A poignant story of discovery and growth, Prodigy follows one woman's journey of self-discovery.

Emily, at age 14, is convinced that she's a prodigy, just like her two heroes -- her dad, a cellist, and Mozart. She just doesn't know at what. However, when Emily is told that her father is killed in a car crash right before his biggest competition, she is determined to find out what makes her special and to make him proud. With the help of her imaginary friend, Mozart, she sets off on a quest to find her skill.

Through non-linear storytelling, we also follow Emily at age 34. Having found her skill as a cellist like her father (though not prodigious), she has buried herself in the obsessive world of the cello, and Cello (portrayed by an actor throughout the piece) becomes the only real relationship in her life. However, as she starts to discover the limitations of her isolation, she is challenged to re-examine who her father was, who she is, and how music and art define her and the world she has created for herself.

"This is a piece that's very close to my heart, and it's really special to me to be able to do the first production of it at CCU," Stafford said. "This piece has come very close to having a full production many times -- including an off-Broadway production -- but I think other opportunities fell through because it was meant to be debuted here, with this group of actors, and this creative team."

The production is directed by Stafford, with musical direction by Steven Taylor and Margo Hanschke. Choreography is by Erin Buterbaugh. The cast includes Melissa Dunn, Brandi Sundquist, Lindsey Biggy, Alex Fox, Paul Romig-Levitt, John Wilhelm, Michael Nordby, Lucy Lutz, Sarah Darnell, Mitchell Stauffer, and Jennie Winston. Set design is by Sarah McLean and Matt McLean. Costumes by Rachel Finley and Debbie Herring.

The production will be staged at the CCU Music Center, 9200 W. Ellsworth, Lakewood, CO 80226. Visit to purchase tickets and check availability.

CCU's theatre program has the goal of imbuing students with skills such as communication, presentation, and initiative that can be used in any profession. The program stages multiple productions annually featuring student performers cast through competitive auditions.