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Psychology Alumni News: Carol Wagner (’16) Performs in New York Theater Festival Production

The Psychology Department congratulates Carol Wagner (’16), for her performance in a production titled “Gifted” at this years New York Theater Festival! “Gifted”, written by Pamela L. Robbins, is based on the findings from the Rosenthal Expectancy Experiment conducted in the 1960’s. The findings from the Rosenthal Expectancy Experiment, suggested an increase in expectations will most likely lead to an increase in performance. “Gifted”, takes place in 1986 at a private academy and focuses on a group of academically low performing students, who are falsely told by their teacher that they achieved high IQ scores. This increased level of expectation allows these select students to strive in the classroom and attain very successful careers after leaving the private academy. Many years later the students find out their teacher lied to them about their high scores and the students face the challenge of coming to terms with this revelation. Carol played a character named Melissa Michaels, and reflects that “Melissa was such a fascinating character because she undergoes such a transformation: she begins the play by hating adults, then begins to love school, has her world shattered by the truth but ultimately comes to terms with it by becoming a teacher herself.”

The New York Theater Festival takes place annually from June to October and is comprised of about 300 one act plays. To find out more about “Gifted” visit the New York Theater Festival website:

Published: October 10, 2018