arts and culturefeatured-art-and-cultureIssue 15

Modesto Native Joins Touring Company of “Sister Act”

Screen Shot 2015-03-16 at 4.42.02 PMBY ALEX CANTATORE

The young career of Modesto native Emily Kay Shrader has already come full circle.

The talented stage actress will return to Modesto on March 26-27, taking center stage at the Gallo Center for the Arts as a member of the national tour of the musical “Sister Act.”

An Enochs High School graduate, Shrader caught the acting bug while performing for Modesto’s YES Company. She played Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz,” Kim in “Bye Bye Birdie,” and Penny in “Hairspray.”

Shrader pursued her dream of acting and travelled across the country to study at Marymount Manhattan College, where she majored in theatre arts with a minor in musical theatre. MMC is one of the top theatre colleges in the world, training numerous Tony Award-winning actors.

Shortly after graduating, Shrader landed the role of Sister Mary Robert in the national touring company of “Sister Act,” the musical.

The musical is based on the 1992 film of the same name, which starred Whoopi Goldberg. It follows a nightclub singer, Deloris, who witnesses a murder and is placed into the witness protection program – as a nun.

Shrader’s character, Sister Mary Roberts, is a quiet, timid sister who is taught how to “Raise Your Voice” by Deloris in a memorable song. Gradually, Sister Mary Robert becomes a stronger person through her friendship with Deloris, singing about “The Life I Never Led” – and standing up to Mother Superior in a later reprise of the song.

When she’s not performing in musical theatre, Shrader has sung at legendary New York City cabaret venues like 54 Below, Birdland, and The Duplex. She plays piano, guitar, and ukulele, and posts her music online at

Tickets for both the March 26 and 27 performance of “Sister Act” are available as of our press time. Tickets range from $39 to $99, and are available at

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