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Mercy Alumna Shares Performance Passion

March 15, 2017
By Deb Daley

Kathy Mulcahy Mittan ’83 and her husband are award winning, short film movie producers who used Mercy High School’s chapel recently for a new movie project. Students were invited to attend, watch the action, and work behind the scenes in the making of the film. Performance, especially on the stage, has always been Kathy’s passion and it was nurtured during her years at Mercy.

Living down the street from Mercy allowed Kathy to attend all the Mercy plays during her childhood. She recalls helping to find props for many of the productions. Initially she thought she wanted to go to a coed high school but after a long talk with a Mercy graduate she realized Mercy was the right fit for her.

“ Our class was loaded with spirit and theatrical talent. We pulled out all the stops for our class plays, productions and Masses. When Field Day was rained out, we sang all our songs and formed our shapes in the choir room,” she said.

Drama had always been her strongest interests and one of her earliest recollections was being part of the stage crew under the leadership of a senior student director. She recalls before each performance gathering for a student-led prayer and the senior sending her a thank-you note for being on the stage crew.

“ To this day I pray the Memorare before every performance and after every run I send out thank yous,” she added.

Kathy gladly did work study and had a part-time job to help pay tuition. She participated in speech, debate, NFL (National Forensics League) Congress and all school and class theatre productions.

She attended Peru State College where she earned a Bachelor’s of Arts in Education, Speech, Drama and English. While there she acted in 20 plays and directed three. After graduation she returned to Mercy and taught English for one year. In 1993 she married her husband Chuck and moved to Red Cloud, Nebraska. There they founded The Prairie Theatre and produced nine plays. While raising their daughters, they continued to stay busy directing and performing plays. She also worked as a teacher at a rural, assisted living group home for adults with mental health diagnoses, teaching them a variety of topics budgeting, gardening, history, math and literature and more.

“Compassion was our buzz-word but we worked mercy. This was like no other job I have every known and it made going to work an act of selflessness,” she added.

Still craving the performance limelight, she began to act in and work behind the scences as her husband embarked on a screenwriting career. They launched Digger Bee Films and are currently producing two short films.

That led them to Mercy’s chapel as a location shoot for “Eskimo Kisses,” which will premiere at local film festivals next year. Students were able to work side by side with the production staff and actors.

“ I had a great time sharing my new love of filmmaking with Mercy Girls,” she said.

She is quick to advise other alumnae to stay involved attending events, going to Prayer Circle, stopping by the school and to find classmates you have lost touch with by seeking help at the Alumnae Office.

She credits Mercy for nurturing her passion, showing her how to be of service, and helping her realize how her own daughters benefitted from her own careful education at the school.