In the Spotlight: Patrick M. Mulcahy, Jr


With every Main Stage production, we like to highlight an artist who has not only been involved with the show but has also made an awesome impact on the Playhouse. From the set to costumes to lights, a lot of hard work goes into each production behind-the-scenes the weeks before that opening night performance.

And with our current production of You Can’t Take It With You, we’re shining a spotlight on Patrick M. Mulcahy, Jr.

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How are you involved with the Duluth Playhouse?

I was hired as the Technical Director back in the early 2000’s.  Eventually I left the TD position to start a family but still kept active with the Playhouse by designing shows (scenic, lights, sound, props).  When the Playhouse opened The Underground, I became the resident lighting designer for that space.  Now that my youngest kid started kindergarten this year, I am back in a full-time position as a scenic carpenter.

How did theatre become a part of your life?

As I was pursuing a music and computer programming degree, I ended up working for the Cultural Events Office and by the end of my freshman year found myself responsible for all tech aspects of the college’s Dance Company group.  Ultimately, I decided to not pursue degrees in music or computer programming and eventually found my way into the theatre during my junior year.  Until then I didn’t know that you could actually get a degree in theatre.

What are you looking forward to next (on stage or off)?

I wear so many hats that I have to look forward to whatever is next.  In theatre, Gilbert & Sullivan’s Ruddigore and Clown Bar are next on the docket.  As a euphonium player and General Manager of the Twin Ports Wind Orchestra, I’m looking forward to our Winter Blues concert in March.  But what I am really excited about is working with my 8-year-old son on his pinewood derby car.  I introduced him to some basic aspects of aerodynamics and friction when he made his trimaran for the Rain Gutter Regatta and he took 3rd place overall.  He’s super excited about starting on his car now and he’s already started the research and has come up with a plan.

What is *the* show on your bucket list that you must work on?

There are many, but the one that sticks out right now is Ragtime.  Back in high school, my mom took me to the show in Chicago.  During the opening sequence and several other moments during the show, I cried.  The lights were amazing (and this was before I knew that theatre was an actual profession).  Again, there are many shows, but this was the first to really capture my attention.

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We are so proud to have Patrick as part of the Playhouse family! We couldn’t do what we do without artists like him. 

We also couldn’t continue to put on show after show without the generous support of our Spotlight on the Artists Sponsors. Thank you for your continued support: Black Water Lounge, Duluth Teacher’s Credit Union (DTCU), maurices, Otis-Magie Insurance Agency, Hermantown Federal Credit Union (HFCU), Fryberger, Buchanan, Smith & Frederick, PA, and Marsh & McLennan Agency.