By Erin Shanahan
Katie Dolan, FCRH ’18, broke both of her legs this past year. In addition, she has kept up with her responsibilities as The Mimes and Mummers vice president, worked as the assistant director for an off-broadway show and continued researching the anomalous magnetic dipole moment of the muon using Lattice QCD theory with Professor Christopher Aubin.
Katie was born and raised in the Roxborough neighborhood of Philadelphia with her mother, father and two younger, twin siblings, Becky and Chris. Katie’s upbringing as a child was unique due to the different beliefs and values of her parents.
“My parents are a little bit eccentric and crazy,” Katie said. “They are very much over prepared in that they are very aware of the impending doom of the world.”
Her parents’ belief in the world’s inescapable demise very much influenced Katie’s childhood. From a young age Katie was taught key survival skills such as navigating forests alone, shooting guns and farming self-sufficient gardens.
Katie was also influenced artistically by her parents. Katie’s mother especially had a passion for theater and music. This passion was passed down to Katie.
“We would sometimes go into restaurants, pick an accent and then pretend to be from the accent’s country of origin, she said. “It was a little crazy, but so fun.”
Also, Katie’s family enjoyed bonding through music. On long car rides, the family would break down songs from The Beach Boys into four part harmonies and sing together to pass the time.
Katie’s childhood was also characterized by animals. Her mother was a veterinarian and, as a result, many saved and adopted animals lived in her home. Katie’s family housed cats, dogs, guinea pigs, bunnies and even deer.
A Catholic education also added another dimension to Katie’s already colorful childhood. Her high school, Merion Mercy Academy, is an independent, Catholic, all-girls college preparatory school sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy. Katie attended Merion Mercy on a music scholarship for piano.
Katie began playing piano at age five and continued to play competitively. While in high school, Katie played piano for school events as a part of her scholarship. As a result, Katie often passively participated in school theater events. She decided to give theater a try and joined several acting classes and productions during high school.
In high school, Katie participated in a production of “Twelve Angry Women” as Jury No. 8, “42nd Street” as the on stage pianist, “Oscar,” and “Legally Blond” as Enid Hoopes.
Katie also participated in mocktrial throughout high school, admitting to “a small obsession” with the United States’ Constitution.
“There was a time in my life where I could quote basically half of it,” she said. In college, Katie decided to focus on mock trial, political science and her favorite subject, physics.
“When I was a kid, all I watched was ‘Star Trek,’ so I decided that I would be Spock when I grew up,” Katie said. “Now I know that this is not a realistic dream — he is a different species and a male and not real. Regardless, Spock and “Star Trek” instilled this love inside me for pushing the boundaries of what we know.”
Katie did not plan to join any of the theater groups on campus. However, now she is a member of every theater group here at Rose Hill and the vice president of Mimes and Mummers.
“I remember sitting out in the audience of Collins, watching the Mimes and Mummers give their presentation about their theater group and thinking, ‘I could never be good enough for this club, so I won’t do it at all,’” Katie said.
As a freshman, Katie acted as assistant music director and piano player for “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson.” Since then, Katie has participated in dozens of productions here at Fordham as both an actress and a director.
Katie also has a great deal of theater experience outside of Fordham as well. The summer before her sophomore year, Katie was the assistant music director of “Full House the Musical,” an off Broadway production starring Perez Hilton. She helped with score maintenance, acted as the rehearsal pianist and recorded all of Perez’s music and sent it to him for practice. She said, “Perez was actually a lovely person to work with. His work ethic was amazing, he was extremely kind, and his children are adorable. It was a really cool experience.”
She also worked outside of Fordham as an assistant director for a one-man show, “Buyer and Cellar.” Outside of the theater, Katie has worked at The Bronx Zoo. There she has taught children about conservation by writing songs about energy efficiency among other topics. In addition, she gave tours and worked the monorail.
After college, Katie hopes to acquire her Ph.D. in physics. In addition, she hopes to combine both her love for physics and political science by working in the area of Nuclear Disarmament, potentially with the United Nations. Katie would also love to continue doing theater on the side after college.