Michelle Catania Tribute

Michelle Catania Children’s Theater Program

Michelle in Center Players' dressing room.

Michelle has enriched so many lives. As a group of family and friends, we want to create a legacy befitting her name. We are creating the Michelle Catania Children’s Theater Program, a theater arts program for children and teens in partnership with Center Players, a 501 (c)(3) non-profit resident community theater company in Freehold, NJ, whose stage has become a second home to Michelle.

The mission of the Michelle Catania Children’s Theater Program is to provide opportunities for children and adults to become involved in the community through theater arts that entertain, educate and provide opportunities for scholarships for higher education.

Michelle (right) as "Olive Madison" with Robbin Friedell

Often, people are only able to honor their loved ones after they are no longer here. We have been fortunate to have the opportunity to discuss these ideas with Michelle and get her input. She was delighted with the concept of a children’s theater program in the theater that she loved. As someone who found an outlet in theater as a young person and the recipient of a scholarship that allowed her to continue her studies, she is glad her name will forever be tied to programs that will positively impact young people’s lives.

Thank you for taking the time to read this message. We hope you will be a part of this beautiful tribute to an amazing person.


Donations to the Michelle Catania Children’s Theater Program can be made through PayPal by clicking the Donate button. If you prefer, you can make a donation by check or money order payable to Michelle Catania Children’s Theater Program and mail it to Center Players, 35 South Street, Freehold, NJ 07728.

Privacy Policy

Information we acquire from scholarship applications is treated as confidential and will not be used for purposes other than the scholarship application. We will not sell your information (name, address, email address, telephone number) to a third party, except as required by law, nor add your information to our marketing database.  Visitors to our Michelle Catania Childrens Program website will not be automatically enrolled to receive extraneous emails and/or solicitations of any sort unless they request to receive further communication.

July 18, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. I am so happy that this Tribute page has come together. It will be wonderful for Michelle, her family and Center Players. Michelle my warmest thought and prayers are with you. You sparkle and have made all who know you have a brighter life!

    Comment by Bernice Garfield Szita | July 19, 2010 | Reply

  2. Remember when the sound system went out on “Catch Me if You Can”, and you sent your husband home for a boom box? Too funny. Anything to get the job done – right Michelle? May God be with you always my dear. Love, “Father Kelleher” – Chris Chandonnet

    Comment by Chris Chandonnet | July 24, 2010 | Reply

  3. I love you, Michelle! I have had more fun doing things with you than anyone. You mean the world to me. xox Lisa

    Comment by Lisa DiLeo | July 26, 2010 | Reply

  4. Thank you very much to all at Center Players for helping to build a legacy for Michelle and helping our family through a very hard time. Lots of love, Maggie

    Comment by Maggie Gunther | July 27, 2010 | Reply

  5. I only wish I could have done more shows with Michelle. We had a blast during The Odd Couple. I admired her energy and commitment. I will miss her laughter and friendship dearly.

    Comment by Stephanie Tyson | July 28, 2010 | Reply

  6. What can I say?? What a HUGE way to celebrate a gal with a HUGE heart and personality!!! Thank you to all involved in the organization of this theater program!!

    Comment by JoAnna Siminerio | July 28, 2010 | Reply

  7. Michelle was my “daughter”, my colleague, my partner on stage. The laughs we shared, the tears, the stories, the heartfelt hugs, our deep respect and affection will always be with me. Her smile, her guts, her dedication to living her life with gusto …. her strength of character and determination are a tribute to her and her family. I wish peace for Michelle’s friends and family. I am touched deeply by her courage.

    Comment by Judy | July 28, 2010 | Reply

  8. Although I only knew Michelle from our “Odd Couple” days, I have always felt as if I had known her for years. Her warmth, courage, positive outlook and sense of humor was admired by everyone. I wanted to write down my tribute to Michelle from our Odd Couple cast party, which I hold dear to my heart: “To Michelle – our team leader – our Rock of Gibraltar, you are someone we all love and admire. Your strength and your courage have inspired us all. Your attitude’s one I desire. You’ve given so much of yourself to this show, and our chemistry really has jelled. A standing ovation is what you deserve, both as Olive and real-life Michelle.”
    I will love her forever…

    Comment by Robbin Friedell | July 28, 2010 | Reply

  9. I met Michelle several years ago as she mentored my fiance Marilyn. We would always see Michelle around town running errands full of energy. No matter what was going on she was able to make you smile and laugh. Even throughout her illness she remained the same smiling , positive person. I know she touched many people and will be greatly missed. I’m posting not sure if Marilyn has or is but I can say this, Marilyn loved her and will miss her very much as I will.

    Comment by Max Benvenuto | July 28, 2010 | Reply

  10. I don’t think I have ever known anyone with the continuous and contagious energy that Michelle had. It was delight to work with during Catch Me If You Can, and a pleasure to have her and her amazing energy around at all times. Michelle will be remembered and missed by many. My deepest condolences to all of Michelle’s family and friends.

    Comment by Annie Flanagan | July 28, 2010 | Reply

  11. Michelle touched everyone the same way and that was with laughter, enthusiasm, charisma, class and sunshine! Michelle helped change my life and I will always remember this in my heart. Michelle my love I will continue to speak to you and feel your presence. Michelle has the best family in the world, and they are all blessed to have had the last moments with their baby. I promise to use your super attitude and building up your legacy at the theatre.!
    Your courage will never be forgotten.

    Comment by Marilyn D'Angelo | July 28, 2010 | Reply

  12. My condolences to Michelle’s family and to those who loved her. The qualities that made Michelle who she was will continue to inspire me: her courage, her spirit, her generosity, her commitment, her ability to reassure and comfort others despite the grave diagnosis she faced. Though I knew her only a short while, her influence will remain with me. She is missed.

    Comment by Bonnie Riddell | July 30, 2010 | Reply

  13. Thank you for all of your Support and Love. Our Michelle became a blessing to all who knew her.
    Shell and I had many adventures, she will always be with me..Many of you shared in them. Honestly, she never knew a stranger. It is just about 1 month since she was called home I miss her terribly.
    God Bless all of you and the support you have shown to us, Tony and the Boys. Many Blessings Ang

    Comment by Angela Rose | August 30, 2010 | Reply

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