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A family that plays together

Mike Caterisano made his acting debut in the Furman Theatre Arts production of Neil LaBute’s Reasons to Be Pretty.

Theatre has always been a family affair for Tony, Margaret, Elli and Mike Caterisano.

Associate Professor of Theatre Arts Margaret Caterisano first came to Furman as a costume designer in 1986. Since then, she’s worked on close to 100 plays, designed more than a thousand costumes and has taught a wide range of theatre courses.

Last week, her son, Mike ’21, made his acting debut in the Furman Theatre Arts production of Neil LaBute’s Reasons to Be Pretty. Mike played the role of Kent, one of four young people struggling to maintain fulfilling love relationships, friendships and jobs, said Theatre Arts Professor and Chair Jay Oney.

“So many people have helped me along the way… It’s so much more than I thought it was,” Mike Caterisano said. “I remember my sister coming home at night after rehearsals and she was so tired. Then I didn’t understand, but now I know my sister is tough.”

Mike’s older sister, Elli Caterisano ’18, a double major in theatre arts and music, served as sound designer for the show. Elli has had a variety of leading and supporting roles in Furman productions including The Women of Lockerbie, Hair, Kappa Kappa Scream and Arcadia.

She studied commedia dell’arte as part of a Furman Study Away program in Italy and just finished two performances earlier this month as Roberta in John Patrick Shanley’s Danny and the Deep Blue Sea with Sam Nelson ’17 at Furman’s Playhouse.

“I’m really grateful to have been able to come to Furman and be able to see my mom every day,” said Elli Caterisano. “When I’ve struggled at times, Mom has encouraged me to ‘find the beauty in imperfection,’ to be flexible and to let the little things go.”

Tony Caterisano, a professor of exercise physiology in the Department of Health Sciences for more than three decades, is, not surprisingly, one of Mike and Elli’s biggest fans. He even has a favorite seat along the wall that he typically reserves for performances.

For more information on upcoming shows, visit Furman Theatre Arts online or call the Theatre Box Office at 864-294-2125.

 

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