Over the River and Through the Woods

Over The River and Through The Woods
by Joe DiPietro
Directed by Eric Poppick
March 26 – April 24,2010

A wonderful family comedy, Over the River and Through the Woods is about Nick, a 32-year-old single Italian-American man who dutifully has dinner with his grandparents every Sunday. At an unscheduled visit on Thursday, Nick announces that he is leaving New Jersey to take a job in Seattle. To his grandparents, who have already lost Nick’s parents to distant cities, Nick’s desire to move for professional advancement makes no sense. The grandparents take his announcement as a declaration of war and pull out all the stops, including match-making to keep him home. One scheme includes introducing him to the lovely Caitlin O’Hare. The antics that follow are hilarious and touching.

“Loaded with laughs, every step of the way.”– Star-Ledger

“A hilarious family comedy…” – Backstage

“With some sentimentality, a lot of humor and a dash of nostalgia, ‘Over The River And Through The Woods’ is a sweet, charming play that makes us feel good …” – ChicagoCritic.com


Paul Bourque (Frank Gianelli) is making his debut at SRT. Other San Diego County appearances:Breaking Legs (North Coast Rep.);The Cemetery Club (The Broadway – Vista); Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Cygnet); As You Like It (New Village Arts); The Magic Fire, Room Service, Arms and the Man and Brighton Beach Memoirs (AVO Playhouse); Boy Gets Girl, The Clearing, and Kid From Stratford (Carlsbad Playreaders). Favorite musical roles: Harold Hill in The Music Man; Nathan Detroit in Guys and Dolls; Luther Billis in South Pacific; Max Detweiler in The Sound of Music. Paul is a member of SAG, AFTRA and the Actors Alliance of San Diego.

Laura Kaplan Nieto (Caitlin O’Hare), fresh from an exciting three-month run hosting the dolphin show at Sea World, Laura performed previously as Cassandra and Helen of Troy in Compass Theater’s production of Troilus and Cressida. While with The Long Beach Shakespeare Company some of her favorite roles included Gwendolyn Fairfax in The Importance of Being Earnest, Roxane in Cyrano de Bergerac, Princess Katherine in Henry V and Octavia in Antony and Cleopatra. Her work in TV and film has led her to a variety of lead roles in both commercials and short screenplays.

Michael Nieto (Nick Cristano) has been seen in San Diego as Ulyssess in Troilus & Cressida, Walter Gilman in Dreams in the Witch House, and as Catfish on A&E’s The Fugitive Chronicles. His favorite roles include: Cyrano in Cyrano De Bergerac; Dracula in Dracula; Feste in Twelfth Night; and Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet. Michael is a graduate of UCSD and plays a mean banjo.

D’Ann Paton (Aida Gianelli) appeared in The O’Conner Girls at SRT and is delighted to be returning. She was last seen as Eileen in The Cripple of Inishman at Lyceum Space for ion theatre company. Having performed in many San Diego theaters, some of her favorite roles were in Dark of the Moon at The Old Globe; The Elephant Man at San Diego Rep.; The Heiress at The Old Town Theatre; Full Circle at the Cassius Carter; and Enchanted April at Lamb’s Players Theatre. D’Ann is a member of SAG and the Actors Alliance of San Diego.

Allan Salkin (Nunzio Cristano) and his wife, Marty, moved to Scripps Ranch from Princeton NJ 15 years ago, and is currently SRT’s Producing Director. He has extensive east-coast credits, including playing Tevye in three different productions of Fiddler on the Roof. Credits in the San Diego area include the Governor/Innkeeper in La Jolla Stage Company’s Man of La Mancha; the title role in SRT’s Killjoy (he insists it wasn’t type-casting); and, with Marty, performed SRT’s acclaimed staged reading of Lanford Wilson’s classic, Talley’s Folly, in which they had appeared together years earlier in NJ.

Connie Terwilliger (Emma Cristano) returns to SRT after performing here in two of her favorite roles, as Kate in Sylvia and as Steffi in I Ought to be in Pictures. She is looking forward to experimenting with various shades of an Italian accent. Other favorites include Sheila Carter in PowPAC’s production of Relatively Speaking, Maude Bodley in Lamplighter’s Not Now, Darling (both opportunities to polish her British accent), and Barbara in Social Security at OnStage Playhouse. Connie is a full-time voiceover professional (www.voiceover-talent.com) and teaches a voice acting class at City College.

Production Staff

Eric Poppick (Director) moved to San Diego in 2006 after spending 30 years in Los Angeles working as an actor and director for stage, television and film. In 2007, Eric directed Play it Again, Sam for SRT. Local acting credits include The Last Night of Ballyhoo and Wonder of the World at Carlsbad Playreaders; Golden Boy and Four Dogs and a Bone at New Village Arts; The History Boys at Cygnet Theatre; Morning’s at Seven atNorth Coast Rep.; and One for the Road at the Lyceum. TV appearances include roles on Seinfeld, Columbo, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and NYPD Blue. Film roles include Basic Instinct, Mouse Hunt and Hero with Dustin Hoffman. He will soon be appearing in SRT’s production of Not Now, Darling.

Barbara Barber (Producer/Props Manager) is pleased to be producing again and working with such a talented cast and crew. This is Barbara’s sixth production at SRT, having produced The Shadow Box last year. Prior to that she produced The O’Conner Girls, Inspecting Carol, Sylvia and Scapino. Barbara has always enjoyed attending the theater and has found producing for SRT a very rewarding experience.

Elise Meehan (Stage Manager/Asst. Dir.) is thrilled to be returning for her second show at SRT, having previously managed The Dining Room last year. She will be graduating from UCSD this spring with a Bachelors Degree in Theatre Arts. Elise hopes to continue her career in stage management and eventually to pass her love of theater on to future generations. Previous credits include Moon Over Buffalo and Pump Boys and Dinettes at Moonlight Stage Productions; The Dining Room and Electra at MiraCosta College; and the Triangle Factory Fire Project at RBVHS.

John Harris (Sound Designer) is a veteran performer and production person. John’s experience covers more than fifty years in all areas of performing. He started during the Golden Age of radio. then on to TV, films, and stage. John retired from ABC in 1990 having served on production teams that brought many EMMY nominations and two national wins. John comes out of retirement especially for this production and to work with SRT.

Debbie Sullivan (Costume Designer) is pleased to be costuming Over The River and Through the Woods after serving as assistant costumer for several of SRT’s recent productions. Her background has primarily been costuming for the last 6 years for the San Diego and San Dieguito School Districts.

Production Photos



“Humor works best when it is spiced with tempting morsels of drama… what is most important is DiPietro’s command of the Italian culture, former New Jerseyite (director) Poppick’s understanding of it, and the cast’s presentation… Many of us can relate to this, having grandparents from the old country with a language in which we only had a passing acquaintance. This is also the stuff that creates humorous situations, embarrassing moments, and occasional misunderstandings, all of which populate the story. I enjoyed my short visit in the Gianelli home.
DiPietro’s script and an inspired cast should insure packed house
at Scripps Ranch Theatre for the run.”
Hitch – San Diego Theatre Scene

“Stop by ‘Woods'”
Good To Go: This Week’s Critic’s Pick – San Diego Union Tribune

“The play is a wistful look at the struggle between generations and cultures…The actors all do a good job of presenting fleshed-out characters, even though the script’s comedy at times borders on sitcom humor. Still, there are a lot of strong laughs here, especially a hilarious attempt to play Trivial Pursuit that had a Sunday matinee crowd roaring with laughter. It’s also refreshing that when it comes down to it, the production doesn’t go for idealized endings (though it does come to a satisfying conclusion).

The production is a small-scale, intimate play with big characters and even bigger heart. It’s funny in parts and sad in parts and whether you’re from a big family or a small one,
chances are you’ll come out yearning to call a relative.”
– José A. López, Pomerado News