Over The River And Through The Woods

Nov 22 – Dec 24
Barter Stage II


by Joe DiPietro

Nick Cristano is a single, 29-year-old and has just been offered his dream job, but not in the same town as his grandparents. His grandparents, whom he has had Sunday dinner with every week of his life, did not take the news so well. After all, family is the center and the heart of life they say. With his parents and older sister having already moved away, the grandparents get creative to keep Nick in town. Outrageous plans are hatched, hilarious games are played, a blind-date is arranged, and stories are told; resulting in a hilarious situation taken to an extreme that can be shared and cherished by any family. This show is guaranteed to make you love your family all over again this Christmas season.

Director's Notes

Letting Go

A few weeks ago, for the first time, we dropped off our seven-year-old daughter at an overnight camp.

It was just for one night and, at first, we had decided not to do it since none of her friends were able to go. But when we told her we’d wait until next year when she’d have some friends with her she said, “I still want to go. I think it will be good for me.”

So we packed her an overnight bag, putting in everything we could think she may need as well as anything we knew she wouldn’t, and drove off to camp.

We registered her, found her counselor, then her bunk where she’d be sleeping, all the while glancing at her, looking for some glimmer, some moment of fear where we could step in and tell her she didn’t have to do this. But there was no crack, just a slight smile as she took in the chaos around her, poised for the unknown adventure that lay before her.

When there were no more excuses for delay, it was time to say goodbye. I got down on my knees to give my daughter one last hug, get one more smell of her hair and one last look in her eyes when I was sure, I saw the smallest flicker of doubt flash across her face. Every fiber of my being screamed, “Grab her! Run back to the car! Take her home, give her as many cookies as she wants and never let her leave the house again!” How could I leave my baby in this place, where no one knows her, where she doesn’t know the rules, doesn’t know the location of the bathroom or kitchen...does she even know our phone number??? This is ridiculous! We’re going home!

I took her sweet face in my hands, looked deep into her eyes and said, “You are going to have the best time here. I’m jealous of how much fun you’re going to have tonight. I’ll be back in the morning to pick you up. You’re going to do great.” She smiled, nodded, gave me a big hug. And then I quickly left before she saw me crack.

Wow. Saying goodbye to family is hard. And yet, as parents, we know that our most important job is to make sure our kids are strong, capable, and independent, so that when they leave the nest, they are not only ready but also excited about the adventures that lay before them. Doesn’t make saying goodbye any easier.

I guess that’s why they say the greatest act of love is letting go.

Tonight you’ll see a family navigating the difficulties of letting go. And though they may be different from your family, I think you’ll recognize them and, especially the way they deal with one another—with love, support and, always, humor!

May your Christmas be filled with friends, family and laughter!

Nicholas Piper

Director, Over The River And Through The Woods

Cast & Credits


Nick Cristano: Andrew Hampton Livingston
Frank Gianelli: Michael Poisson
Aida Gianelli: Mary Lucy Bivins
Nunzio Cristano: Rick McVey
Emma Cristano: Paris Bradstreet
Caitlin O’Hare: Sarah Laughland

Rehearsal Assistant Stage Manager: Victoria L. Sutton

Director: Nicholas Piper
Set Designer: Hana Goff
Costume Designer: Lee Alexander Martin
Wig & Makeup Designer: Whitney Kaibel
Lighting Designer: Camille Davis
Sound Designer: Tony Angelini
Stage Manager: Cindi A. Raebel
Interior Design Consultant: Mary Jane Miller

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