Nick Cristano may be living the life of a modern young professional in New York City, but his loving grandparents never let him forget where he belongs: in New Jersey, in the bosom of his tenacious, tender-hearted, loud, loving, and well-fed Italian-American grandparents, who live two doors down from each other in Hoboken, and who lavish all of their affection on their last unmarried grandchild. Faithfully, Nick goes “over the river” to Grandma’s house every week for Sunday dinner. When he is offered an important promotion in Seattle, Washington, Nick threatens to break this routine by a distance of some 2,800 miles! Frank, Aida, Emma, and Nunzio are heartbroken at the prospect of their beloved grandson raising a family all the way across the country -- or worse, not raising a family at all! Besides the usual tactics of emotional blackmail, in order to keep him safe at home, these wily elders cook up a matchmaking scheme, inviting lovely nurse Caitlin O’Hare over for Sunday dinner. Will the prospect of true love keep Nick from moving across the country? Over the River and Through the Woods is a warm-hearted, boisterously funny, and touching story about intergenerational relationships, deep familial love, and the inevitable little heartbreaks that occur as time passes and children grow.
Production Dates March 20, 21, 28 & 29, 2020
Rehearsal Schedule: Sundays 5-8pm, Monday and Wednesdays 6-9pm
First Rehearsal: Monday December 16th, 2019
Location: Flanagan Theater, Southgate at Shrewsbury, 30 Julio Drive, Shrewsbury MA
Location is same for auditions, rehearsals & performances
Audition Dates: Sunday Dec 1st 2-5pm & Monday Dec 2nd 6-9pm
Actors need only attend one evening. No appointments are necessary. If able, please bring a headshot and resume.
Please prepare two short contrasting monologues - one comedic and one dramatic.
Callbacks: Wednesday Dec 4th 6-9pm
Actors of all ages and experience levels are encouraged to audition
Frank (Supporting): Male, 40-65
Frank is a husband, father, and grandfather, a retired carpenter, living with his wife in Hoboken, New Jersey. At the age of 14, his fisherman father put him on a boat and sent him to America in search of a better life, his only advice: “Tengo famiglia!” --meaning, do well for yourself, your woman, your children. When his beloved grandson Nick, the last descendant to stay in the area, plans a move to Seattle, Frank has a hard time coming to terms with the fact.
Nunzio (Supporting): Male, 40-65
Nunzio is the son of Italian immigrants, a father and grandfather, retired from Ford’s automobile factory, who lives with his wife Emma in Hoboken, New Jersey. He is described by his beloved grandson, Nick, as one of the “loudest people I’ve ever met.” Nunzio is boisterous, enthusiastic, and mischievous. Nunzio considers telling Nick about his illness, knowing that if he goes, their goodbye will be forever, but eventually determines that Nick’s cross-country move is something he has to do, as a man, for his future, and keeps his cancer a secret from his grandson until the end.
Aida (Supporting): Female, 40-65
Aida is a wife, mother, and grandmother, living with her husband, Frank, a retired carpenter, in the house which he built for them, in Hoboken, New Jersey. Aida has no formal education, and cannot drive, but “lock her in the kitchen with a tomato, pasta dough, and garlic, and the woman was Einstein.” She is a loving, hard-working housewife, devoted to feeding her family, and anyone who walks in her door, whether or not they are actually hungry. Aida is a strong woman, who will bicker with her husband, but there is a sweet and gentle side to her personality, and she is an excellent caretaker. When Nick, her beloved grandson, takes a job promotion in Seattle, Washington, Aida is angry at the thought that he will leave his family.
Emma (Supporting): Female, 40-65
Emma is a mother and grandmother, the daughter of Italian immigrants, who lives with her husband Nunzio in Hoboken, New Jersey. She is described by her grandson, Nick as one of the “loudest people I’ve ever met.” Emma is boisterous, enthusiastic, energetic, and strong. When Nick, her beloved grandson, considers a move to Seattle, Washington, Emma leaps into action with a scheme to keep him in town. She plays matchmaker, inviting Caitlin O’Hare, the single niece of her canasta partner, Margaret O’Hare, to the Gianellis for Sunday dinner. Emma is not afraid to show the anger she feels that home and family is not enough for Nick. She can be pushy and a little tactless, but her actions are motivated out of care and love for her family.
Nick (Lead): Male, 25-35
Nick works in marketing, and lives the life of a young, professional, single man in New York City. He is a sensitive, emotional man, who feels an immense amount of pressure: to his work and promotional opportunity which won’t come around again, and to his grandparents, who bemoan the fact that the rest of their family members have moved away and pin all of their hopes on Nick to marry and produce the next generation. Nick has a deep love for his family elders.
Caitlin O'Hare (Supporting): Female, 25-35
Caitlin O’Hare is a nurse living and working in New Jersey. Single and looking for love, she agrees to a set-up, going to an Italian-American Sunday dinner to meet Nick Cristano, the grandson of her aunt’s canasta partner, Emma Cristano. Caitlin is friendly, attractive, and extremely personable. Caitlin is attracted to Nick, but Nick is embarrassed and angry about the set-up, and she is extremely put off by the rudeness he displays towards his elders. She admits to being a little desperate where love is concerned, but she resists making desperate choices.