Skip to main content

Over the River & Through the Woods

by Joe DiPietro, directed by Danny Lee

Over the River and Through the Woods' by Joe DiPietro tells the story of Nick Cristano and his Italian immigrant grandparents. Each week Nick goes over the river into New Jersey to have Sunday dinner with his grandparents. (Just like a good Italian boy should!) But when Nick shows up on a random Thursday to share exciting news, the grandparents aren’t thrilled with what he wanted to share. And so begins a scheme that has consequences they couldn’t see coming. This hilarious and heart-warming show will have you wondering if your own family is onstage for all to see.

Purchase Tickets

Over the River and Through the Woods

Cast List

Nick Cristano … Ben Stoll
Frank Gianelli … Bob McGrath
Aida Gianelli … Sandi Belcher
Nunzio Cristano … Danny Lee
Emma Cristano … Jean Storrs
Caitlyn O’Hare … Leigh Ellis Beauchamp

Benjamin Stoll

Benjamin Stoll (Nick Cristano)

Ben has been a part of the Valley theater scene for nearly twenty years. Favorite local and professional credits include Ash in Evil Dead: the Musical (Red Branch Theatre Company), Buck Barrow in Bonnie and Clyde (Monumental Theatre Company), Jesus in Godspell (JMU), and Benedick in Much Ado about Nothing (JMU). A graduate of Theatre and Dance at James Madison University, he now works at Rose Library on JMU’s beautiful campus. Ben is excited to return to Waynesboro Players, the group that started it all back in 2006, to perform with this incredible group of folks.

Bob McGrath

Bob McGrath (Frank Gianelli)

Bob is a former professional actor with four national tours to his credit. Bob has been enjoying a personal theatrical renaissance in recent years. During this time, he’s played the dream roles of Tevye, Don Quixote, Sweeney Todd, and Colonel Pickering as well as a myriad of supporting roles with community theater companies in northern Virginia. Now retired and living in Waynesboro, he’s just coming off playing Joe and Frank in the Waynesboro Players’ production of Working: A Musical and is looking forward to auditioning for roles in this area that don’t tax the joints too much. What flexibility that is left is reserved for crawling on the floor with new granddaughters Josephine and Valerie. Tengo Famiglia!

Sandi Belcher

Sandi Belcher (Aida Gianelli)

Sandi has over 50 years of experience working on, and behind, the stage. Among her favorite directing experiences are Sunday in the Park with George (twice!), Big Fish, Company, The 25 th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, and original productions of Shenandoah Moon and Tuesday Mourning. Favorite acting roles include Rose in Gypsy, Desiree Armfeldt in A Little Night Music, Babe in Crimes of the Heart, and Parallel Lives, a two-woman show starring with Barbara Spilman Lawson. Sandi was most recently seen on stage in the spring of 2022 playing Ouiser Boudreaux in the Waynesboro Players production of Steel Magnolias, as well as singing in the musical group Shenandoah Cabaret over the course of 2023. She is beyond thrilled to be back on stage, directed once again by the incomparable Danny Lee, and is so grateful to have the opportunity to work with such a talented cast and crew to bring this sweet story to the Shenandoah Valley. In ‘real life’, Sandi is the Executive Assistant to the President at Blue Ridge Community College and makes her home in Waynesboro with her husband of 42 years, Jim.

Danny Lee

Danny Lee (Director/Producer/Nunzio Cristano)

Danny is thrilled to be the so-called leader of this group of superior talents. He has previously worked onstage with the 3 Bs (Bob, Brian, and Ben), has been directed by Sandi and Wendi, and has directed Sandi, Wendi, and Leigh. He’s learned to give these talents a few ideas, get out of the way, and watch the magic happen! Over the River… marks his fourth directing effort with Waynesboro Players in addition to The Foreigner, The Music Man, and most recently Steel Magnolias in 2022. Danny has also been seen on local stages in Into the Woods (twice! Jack & The Baker), Annie (Rooster), City of Angels (Stine), Working: A Musical , Shenandoah Moon (George Pollock), Love Letters, and Big River (Pap). He didn’t expect to have to step in to act in this one, but thanks his cast for making the transition easy. He hopes his attempt to fill Holsopple’s shoes measures up. By day, Danny is a teacher with Waynesboro Public Schools and leads a STEM-based after school club. To my Brian, I love you and thank you for making every day an adventure!

Jean Storrs

Jean Storrs (Emma Cristano)

Jean is new to the Shenandoah Valley, and to Waynesboro Players.  Experience in two high school plays awakened her love of theater, which unfortunately has remained largely unrequited ever since.  The spark was kept alive however, by the occasional minor acting opportunity, producing H.M.S. Pinafore in college, directing school-age children in How to Eat Fried Worms and preschoolers in The Very Hungry Caterpillar, and facilitating/living vicariously through her son’s acting career throughout his school years.  She is more than grateful to director Danny Lee for taking a chance on this “blind date” of an actor.  Many thanks, too, to the wonderful cast and crew who have given her exactly that experience of camaraderie and teamwork that she remembers so fondly from the 1973 Quaker Valley High School production of Portrait of Jennie.  Thanks are also due to my son, Matt, who helped me keep my hand in it, and my husband, Alex, who is always so supportive of everything I do.

Leigh Beauchamp

Leigh Beauchamp (Caitlyn O’Hare)

Leigh, a middle school English teacher, was born at a very young age. Not to brag, but she is a self-made thousandaire. She is thrilled to be back on the Waynesboro Players’ stage in this fantastic show with this truly wonderful cast and crew. Some favorite past roles are Ado Annie in Oklahoma!, Antigone in Antigone, and she’s even dipped her toe into TV – her biggest role being Becki, the victim on season 26 episode 4 of Snapped on the Oxygen Network. However, one day, she hopes to love something the way women in yogurt commercials love yogurt.

Wendi Shorkey

Wendi Shorkey (Producer/Director)

Wendi has been seen on the Waynesboro Players stage for nearly 20 years now and had many years of theatre experiences in New Hampshire before relocating to Waynesboro. She was most recently seen stretching her talents (she claims not to be a singer) in Working: The Musical and as M’Lynn in Steel Magnolias. She has also appeared in The Odd Couple (Female Version), Neil Simon’s Rumors, A Christmas Story, Love Letters, and numerous others. Wendi first met Danny when she directed Scrooge: The Musical and their lives were forever altered. In fact, we aren’t sure that this cosmic event didn’t actually change the course of recorded history. Since that initial kismet moment, they have produced together, acted together, directed together, served on the Waynesboro Players Board together and have become confidants off the stage as well. Wendi works as a Physical Education teacher in Augusta County where she also runs a student theater program after school.

Joe DiPietro (Playwright)

Joe won Tony Awards for Best Book and Best Score for Memphis, which was also awarded the 2010 Tony Award, Drama Desk Award and Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Musical. His other shows include All Shook Up; I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change (the longest running musical revue in off-Broadway history); The Toxic Avenger, and The Thing About Men (both winners of the Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Off-Broadway musical). In addition to the much produced comedy Over the River and Through the Woods, he has also written the plays The Art of Murder (Edgar Award winner for Best Mystery Play), Creating Claire, Clever Little Lies, and The Last Romance. His work has been produced thousands of times across the country and around the world.