Over The River & Through The Woods


A comedy about family, love and lasagne

Over the River and Through the Woods, written by award winning playwright Joe DiPietro as a tribute to his own grandparents, brings the universal themes of family and food centre stage in a very funny play about changing generations.

After more than 200 performances on Broadway, Fortune Theatre is pleased to present Over the River and Through the Woods for its first professional NZ season, from 11 June to 9 July.

"The biggest difference between these generations is their concept of family and home. Our grandparents believed that the family was central, and work is something you do just to provide for them. For our generation, it's a lot more complicated."

Joe DiPietro

"a little slice of genius."

New York Times


Nick is a single, Italian-American guy from New Jersey, but when he is offered a dream job in Seattle and tells his grandparents of his intention to move, the announcement goes down like a lead balloon. They have already lost Nick's sister and parents to distant cities, so Nick's desire to move for professional advancement is the last straw. How can Nick abandon his family for a job on the far side of the country? What will happen to their weekly Sunday dinners? Thus begins a series of schemes to keep Nick around. Both sets of grandparents do their level best to make Nick stay, including bringing to dinner the lovely - and single - Caitlin O'Hare. The resulting situation is deliciously entertaining and filled with fun.

Byron Coll (All Black fan "Tim" in the MasterCard adverts; "Penguin" in Top of the Lake) stars as Nick, the young man torn between family and career advancement, and Nadya Shaw Bennett (Flagons & Foxtrots; The Motor Camp; Farley's Arcade) plays the charmingly down-to-earth Caitlin, who forces him to rethink his attitude towards his grandparents. The cast is rounded out by Simon O'Connor (Play; Outside Mullingar; The War Play), Karen Elliot (Hush; The Keys are in the Margarine; Be | Longing), Steven Ray (You Can Always Hand Them Back; Mary Poppins) and Jane Waddell (A Shortcut to Happiness; Joyful and Triumphant), who play the lively quartet of grandparents determined to keep their Nick close at hand. Charm, wit and warmth abound in this delightful comedy. A winter treat not to be missed!

Artistic Director Jonathon Hendry said, "It's very exciting to work with such a great line up of actors in my debut production at the Fortune as director, including Karen Elliot who I acted with in the late 80's at Fortune. Directing Jane Waddell who directed me as student at Drama School, and working for the first time with former student Byron Coll, I'm reminded of themes of growing up and standing on the shoulders of those that went before. We have a winter treat in store for audiences that is very funny. This play celebrates family and the difficulties that we encounter when wanting to do things differently than the people who made our lives possible."


Jonathon Hendry

Associate Director

Benjamin Henson


Byron Coll plays Nick
Karen Elliot plays Emma
Simon O'Connor plays Nunzio
Steven Ray plays Frank
Nadya Shaw Bennett plays Caitlin
Jane Waddell plays Aida


Lindsay Gordon - Production Manager
Peter King - Set Designer
Garry Keirle - Lighting Designer
Maryanne Wright-Smyth - Costume Designer
Matt Morgan - Sound Designer
Erica Browne - Stage Manager
Anna Vandenbosch - Operator


Find out more about Over the River and Through the Woods at fortunetheatre.co.nz

For Tickets click HERE

For further information, imagery, interview or photo opportunities please contact:

Lucy Summers
Marketing and Communications Manager
(03) 477 1292 ext.2

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