‘Over the River’ premieres Oct. 10 in McCreless

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Drama sophomores Saphire Mendez, Eric Quiroz, Gabriel Gonzales and Ernesto Dominguez act in a scene from “Over the River and Through the Woods” Sept. 24 in McCreless theater. Nick Cristano, played by Gonzales, announces a job promotion and deals with his grandparents’ antics in the comedy. Sarah F. Morgan

It’s a challenging play, the stage manager said.

By Francia Rivera


“Over the River and through the Woods,” the theater program’s production opening Oct. 10, will teach the audience the importance of communication, the stage manager said Sept. 16.

Drama sophomore Nikky Sanseeha, the stage manager, said the play is a comedy but also serious and challenging.

The play was written by Joe DiPrieto and published in 1998. It has been performed off-Broadway at the John Houseman Theatre.

Drama sophomore Angelica Vlach visits the Gianelli home for dinner during a rehearsal of “Over the River and Through the Woods” Sept. 24 in McCreless theater. The cast includes drama sophomores Angelica Vlach, Saphire Mendez, Brianna Delgado, Eric Quiroz, Ernesto Dominguez and Gabriel Gonzales. Sarah F. Morgan

The stage in the theater in McCreless Hall has been transformed into the home of an Italian-American family, the Gianellis, in Hoboken, New Jersey, about 20 years ago.

Nick is a single, Italian-American guy from New Jersey. He visited his grandparents frequently but he’s been offered a job opportunity that would take him away from the family.

Drama sophomore Gabriel Gonzales plays the main character, Nick Castano, in the play directed by theater Instructor Charles Falcon.

Gonzales also appeared in “The Diary of Anne Frank,” “The Government Inspector,” “The Crucible” and “Never the Sinner” at this college.

He recommends this play to the public because it’s a comedy, but it is touching.

“I think this play is a beautiful and hilarious story about family and what our duties are to family,” he said. “Bring tissues.”

Sanseeha recommends this play because it has to do with family and ways people do not agree with someone else’s decisions.

“The hardest part is to understand young and old people,” he said.

Other actors in the production are also drama sophomores.

Drama sophomores Gabriel Gonzales and Eric Quiroz exchange greetings during a rehearsal of “Over the River and Through the Woods” Sept. 24 in McCreless theater. The comedy premieres at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 10 in McCreless theater. General admission is $10 and military, senior and student tickets are $5. Sarah F. Morgan

They Eric Quiroz as Frank Gianelli, Brianna Delgado as Aida Gianelli, Ernesto Dominguez as Nunzio Cristano, Saphire Mendez as Emma Cristano and Angelica Vlach as Caitlin O’Hare.

What Gonzales likes about his character is that he is real and has a sense of humor but get angry frequently

Although this is his fifth play at this college, it became a challenge for him.

“Separating myself from the character is the biggest challenge,” he said.

As stage manager, Sanseeha helps the director. He sets up scenes, oversees the actors and make sure everyone is learning their lines.

He has taken acting classes here and worked in production for lights. He acted in “Governor Inspector” as an imperial officer.

The cast rehearses 3 -5 p.m. Monday-Friday and occasionally 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

They put their time, effort and dedication to give the audience an excellent performance, Sanseeha said.

“Students prepare like it it’s the real world, and everyone should take it very seriously,” Sanseeha said.

Pictures, videos, and texting are not allowed during performances because performers have to concentrate to project their feelings to the audience, Sanseeha said.

Drama sophomores Saphire Mendez, Gabriel Gonzales and Ernesto Dominguez play the Cristanos in “Over the River and Through the Woods.” Mendez and Dominguez, playing the main character’s grandparents, coerce Gonzales’ character to pose for a photo during a rehearsal Sept. 24 in McCreless theater. Sarah F. Morgan

Sanseeha asks the public, especially students, to come and support the theater program.

 “There are many students who wish to show their talents to the world, and the best way to show support is to enjoy the experience for themselves,” he said.

Sanseeha said children are welcome if they are 5 or older.

“Over the River and through the Woods” is at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 10-12, 17-19, and 2:30 p.m. Oct. 13 and 20 in McCreless.

The tickets are $5 for seniors 60 and older, military, and students with ID. General admission is $10.

 The next production, “The Heiress,” directed by theater Coordinator Ronald L. Watson will be Feb. 6-15 in McCreless Theater.

For more information, contact Watson at rwatson26@alamo.edu or 210-486-0491.


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