Playwright Joe DiPietro is being lauded for his positive portraits of Italian-Americans in his new play, Over the River Through the Woods, currently at the John Houseman Theatre. Following the Mar. 13 matinee performance, DiPietro will receive a citation from the New York State Commission for Social Justice for "his realistic and loving look at an Italian-American family as it faces assimilating to 'American' ways." John Dabbene and Sylvia Summa, president and vice president of the commission will present the citation.
The play features four Italian-American grandparents who deluge their grandson with advice, guilt, love, and food when he makes an announcement about his future. Among other things, the CSJ works to combat negative stereotypes of Italian-Americans in the media.
-- By Diane Snyder