Rock River Players Open Season With Original Work By Robert Frtiz

WILLIAMSVILLE – The Rock River Players (RRP) present a new play, I Used to Have a Cat by writer/director Robert Fritz Wednesday, October 11 through Saturday, October 14 at 7:30 at the Williamsville Hall, Dover Road, Williamsville, Vermont. Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for students and seniors.

Award-winning filmmaker Robert Fritz of Newfane has turned his attention to the RRP stage. I Used To Have Cats features only two actors, Sara Vitale and Natalie Neilson, who play sisters with contrasting life-styles and temperaments who live together. “These are two fantastic and accomplished actors,” Fritz said. “I was excited to write this new material specifically for them.”

Sara Vitale is a founding member of the Rock River Players and currently serves as secretary of its board of directors. Having studied acting and directing in college, she continues to pursue both in various community theater groups. Filming The Visit recently with Robert Fritz marked Vitale’s return to work in film. An art therapist for children with special needs, she is the mother of three children of her own. Vitale serves on the board of directors at the Compass School in Westminster, Vermont and teaches photography classes there on a volunteer basis. Past work in area theatre includes playing Chelsea in On Golden Pond and Lady Macbeth in Macbeth. Most recently she was assistant director and lighting captain for the Rock River Players’ production of The Fantasticks.

Natalie Neilson grew up in San Francisco doing theater. She has starred as the leads in three Robert Fritz films: TWICE…, Past Tense, and Chasing Rainbows. She has won several awards for her acting including an Award of Excellence from the Accolade Competition, an Award of Excellence from The Indie Fest, and a Gold Award from the International Independent Film Festival. Neilson lives and works in New Hampshire.

Writer/director Robert Fritz, is also a best selling author. He studied composition and theater at The Boston Conservatory of Music where he earned a BM and MM in composition. As a filmmaker, Fritz studied cinematography at the Rockport Workshops, and directing with Jim Pasternak. His films have won over 90 awards from film festivals around the world. A director of numerous theater productions, Fritz has also made documentaries for industry and television and he has written and directed six feature films and one dramatic short. He has directed and co-hosted Creating (a TV series made for a Canadian Network) and directed episodes of the PBS series LeaderTalk with Garrison Krause, for which he also composed the theme music. Fritz wrote and directed the TV series Vermont Stories. He created She Was a Dancer, a multi–media work commissioned for the Brattleboro Museum and Art Center. As a composer, Fritz has won commissions from groups such as Boston’s Collage-New Music and Dutch Radio. Having studied on scholarship at the Darmstadt (Germany) Institute for New Music, he has composed music for CDs, TV and film, including all of his own. Two of his arrangements appear on Celtic Ladies, which topped Billboard Magazine (2007-2008 World Music.)

I Used to Have a Cat is the opening play in the Rock River Players 2017-2018 season. It will be followed by the Players annual cabaret in February. In May the RRP will present two evenings of one-act comedies—including original works— following a weekend run of Marsha Norman’s ’night Mother directed by Sara Vitale. The RRP July production will be announced in November. For more information on the Rock River Players, contact producer Annie Landenberger at verbatimvt@gmail.com.

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