Welcome to the Rock River Players, a community theater inaugurated in the historic Williamsville Hall in August 2015 with a production of Thornton Wilder’s Our Town. Since then we’ve produced You Can’t Take It With You, offered an open reading of Inherit the Wind, and put lots of moxie into growing.
Just as villagers came together for the first time in 1910 to entertain neighbors and travelers alike in this acoustical gem, so the Rock River Players do today. Formed for the love of theatre, perhaps the most all-encompassing art form culture offers, the RRP has enjoyed participation of enthusiasts ages 10 to 87 from this village and surrounding villages and towns. A couple players even travel religiously from north central Massachusetts. We come together not just as theatre junkies, but also as revivalists. In the early 1900s this was the happening place for all kinds of live entertainment, but by the mid-20th century, players and audiences opted to stay home to watch “Bonanza,””I Love Lucy,” and “My Little Margie.” (See quotes on display in the lobby.) Since the tech craze has yielded an even more intimate relationship with the screen—often to the exclusion of others and our surroundings—we founders of the RRP affirm that the lively arts are essential to the preservation of culture and growth of new art. And the lively arts can keep a village alive. In fact, events in this hamlet are arguably the most effective means of traffic calming known to date.
The Rock River Players started with hopes and dreams and now, a year later, we have plans…plans to give actors, directors, designers, craftsmen –seasoned or green—the chance to join together for camaraderie and team work with the common goal of collective creation. And we’re getting our act together, too, so to speak, with a core of leaders, the definition of growth steps to be taken and leaders for each step gradually emerging. All who wish to be involved in the RRP may be, in one way or another: We will never be “clubby.” The work we do is far too gratifying, challenging, thought-provoking –-and fun—to hoard!
The aim of the RRP is produce four shows a year—one per season—and to offer intermittent opportunities to learn more about and/or be involved in the joyful work of theater. The intent is to soon do all shows at our home, this Hall, but that can’t yet be reality so we’ll soon announce another nearby venue for the winter production. A matching grant was applied for but not awarded to complete the winterization project and so the Williamsville Hall Committee will apply again. In the meantime, know that anything you can give in terms of time or financial support would be greatly appreciated. Beyond winterization, to outfit the space for all sorts of performing arts events year-round, we need to install pipes for lights, to purchase lights and to ensure our circuitry works for them; we need to build collapsible platforms and to acquire more comfortable seating—with options for raked audiences.
If you value this work, we need you. We need you as audience, as volunteers, and as part of the performance –all gifts and talents are welcome. If you want to be involved and/or just informed, please complete the form below. And should you wish to make a donation—and it will be acknowledged as such—please make checks payable to Rock River Players and mail to
RRP c/o Box 127, Williamsville, 05362.
Annie Landenberger and Bonnie Cramp, co-chairs
Kayla Williams, secretary
Bill Lincoln, treasurer