A Cat Regards A King © .
A Cat Regards A King is a 15-minute
New Media Storytelling Video Selection
for the Irondale ON WOMEN FESTIVAL 2021
in Brooklyn, NY
March 4 - 26, 2021
In 1905, Clara’s bathtub treatment for epilepsy devolves into dreams where surrealism mixes with Sci-Fi. As she records in her journal, Clara relays her absurd episodes to a cat. Meanwhile, a new immigrant patient, Anna, joins Clara in a fanciful courtroom drama that takes place in the cargo hold of a freighter on the great lakes. A Cat Regards A King explores women’s rights in the late 1800’s with regard to placement in hospitals for the insane, reminding us that even those without a voice have freedoms, both then and now. The story is inspired by the playwright’s great-great-grandmother, Clara, who was admitted as a patient into the Warren State Hospital in 1897.
CAST OF CHARACTERS:
Female, 21: YOUNG CLARA, 10, NURSE THOMPSON, SAILOR, DR'S 1 & 2
Female, 44: CLARA, ABRAHAM, ALEXANDER
Female, 65: ANNA, NURSE BAIRD, LAWYER
Female, 65: SARAH, JUDGE
Female, 59: DIANE
Diane Almeter Jones, playwright, editor, designer
Grace Aroune, director
Natalie Kaiser: YOUNG CLARA, NURSE THOMPSON, SAILOR, DR’S 1 & 2
Drew Burton: CLARA, ABRAHAM, ALEXANDER
Kristen Tripp Kelley: ANNA, NURSE BAIRD, LAWYER
Lisa Vitrano: SARAH, JUDGE
A New Media Storytelling Video Selection for the Irondale On Women Festival 2021
Diane Almeter Jones, a freelance designer, is delighted to be participating in Irondale’s On Women Festival, 2021. Almeter Jones wrote, edited, and designed the video A Cat Regards A King for this year’s festival. When not writing she can be found propping around Buffalo, NY at Road Less Traveled Productions, The Kavinoky Theatre, and Second Generation Theatre, and in NYC at Actionplay, a non-neurotypical inclusive music and theater residency for teens and
adults. Almeter Jones produced her play, Forget Me Not, in Buffalo and at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. The play is about her grandparents during World War and mental health, two subjects often written about. She has honed her skills further working in art departments and set decorating films including Marshall, Cold Brook, The True Adventures of Wolfboy, and Crown Vic. Almeter Jones would like to thank her husband, Tim, and her forever-supportive family and friends. Cheers!
Grace Aroune is thrilled to be joining this group of fantastic artists for the video premier of A Cat Regards a King. A collaborator at heart, she is drawn to works that allow for every voice in the room to be heard and strives to create environments that do the same. Past credits include Shakespeare in Delaware Park, Hudson Guild Theater,Theatre Row, Teatro LATEA, and the Irondale Center. In addition to her directing degree from Hofstra University, she is grateful to the past and current creators she has worked alongside, who have shaped her as an artist today.
Natalie Kaiser, an actor, is honored to work on her first voice-over project. Kaiser has participated in many neurodiverse theatre groups such as Actionplay (2013-2019) and Epic Players (2019-Present) in New York City. One of her favorite roles was performing as Lucy Van Pelt in You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown at her high school. In 2015, and again in 2017, she performed with Actionplay on Jon Stewart’s Night of Too Many Stars with pianist Jodi DiPiazza, along with comedian Weird Al Yankovic, singer Cynthia Erivo, and the iconic hip hop band, The Roots. Kaiser also has participated in reading projects ranging from Shakespeare to modern, playing such roles as Ariel in The Tempest, Emily Webb in Our Town, and Abigail Williams in The Crucible. Kaiser would like to thank her mom, dad, and her fellow actors for supporting her and encouraging her to pursue more voice acting projects.
Born and raised in the Buffalo area, Drew Burton has always had a love for the stage. She attended Niagara County Community College and earned her degree in Theatre Arts where she appeared in Radio Carol, Blithe Spirit, Fifth of July, and Masque of Beauty and The Beast. This is her first Project in almost 6 years. She is very excited to work with everyone and to have an opportunity to act again.
Kristen Tripp Kelley is honored to return to the work of Diane Jones, having previously collaborated on Forget Me Not at the Kavinoky Theatre and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and on a recording of Do We Smell Like Oranges. Kristen has worked with a wide array of Buffalo Theatre companies as an actor and director. For RLTP: Antipodes, Disgraced, Country House, Last Days of Judas Iscariot. For Irish Classical Theatre Company: Seamarks, Sense and Sensibility, Beauty Queen of Lenanne (Artie Award); For The Kavinoky Theatre: A Doll’s House: Part 2, City of Conversation (Buffalo Spree Best of WNY), Time Stands Still (Artie Award); For the Jewish Repertory Theatre of WNY: Body Awareness, Crossing Delancey; For Second Generation: Angels in America, Vanya and Sonya and Masha and Spike; For Shakespeare in Delaware Park: Romeo and Juliet, A Winter’s Tale; For Torn Space: Aunt Dan and Lemon, Some Explicit Polaroids. Kristen is a theatre teacher at Nichols School and serves as Co-President of ARTA (Association of Regional Theatre Artists). She earned a BA in Theatre as a Performing Arts Honors Scholar at the University at Buffalo and an MFA in Acting from Purdue University.
Ms. Vitrano, a native Buffalonian, has proudly served her community as a Theatre Professional since 1993. During her 27-year long career, Lisa has embodied numerous characters upon the stages of nearly every Theatre in WNY and has earned awards for her efforts; A two-time Artie Award winner, named “Best All-Around-Actress” in Buffalo Spree Magazine’s Best of WNY 2006, and voted “Outstanding Actress in a Play” by Broadway World Buffalo 2015. The 48 Hour Film Project Buffalo named her “Best Actress” for her role in the short film SUMMER LOST in 2018. Lisa’s other work includes: Playwriting, Directing, Voiceover, Print Modeling, and Arts in Education. She is an Ensemble Member for Road Less Traveled Productions and a Council Member for the Association of Regional Theatre Artists (ARTA).