In addition to prose writing, and acting, Eric is also a playwright, primarily of 10 to 15 minute one act plays. You can read them at the New Play Exchange website. If you or your theatre company would be interested in reading any of his plays for possible production, please contact Eric Fritzius at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“…to a Flame” – (An Ellipses Cycle play) Virgil Hawks has a problem: he shot and killed West Virginia’s legendary Mothman. Now he has to figure out what to do with the body before the Men In Black catch wind of it. His solution: take it to his buddy Jeff’s house. Based on the author’s short story of the same title found in A Consternation of Monsters. This play has been produced by the Greenbrier Valley Theatre in Lewisburg, W.Va. (2009); the Independent Theatre Collective in Wheeling (2010); and the Lewisburg Literary Festival (2015); the Opera House Playfest (2016); and as a staged reading by the Vintage Theatre Company, as part of the West Virginia Playwrights Festival in Clarksburg, W.Va, (2016). Click HERE for a live recording of it in podcast form.
“…and Tigers and Bears” – (An Ellipses Cycle play) We have it pretty good, here in the good old U.S. of A. Besides peanut allergies, we don’t have to worry about much when it comes to our daily lives. Unless, of course, you happen to live in one of the West Virginia counties that experienced confirmed sightings of an African lion. That might slow you down on the way to work. In this play, the Ross family learns just what African lions are and are not capable of. This play has been produced by the Greenbrier Valley Theatre in Lewisburg, W.Va. (2010), and the Independent Theatre Collective in Wheeling (2011).
“Job Jar” – The little perks in life can make the daily hassles and chores we must face worth it. Hank and Angie have an oral disagreement when it comes to the household “job” jar. Can they head off disaster or will the winds blow cold? An adult play for all audiences. This play has been produced by the Greenbrier Valley Theatre in Lewisburg, W.Va. (2011).
“A Game of Twenty…” – (An Ellipses Cycle play) Jack Vale is dead. What awaits him beyond is not at all what he expected. He’s not even sure if he’s upstairs or downstairs, if you catch the meaning. But he’s allowed to ask questions about the secrets and conspiracies of the world he always wanted to know but could never learn the answers to in life. He’d better make them good, though, because he only has twenty of them. This play has been produced at the Greenbrier Valley Theatre (2013), was given a staged reading by the Vintage Theatre Company, as part of the West Virginia Playwrights Festival (2016), and was produced as part of the 2018 Opera House PlayFest in Marlinton, W.Va (2018).
“Fargo 3D” – A 10 minute political horror comedy. Security is at an all time high in all walks of life, including at the movie theater, where sneaking in food to avoid inflated snack bar prices is a serious business requiring serious counter-measures. Enter Agent DeGrunt of the Movie Theatre Security Administration (MTSA), who will insure no one sneaks snacks to a showing of FARGO 3D. This play premiered at the Greenbrier Valley Theatre in Lewisburg, W.Va. (2014), and the Trillium Performing Arts Collective in Lewisburg, W.Va (2014). It was given a staged reading by the Vintage Theatre Company, as part of the West Virginia Playwrights Festival (2016). It has also been produced for Longwood University’s 0 to 60 Ten Minute Play Festival in (2017), the MadLab Theatre’s 18th Annual Theatre Roulette in (2017), and the 10×10 Festival at Barrington Stage Company (2018).
“Playing Cards by Twilight’s Shine” – Set in fictional Eldridge, West Virginia, a town so poor it uses a defunct savings & loan building as its sheriff’s department, and where public defender is a part time job. Newcomer Howard Rainey has been serving in that capacity, on retainer from his 8-month-old law practice. When Rainey is called upon to defend Eldridge’s most legendary moonshiner, he finds the old man has a couple of unlikely allies: the town’s doctor, as well as the very sheriff who made the arrest. And if they’re serious about one thing, it’s that Old Man Hartsook must be set free. This play was produced by the Greenbrier Valley Theatre (2016), the Opera House PlayFest in Marlinton (2016), and for the Lewisburg Literary Festival (2016).
“Autonomic Systems” – Bureaucracy almost never starts from a place of evil. Often it begins from a place of safety, layering on regulations in order to protect the populace as a whole, but with little regard to whether the regulations are necessary or entirely make sense. Set in a blood plasma donation clinic, we see one man’s attempt to throw himself against the walls of regulatory illogic, armed only with a digital recorder.
“Flying Lessons Over Lunch with Saint Joseph Cooper Tina” – Every parent knows the mind of a child is a dangerous place full of unanswerable questions that can spring out at any moment. For a father who’s actually afraid his young son will try to fly off a roof, Superman-style, though, those questions (and answers) are going to tend toward the creative.
“Aye Do” – The decision to settle down can be a tough for some, but especially for a hardened Pirate Captain, who must choose between a rich, ya-harr-filled life of high-seas adventure and the destiny-altering effects of one magical moonlit walk on a beach with the girl he once lost. Wells Fargo executives and Johnny Depp, beware! This play was given a staged reading for the “In Their Voices” reading series at M.T. Pockets Theatre in Morgantown, W.Va.
In The Midst: A COVID-19 Anthology
“Fishbowl” – In March of 2020, my father was in his third week of in-patient physical therapy following spinal surgery, and I had come down from my home in West Virginia to help for what I thought would be a few weeks at most. When COVID-19 hit, that all changed. The virus had already ravaged nursing facilities in multiple states and my Dad’s facility took it very seriously and visitation to his nursing home was restricted to window visits only. These became daily reality for nursing homes worldwide in 2020. While this monologue depiction of one half of such a window visit telephone conversation is fiction, it is directly inspired by conversations I had with my father in the early days of the pandemic, when having only 17 total cases in the state seemed like a lot. (This monologue was first published in the COVID-19 anthology In the Midst, by Inspiration for Writers, edited by Sandy Tritt.)