New and familiar faces join in holiday play festival fun

Winters Theatre Company actors Greg Lanzaro, Sean Gavin, Brandon Frye, Jim Hewlett and Mike De Nardi in action at a rehearsal. (Courtesy photo)

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By Jim Hewlett
Special to the Express

The wonderful thing about a 10-minute play festival is that it provides an opportunity for many actors to get in on the fun, whether they choose to perform in one play, or in multiple 10-minute plays. It also provides an opportunity for newcomers to get involved, and that’s just what is happening with the Winters Theatre Company (WTC) Holiday Play Festival.

One of these WTC newcomers is Haley Carpenter, who has performed previously in several productions, including “To Kill A Mockingbird.” Carpenter will be performing in four of the plays, or put another way, in half the plays in the festival. At auditions, Carpenter indicated that she was up for playing an elf…she definitely came to the right place.

When asked why people should see the show, Carpenter said, “People should see the show because the plays are very funny, entertaining, enrapturing, and fun for the whole family.” And when asked specifically why she enjoys playing the part of an elf in the various plays, Carpenter shared that “What I like most about playing an elf is that I can be myself: cheerful, happy, and overall joyful about everything.” We could all use more of those feelings these days.

Other newcomers to the WTC stage for the Holiday Play Festival include Sean Gavin, Brandon Frye, Lynn Rolston, Bill Corliss, and Mike Denardi. WTC is excited to have so many new faces joining in on the holiday fun and sharing their talents with the community.

These newcomers are joined by several actors who have been involved with the Winters Theatre Company for more than 20 years, including Trent Beeby, Tom Rost, and Ann Rost. Beeby is making his second appearance in a WTC 10-minute festival, after previously performing in several plays in the inaugural WTC 10-Minute Play Festival, held in January 2020. He has also performed in many other WTC productions over the years, including “It’s A Wonderful Life,” “The Sound of Music,” “Leading Ladies,” and a number of Shakespeare productions.

Like Beeby, Tom Rost has also performed in many WTC Shakespeare productions over the years, as well as “Greetings,” “The Sound of Music,” and “Fruitcakes.” Ann Rost is yet another veteran WTC actor, having performed in “Fruitcakes,” “Heaven Can Wait” and “Calendar Girls.”

With the talent, energy and enthusiasm of the new actors, combined with the expertise and talent of the veteran actors, the Winters 10-Minute Holiday Play Festival will be a fun event for audiences to celebrate the holiday season.

A complete list of each of the plays to be performed is available on the Winters Theatre Company website at 

Shows will be at the Grand Prince Odeum Church at 201 Main St. in Winters at 7:30 p.m. Thursday on Dec. 8 through Saturday, Dec. 10; and Thursday, Dec. 15 through Saturday, Dec. 17. There are no Sunday shows.

There will be an intermission after the first four plays, with a variety of snacks and non-alcoholic beverages available.  Tickets can be purchased online on the Winters Theatre Company website or at the door on the evening of the event.

Ticket prices are $15 for adults and $10 for children 12 and younger. Visit, email or call 530-795-4014 for information.

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