WTC Ten-Minute Play Festival coming to Winters on Jan. 24

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By Jim Hewlett Special to the Express

The inaugural Winters Theatre Company (WTC) Ten-Minute Play Festival, coming to the Winters Community Center the last weekend of January, will bring eight original short plays, including comedies, dramas, and thought-provoking pieces, to Winters for the first time. The festival has been in the planning and development process for about a year.

Jim Hewlett, a WTC board member, and one of the festival organizers, participated as an actor in a similar type of festival in Sacramento several years ago and really liked the concept. According to Jim, “It was fun to see the wide variety of short shows, performed one right after the other, showcasing the creative talents of local playwrights. There was a great energy and excitement for both the audience and actors at the festival!”

Jim discussed the idea of bringing a similar festival to Winters at a WTC board meeting. Bruce Guelden, a local playwright in Winters, whose play “Where’s This Train Going?” was featured in the Sacramento play festival, and also will be featured in the inaugural WTC festival, attended that same board meeting, where he shared his experiences of being a part of similar festivals and ways that WTC could start a festival of its own.

From there, the idea was born, and Ana Kormos, another festival organizer and WTC board member, began the planning process with Jim.  Ana said, “I attended the festival in Sacramento a couple of years ago and I thought it was fantastic!  I am really excited for WTC to have this opportunity to work with local playwrights and directors to create a fresh, new experience for the audience.”

The initial process went fairly quickly. Scripts were solicited in October and selected in November, auditions were held in December, and cast members chosen in early January. Now, directors are working with their actors to get their blocking down and lines memorized to ensure a fun-filled evening for the audience.

The focus of this inaugural play festival is on local playwrights, with many playwrights from the local area, including Winters, West Sacramento, Sacramento, and the San Francisco Bay Area.  There are eight featured plays in the Ten-Minute Play Festival. They are:

• Astronauts in Love by Nicholas Walker Herbert

• Blue Bench by Aleks Merilo

• El Don Ray by Rodney Orosco

• Life of Trees by Peter Snoad

• Missing the Boat, Son by Mark Smith

• Reservations by Kristine Mietzner

• The Rug by Brian Spencer

• Where’s This Train Going? by Bruce Guelden

Descriptions of each of the plays are available on the Winters Theatre Company website at

The Ten-Minute Play Festival will take place the last weekend of January at the Winters Community Center at 201 Railroad Avenue in Winters. Show times on Friday and Saturday, Jan. 24 and 25 will be at 7:30 p.m. Show time on Sunday, Jan. 26 will be at 2 p.m.

Tickets are available on the Winters Theatre Company website at Prices are $12 general admission, and $10 for seniors and children 12 and under.

Questions? Contact the festival organizers, Jim Hewlett at or Ana Kormos at


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