Union Street Players, Pella’s award-winning community theatre, is now selling tickets to our 2013 holiday show, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. As always, our holiday show coincides with the annual Christmas in Pella weekend and Tour of Homes. Performances of this family-friendly holiday comedy will be:
Thu Dec 5 at 7:00 p.m.
Fri Dec 6 at 7:00 p.m.
Sat Dec 7 at 7:00 p.m.
Sun Dec 8 at 2:00 p.m. matinee!
All performances are on the stage of the Joan Kuyper Farver Auditorium in the Pella Community Center, 712 Union Street, Pella, Iowa.
Tickets are $7.00 for adults and $5.00 for students and children. Tickets may be purchased on-line by clicking here. If you require assistance you may call our virtual box office at 641-204-1094
Union Street Players‘ production closed on Sunday afternoon to a full house and capped one of the most successful runs for a non-musical show in USP history. This is the fourth time USP has produced the Christmas classic about a group of ruffian siblings who take over the church’s annual Christmas pageant. The past productions were in 1997, 2001, and 2007. This year’s show delighted audiences who filled the Joan Kuyper Farver Auditorium in the Pella Community Center for each of the four performances. Attendance figures for the four show run were:
- Thursday, December 5th: 243
- Friday, December 6th: 281
- Saturday, December 7th: 267
- Sunday, December 8th: 290
- [*Tuesday special performance for Marion County Bank] 93
- Total: 1,081 [*1,174]
Director Tom Vander Well had announced to the cast after the closing performance that the final show attendance was 331, but a review of the numbers revealed an error in the figures. Nevertheless, this production of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever proved to be the best attended non-musical show in USP recorded history and the first non-musical to exceed 1,000 audience members. The total of the four show run was 1081 audience members is almost twice the average non-musical audience (526), and while holiday non-musical shows tend to attract a larger average audience (731) this year’s Best Christmas Pageant Ever set new records.
Congratulations to cast and crew who put together another successful USP production!
Next up for Union Street Players: The world premiere of an original script! Ham Buns and Potato Salad sure to delight Pella audiences:
When Thomas Prins was 18 his hometown of Hebron, Iowa (population 318) was boiling in a scandal that was never resolved. He packed his bags and left for college in New York City. He went to school, found unexpected success as a writer, and never looked back. Twelve years later, after his parents lose their lives in a tragic auto accident, Thomas has no choice but to return home. The town prepares for the funeral and the local residents are atwitter that “Tommy” is coming home. With his return, heat is turned up on the old scandal which has quietly simmered in the town’s collective conscience since his departure. Ham Buns and Potato Salad is a play about going home. It’s about grief and hope. It’s about confronting our past and stepping into our future. It’s about small town quirks and human frailties. It’s about fear and love and grace and forgiveness.
Ham Buns and Potato Salad by Tom Vander Well
Directed by Ann Wilkinson
Audition dates are not set
Production is set for April 10-13, 2014
This from USP member, and Opera House Director, Kevin McQuade:
THE PELLA OPERA HOUSE
THE DINING ROOM
Monday, November 11, 6 to 9 p.m.
Tuesday, November 12, 6 to 9 p.m.
Saturday, November 16, 1 to 4 p.m.
Six Actors Needed
(three women, three men)
These are paid positions. Each actor will receive a $250 stipend.
Acting experience highly preferred.
Where: Pella Opera House, theatre (2nd floor)
What: please come prepared to tell a one-minute (maximum) joke. Cold readings from the script will also be conducted. One-page resumés and headshots are not required, but they are welcome.
When: this production will have two performances. Friday and Saturday, February 14-15, 2014 at 7 p.m.
Who: the ensemble consists of six actors who each play ~9 roles. Ideally, we need people who have the ability to play a wide range of ages and personalities. Any adult, as well as any high school junior or senior with access to transportation is welcome to audition.
Questions? Please contact the director, Kevin McQuade, at 641-628-8628, or at email@example.com
It is with shock and great sadness that we share news of the passing of one of our own. Sherman “Sherm” Van Zee first appeared on the USP stage in the 2006 production of “The Christmas Post” in which he played the lovable “Brother Sam.” A man of considerable talent and a love of music, he was Music Director for USP’s 2007 production of “Music Man.” Many will remember his iconic pose standing with his head against a tree when he played Carl Bolton in 2007′s “Morning’s at Seven.” He also played a disgruntled Pella settler, Teunis, in the 2009 Tulip Time production “Letters from Pella.”
We remember Sherm as a gentle soul with a sweet spirit. He was beloved by all who worked with him. In recent years Sherm moved to Prairie City to live with and care for his aging parents. At September’s monthly meeting of USP, Pat Van Zante had announced that Sherm had agreed to work with her as Music Director on an upcoming USP musical production. He will be certainly missed both on and off the stage.
Sherm died on Tuesday, September 17, 2013 at Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines. Funeral services for Sherm will be Saturday, September 21, 11:00 a.m. at the First Reformed Church in Prairie City. A luncheon will follow.