There’s no “Tomorrow” if You Don’t Audition Today

Today, Tuesday August 31, is the final opportunity for adults and boys (ages 7 & up) to audition for Union Street Players’ production of “Annie.” Auditions are tonight starting at 6:30 at the Pella Community Center (712 Union Street in Pella).

No experience is necessary. No roles pre cast. Everyone is welcome. Come out and get in on the act.

Over 50 Girls Hope Opportunity Knocks in “Annie”

316 Above: A group of girls hope the door of opportunity opens onto roles in USP's production of "Annie"

Hoping for a "Hard Knock Life," almost 60 girls walked through the door of the Joan Kuyper Farver Auditorium in the Pella Community Center on Saturday morning to audition for roles in Union Street Player's production of "Annie." The popular musical, based on the comic strip about a depression era orphan who escapes the orphanage and finds hope and a home, will round out USP's 2010 season.

Auditions on Saturday were reserved for young girls hoping to be cast in the role of Annie or one of her fellow oprhans. Director Cyndi Atkins was well prepared for the tremendous turnout. The girls were split into groups and run through three audition "stations." At one station they read from the script for the show's director. At another station they danced with a team of Central students helping with choreography. At a third station the girls sang for the show's vocal director, Teresa Bradley.

Auditions for all other roles, including adults and boys will be held this week:

  • Monday, August 30:  6:30 PM  – 8:30 PM (boys 7 to 14 & adults ages 15 and up)
  • Tuesday, August 31:  6:30 PM – 8:30 PM (boys 7 to 14 & adults ages 15 and up)
  • Callbacks if needed will be on September 2 at 7 PM.

Those wishing to audition should come to the Pella Community Center (712 Union Street, Pella). No roles are pre-cast. No experience is necessary. The public is welcome to audition.

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USP Honors Buhrow at 2010 Awards Dinner

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Union Street Players gathered at Monarch’s on the Molengracht last night for their 3rd Annual Award’s Dinner. It was a chance to celebrate the 2009-2010 year and to honor another of USP’s faithful contributors with induction in the USP Walk of Fame.

Current USP President, Tom Vander Well, served as Master of Ceremonies and provided a snapshot of what USP has accomplished in the past year. The group then watched a slideshow of photographs from this past year’s main stage shows (“Little House Christmas at Plum Creek,” “K.O.L.D. Radio, Whitefish Bay,” and “Charlotte’s Web”) played to the strains of “There’s No Business Like Show Business.”

The group honored member, Mike Atkins, who passed away this past spring. Vander Well said that he’d considered asking for a moment of silence, but it just wasn’t appropriate for theatre people. “Silence makes us nervous,” he said, “and gives the feeling that someone isn’t picking up their cues.” He then asked those present to stand, raise their glasses in a toast to Atkins with a resounding “Huzzah!”

USP Vice-President, Deb Linn, introduced this year’s inductee to the USP Walk of Fame. She shared Shelley Buhrow’s many contributions to the community theater over the past 23 years including (but not limited to): actor, director, producer, writer, board member, President and Secretary. Buhrow accepted the honor, expressing her appreciation for those in USP who have meant so much to her.

The program ended, but the evening was far from over as those in attendance sat and socialized far into the night.

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Shelley Buhrow Inducted to USP Walk of Fame

Shelley Buhrow LR In 2008, Union Street Players instituted a Walk of Fame to honor individuals who have been instrumental in making the popular community theater a successful part of Pella's cultural heritage. The USP Board of Directors recently announced Shelley Buhrow as this year's inductee. This next Saturday, USP will hold their third annual Awards Dinner at Monarch's on the Molengracht to honor Buhrow for her contributions to the group over the past 23 years.

Shelley Buhrow has been a constant presence in Union Street Players from the earliest years. USP archives first credit Buhrow as having worked in the Green Room (where actors prepare to go on stage) in 1989's "Polky Dot and the Christmas Wish." Since that time, Buhrow as contributed to Pella's award winning community theater as writer ("Mom's Christmas Memories"), Director ("South Pacific," "Christmas in Tree Town"), Producer ("Sound of Music," "Music Man"), Actor ("Morning's at Seven," "Our Town") as well as serving as President of USP's Board of Directors in 1993-1994. Her long list of credits made her a logical choice for the USP Board of Directors who chose Buhrow from multiple nominations they received.

"Shelley has contributed to the success of Union Street Players in numerous ways," said current USP President, Tom Vander Well. "She exemplifies the type of person USP wants to honor in the Walk of Fame and we're excited to celebrate her many contributions to our group."

Union Street Players Walk of Fame inductees are nominated by USP members or members of the public. The Board of Directors then choose each year's inductee(s). Criteria for nominees include ten years of participation, participation in multiple roles, and contributing to USP's on-going mission. Buhrow will be the sixth inductee to the Walk of Fame. Previous inductees are: Bev Graves (2009), Dottie McGee (2008), Pat Moriarity (2008), Peggy Moriarity (2009), and Arvin Van Zante (2008).

Shelley Buhrow will be honored at Union Street Players' third annual Award Dinner. The dinner will be held at Monarch's on the Molengracht on Saturday, August 28th at 6:00 p.m. Tickets are $25.00 per person, payable at the door, which includes dinner and the program. The public is welcome, though reservations are required by contacting Cyndi Atkins at 641-757-9785 or

Charlotte’s Web Weaves Fun for All


Union Street Players delighted audiences with this summer's production of Charlotte's Web. The classic tale by E.B. White about a pig named Wilbur and the Spider who saves his life was a big hit with every generation. Lisa Morgan made her directoral debut with USP (daughter, Jalissa, assisted) and did a great job with the cast which spanned a wide range of ages and experience levels.

Charlotte's Web had a five show run. The Wednesday night performance was unique compared to most USP shows which run from Thursday through Sunday. Marion County Bank requested a Wednesday performance so they could provide an evening of family entertainment for their employees. USP agreed to the show and opened it up to the public. The early opening night became the highest attended performance.

Kudos to cast and crew for making Charlotte's Web another successful show for USP!

Attendance for the show:

Wed:   201
Thu: 160
Fri:  164
Sat: 124
Sun: 191

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