01 Auditions & Talent Calls, 2013 Best Christmas Pageant Ever

USP Announces Auditions for “Best Christmas Pageant Ever”

Union Street Players is excited to reprise what has become one of the most beloved Christmas tales. USP President, Tom Vander Well (previously directed The Odd Couple (Female Version), Morning’s at Seven, Barefoot in the Park), takes the helm of this holiday production which will be produced for the fourth time by USP.

In this hilarious Christmas classic, a couple struggling to put on a church Christmas pageant is faced with casting the Herdman kids–probably the most inventively awful kids in history. You won’t believe the mayhem – and the fun – when the Herdmans collide with the Christmas story head on! This delightful comedy is adapted from the best-selling Young Adult book, and has become a holiday staple for theatre across the United States! Features plenty of great roles for children and adults, a few favorite Christmas Carols, and a lot of laughs!



Saturday, September 7th (9:00 a.m. to Noon)

Monday, September 9th (8:00-10:00 p.m. ADULTS ONLY)

Tuesday, September 10th (7:00-9:00 p.m.)

Roles for:

6 Adult Females

2+ Adult Males

14+ Children ages 8 to teen

Production Dates December 5-8, 2013


For More Information Contact
Tom Vander Well, Director (tomvanderwell@gmail.com)
Wendy Vander Well, Producer (wendyvanderwell@gmail.com)

Produced by special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc.
Union Street Players and our productions are sponsored by the Pella Community Center
00 News & Updates, 04 The USP Walk of Fame

USP to Induct Two Into “Walk of Fame”

2013 08 Pati VZ and Witz

Union Street Players‘ family gathered last week for a potluck to celebrate a successful 2012-2013 and to elect Board Members for the 2013-2014 fiscal year. During the festivities, Board President Tom Vander Well announced that USP will be inducting two individuals to the USP Walk of Fame this fall. The Walk of Fame is a honorary designation given since 2008 to individuals who have been actively involved over ten years and have contributed to the furthering of USP’s mission in multiple capacities. Nominations are accepted from both members and the public. The Board of Directors chooses inductees who are honored at USP’s annual award’s dinner held each fall.

In making the announcement, Vander Well explained that last year the Board of Directors had chosen not to induct an individual into the Walk of Fame because USP was celebrating their 25th Anniversary and the Board wanted to celebrate everyone who had been involved over the years. This year the Board received and considered the nominations of five different individuals. Vander Well reported that the Board found each and every individual nominated worthy of induction. He went on to explain that the annual award is intended to honor every worthy individual over time. Those who were not chosen this year will be reconsidered next year and in future years. Having not awarded an individual last year, the Board of Directors opted to induct two members into the Walk of Fame this year: Pat Van Zante and Liza Witzenburg

Pat Van Zante‘s first credited role for USP was as a seamstress in 1989’s Polky Dot and the Christmas Wish. Her involvement has been on-going since then. She has been on-stage several times and has served as a Board Member, but her greatest mark on USP has been as a Director and with Costumes. In 1997, she took the helm as Director of Music Man. That production launched USP’s tradition of producing at least one musical each year. Hers was the first in a string of 17 annual musicals produced to date. She reprised the musical again in 2007. Last year, her costume work in two USP productions (Night of January 16th and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat) made her a finalist for the Iowa Community Theater Associations annual award for outstanding achievement. She won the award for her costuming in Joseph.

Lisa Witzenburg is one of the founding members of Union Street Players when the group officially incorporated back in 1989. Her first credited role was doing programs and make-up for Never Too Late in 1989. Her first credited stage role was as Veta Louise Simmons in 1990’s production of Harvey. She has been regularly involved over the years both on and off the stage. She served two terms as USP’s President and one as Vice-President. She worked as Director on two productions (Legend of the Christmas Rose and Guys and Dolls) and appeared in the spotlight as Marian Paroo in USP’s first production of Music Man. She is credited with many other roles through the years.

USP will induct Pat Van Zante and Lisa Witzenburg into the USP Walk of Fame at an annual awards dinner on the evening of Saturday October 5th at the Pella Opera House. More information will be released in the coming weeks. The evening will include a meal of light appetizers and a brief program. Participants will go upstairs to enjoy Theatre Central’s production of Jekyl and Hyde in the Pella Opera House auditorium followed by drinks, dessert and an informal reception in the Great Hall.

00 News & Updates

USP Celebrates 2012-2013 and Elects 2013-2014 Board

(L to R) Deb Linn, Mark Schaefer, Denise Gregory, Anne McCullough-Kelly, Mat Kelly, Wendy Vander Well, Tom Vander Well)
(L to R) Deb Linn, Mark Schaefer, Denise Gregory, Anne McCullough-Kelly, Mat Kelly, Wendy Vander Well, Tom Vander Well)

Union Street Players, Pella’s award-winning community theatre, enjoyed a gorgeous summer evening at West Market Park on Monday. We gathered for a family potluck picnic to celebrate a successful 2012-2013 and to elect officers to serve in 2013-2014. USP’s fiscal year runs from Sep 1 through August 31 of each calendar year and an annual meeting is held each August to sign-up members for the coming year and for the annual election of officers.

President, Tom Vander Well shared a recap of this past year which included:

  • Our 25th Anniversary season celebration last September at the Pella Opera House.
  • Two very successful productions: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Bye Bye Birdie.
  • Our productions had several finalists for awards from the Iowa Community Theater Association and Pat Van Zante was awarded for Outstanding Costumes in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
  • We brought in an increasing number of advertising in our programs and raised a record amount of advertising revenue.
  • Thanks to a fund raising campaign to replace the curtains on the Joan Kuyper Farver Auditorium we brought in a record amount of patron income.
  • USP worked with the City of Pella and invested nearly $10,000 to make improvements to the Joan Kuyper Farver Auditorium in the Pella Community Center including new stage curtains, a new sound board which replaced one which was damaged by a lightning strike, and a new lighting computer, mixing board, and software.
  • In cooperation with Pella Shakespeare Company, USP gave $1000 along with the voice talent of several members to help Pella Hospice create an audiobook version of The Four Things That Matter Most by Ira Byock. The audiobooks will be given away to Hospice patients and their families.
  • USP held acting and directing workshops for local adults free of charge.
  • Our fourth annual Act Up ! Drama Camp was our most successful ever with a record number of youth (K-8) involved in the week long introduction to theatre.

The Board of Directors for 2013-2014 are:

President: Tom Vander Well
Vice-President: Denise Gregory
Secretary: Anne McCullough-Kelly
Treasurer: Wendy Vander Well
At-Large: Mat Kelly
At-Large: Deb Linn
At-Large: Mark Schaefer

00 News & Updates

Union Street Players Family Potluck Picnic!

??????????Everyone is invited to Union Street Players’ family potluck picnic!

When: Monday, August 12 at 6:00 p.m.
Where: Northeast Shelter of West Market Park (by playground)
What to bring:

◾A dish to share (or two)
◾USP will provide some water, if you want anything else bring it.
◾Please feel free to bring your own picnic plates & utensils, though we will have some paper plates and plastic utensils for those who don’t.
◾Your whole family and/or friends

The picnic will serve as our annual meeting, though we will be keeping business short and to the point. We will be collecting membership dues ($10/year). We’d LOVE to have you join USP! Those who join will be allowed to participate in the annual election of our Board of Directors. You can still come if you choose not to become a member (but we hope you will)!

If anyone is interested in nominating yourself or another individual (with their permission) to be on the USP Board of Directors for the 2013-2014 year, please submit nominations to our Secretary, amcculloughkelly@gmail.com.

See you next Monday evening at West Market Park!!

2013 Bye Bye Birdie

Everyone Swoons for “Bye Bye Birdie”

Everyone Swoons for Bye Bye Birdie

Union Street Players closed the final curtain on the summer musical, Bye Bye Birdie, this past Sunday afternoon. Positive word of mouth from the first weekend of shows created a swell of ticket sales in the second weekend. Congratulations to Director Denise Gregory, Producer Deb Linn, and their fantastic cast and crew for a job well done!

Attendance numbers:

Thu Jul 25: 106
Fri Jul 26: 215
Sat Jul 27: 212 (matinee)

Fri Aug 2: 212
Sat Aug 3: 162
Sun Aug 4: 213 (matinee)