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.