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