2014 Seussical the Musical

USP’s “Seussical the Musical” is Cast

First of all, we have to say a heartfelt “Thank you, thank you, thank you!” to all who auditioned this week. The number of people and the level of talent that we enjoyed was fantastic!  But, as is often the case, we had many more people audition than roles to cast.  Many factors went into our decisions, but that doesn’t mean it was easy! Please know that whether your name appears below or not, we sincerely hope you had a pleasant USP experience, and we hope to see you much more in the future!

And now, without further ado, the cast of Union Street Players 2014 production of Seussical The Musical:
(Please see further cast instructions at the end of this post.)

The Cat in the Hat:  Colby Lane Jones

Horton:  Todd Weber

Jojo:  Julia Smart

Gertrude McFuzz:  Sara Collins

Mayzie LaBird:  Jana DeZwarte

The Bird Girls:  Hannah Flanagan, Devon McCain, Suzanna Hall

Mr. Sour Kangaroo:  Joe Cerwinske

Young Kangaroo:  Ashley Uitermarkt

The Wickersham Brothers:  Karl Deakyne, Davis VandeSteeg, Tom Palmer

Mr. Mayor of Whoville:  Doug DeWolf

Mrs. Mayor:  Amy Klein

General Genghis Khan Schmitz:  Greg May

Yurtle the Turtle:  Nathan Boldt

Jungle Animal Ensemble:
Hannah Vos
Aubrey Belzer
Sarah Peterson
Gabrielle Heerema
Breanna Terpstra
Jake Grundey

Who’s of Whoville:
Elizabeth Eisenbarth
Tess Hopkins
Alexa Klein
Sarah DeWolf
Liz DeMoss
Mark Schaefer
Sarah VanNorden

The Cadets:
Grace Eisenbarth
Isaac Piersma
Noah Chaplin
Will Rasmussen
Brayton Douma

Dance Troupe:
Megan Atkins
(Jungle Animals / Fish / Hunches, Hunters)        
Tressa Vos
Sarah Davis
Rebecca Piersma
Courtney Chaplin



We will have a read/sing through on Monday, May 5th from 6:30 – 9 pm in the USP Meeting room at the Community Center (2nd floor across from the auditorium).  You will be measured for costuming, receive your scripts, and your rehearsal CD’s.  Our regular rehearsals will begin Tuesday, May 27th.

Please email our director, Kim Beyer, at kim.beyer@comcast.net with your acceptance of your role and to let her know you will or will not be able to attend this first, very important, rehearsal.

We look forward to working with all of you this summer. We are well on our way to putting on a fantastic show!! Now, go eat some poffertjes!! Happy Tulip Time!

2014 Ham Buns and Potato Salad

“Ham Buns and Potato Salad” Ends Successful Premiere Run


2014 04 05 Ham Buns Tech Act 2152

On Sunday afternoon, Union Street Players lowered the curtain on our production of Ham Buns and Potato Salad. The show was a world premiere of an original script by local playwright Tom Vander Well. The play gets its title from the traditional meal served after funerals in small Iowa towns. It tells the story of a young man who returns to his hometown after twelve years and must face an unresolved scandal involving his childhood girlfriend and her daughter. Add a Jewish agent from New York and a local Vietnam vet who sends town members scrambling for cover when he has one of his legendary flashbacks and you have a recipe for an entertaining evening of theatre.

Pella audiences reported that they loved the show for the range of emotions it evoked. The play was at once part comedy, thriller, romance, drama and mystery.

Attendance figures for the four show run were:

Thu Apr 10: 66
Fri Apr 11: 105
Sat Apr 12: 88
Sun Apr 13: 118

Next up for USP: Seussical the Musical!

2014 Ham Buns and Potato Salad

Stellar, Experienced Cast & Crew Anchor USP’s “Ham Buns”

The Cast of "Ham Buns and Potato Salad"
The Cast of “Ham Buns and Potato Salad”

Union Street Players (USP) will open our spring production of Ham Buns and Potato Salad in four more days. The two-act comedy about small town Iowa will open on Thursday April 10 for a four show run. Despite a shorter than average rehearsal schedule, a capable, veteran cast and crew have assembled to bring the show to the stage.

Ham Buns and Potato Salad takes place in the fictional town of Hebron, Iowa in the summer of 1991. It is set in the back yards of the Prins and De Haas families. As the play begins, John and Esther Prins have died in a tragic car accident. Their only child, Thomas, is returning to Hebron for the first time since he left high school. When Thomas left for college in New York he found himself in the midst of a scandal. His classmate, next door neighbor and best friend, Marian De Haas, was pregnant. Marian gave birth to a daughter, Abby, but refused to tell anyone who Abby’s father was. The unresolved question of who got Marian pregnant has quietly simmered in the town’s collective conscience, and with Thomas returning for his parent’s funeral the heat is turned up on the old scandal.

The cast and crew of Ham Buns and Potato Salad:

IMG_5791Cyndi Atkins portrays the lovable Lola Van Dam, aunt of Marian De Haas. Cyndi is a USP veteran, having made her debut as Mrs. Cratchit in 2004’s A Christmas Carol and followed that with roles in The Christmas Post and The Odd Couple. Cyndi directed Annie in 2010 has been a member of the USP Board of Directors since 2007.




IMG_5735Karl Deakyne plays Thomas Prins, whose homecoming is creating such a stir. Karl is a relative newcomer to USP, but has made quite an impression beginning with his emotional confession at the end of The Night of January 16th and showing off his song and dance talents in last summer’s Bye Bye Birdie.




IMG_5674Doug DeWolf is a longtime veteran of the local stage and plays Marian’s amiable father, Dean De Haas, in Ham Buns and Potato Salad. He made his debut in the 2001’s Guys and Dolls and has juggled numerous roles as varied as Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing to the prosecuting attorney in The Night of January 16th. Doug served several years as a member of the USP Board of Directors.



IMG_5684Jana De Zwarte plays Marian De Haas. Jana won an award as from the Iowa Community Theatre Association (ICTA) for her portrayal of the evil Miss Hannigan in Annie. Jana also delighted audiences in last summer’s Bye Bye Birdie. Jana is also a former member of the USP Board of Directors.




IMG_5669Denise Gregory plays Betty De Haas, the anxious and doting mother of Marian De Haas. Denise has been very active in USP in the past few years with on stage roles in shows such as A Tinkerman Christmas Eve, The Night of January 16th, and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. She directed last summer’s Bye Bye Birdie and is a member of the USP Board of Directors.



IMG_5675Griffin Hammel is making his USP debut as former Hebron all-star athlete and potential father of Abby De Haas, Matt Schuler. While new to USP, he is definitely not new to the stage. Griffin brings a wealth of experience to his role. He is graduating from Central College with a degree in Theatre in a few weeks and will be continuing his study of theatre at graduate school in Houston, TX next fall.



IMG_5724Mark Moreland plays the cantankerous but good-hearted Arl Van Dam, Marian’s uncle and husband of Lola. Mark is an ICTA award winner for his performance in USP’s Vintage Hitchcock. Over the past decade, Mark has become well known to USP audiences with numerous roles to his credit including Mr. Gilbreth in Cheaper by the Dozen and one of the memorable Costazuela brothers in the female version of The Odd Couple.



IMG_5807Arvin Van Zante plays Vietnam veteran “Old Man” Schuler who regularly sends the residents of Hebron scrambling with his infamous flashbacks. Over the past quarter century, Arvin has arguably been the most prolific member in USP history dating back to his first role in 1989’s Never Too Late. Actor, director, Lighting Designer, and member of the Board of Directors, Arvin has done it all. He was one of the original inductees of the USP Walk of Fame.



IMG_5705Wendy Vander Well plays Gladys Iskowitch, a Jewish dame from New York who comes to Hebron with Thomas and is experiencing Iowa for the first time. For the past decade Wendy has been actively involved on stage (Night of January 16th, The Dominie’s Wife, K.O.L.D. Radio) and off (director of The Christmas Post, Producer, Board of Directors member).



IMG_5658Lily Villalobos is making her stage debut as Abby De Haas, daughter of Marian. The youngest and least experienced member of the cast, Lily has more than held her own with all of the adult stage veterans. She has brought joyful exuberance to each rehearsal which clearly transfers to her performance. USP is proud to give many people their first stage experience, and we’ve been blessed to have Lily as part of the cast.



Ann Wilkinson (Director) is an award-winning teacher of theatre, having recently won an award from the Kennedy Center Theatre Festival for her work at Central College. Ann has been instrumental in bringing a number of original works to the USP stage (The Dominie’s Wife, Tulip House, Letters from Pella) and to Theatre Central (Dead Man’s Curve, Angel Camp). She has also directed The Fantasticks, K.O.L.D. Radio and served as a member of the USP Board of Directors.

Anne McCullough Kelly (Stage Manager) won an ICTA award for her role in Once Upon a Mattress and has been active off-stage as director of Cheaper by the Dozen and The Night of January 16th as well as being set designer for Morning’s at Seven. Anne has served as Secretary of USP’s Board of Directors for several years.

Elizabeth Keeney (Stage Manager) is graduating from Central College’s theatre program this spring and has brought her experience and expertise to our production of Ham Buns and Potato Salad. We’ve greatly appreciated her faithful attention to detail and keeping everyone in line all the while managing a busy senior class schedule.

Pati Van Zante (Costume Design) is an ICTA award winner for her costume work in USP’s Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Pati has been involved in USP for a quarter century going back to her first credited role as seamstress in 1989’s Polky Dot and the Christmas Wish. In 1997, Pati directed The Music Man, which was the first in what would become a string of annual Broadway musicals produced by USP. She was inducted into the USP Walk of Fame last fall.

Mat Kelly (Set Design & Construction) is a professor of art at Central College. Mat has quietly made a huge impact off stage for his set work (K.O.L.D. Radio, Cheaper by the Dozen, Morning’s at Seven) as well as the graphic design of posters for most USP shows over the past several years. Mat is a member of the USP Board of Directors.

Cody Kooi (Sound Design) designed sound for The Best Christmas Pageant Ever this past holiday season and returns to bring his quality audio work to Ham Buns and Potato Salad. He has been actively involved in USP and has assisted with audio on our shows for the past several years.

We invite you to come and see what this talented cast and crew have produced in Ham Buns and Potato Salad. Performances are April 10-12 at 7:00 p.m. and April 13 at 2:00 p.m. Tickets may be purchased on-line by clicking here. Tickets are $8 in advance for adults ($10 at the door) and $6 in advance for students ($8 at the door).

For more information email info@unionstreetplayers.com or call our virtual box office 641.204.1094.

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01 Auditions & Talent Calls, 2014 Seussical the Musical

“Seussical the Musical” Audition Information

seuss1AUDITIONS for USP’s “Seussical, the Musical” will be held:
  • Monday April 21  6:30-9:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday April 22 6:30 – 9:00 p.m
  •  Saturday April 26 9:00 a.m. – noon
Pella Community Center
712 Union Street
Pella, IA
Perusal scripts available at the Pella Public Library.
Production dates will be July 25-26; July 31 – August 3.
There are lead/solo roles for 8 men, 7 women, and 2 kids.  Ensemble roles for men, women and kids ages 8 – 88!!
We will also have a specialized dance troupe (dance experience strongly suggested).
Please come to auditions ready to show us any unusual or extraordinary talents you might have (riding unicycle, pointe dancing, tap dancing, juggling, flips, magic tricks, double jointedness, accents…) Please also bring along your calendar of summer commitments, vacations and camps to share with us as we plan rehearsals.
Scripts will be available for perusal (as soon as they arrive from the publisher) at the Pella Public Library circulation desk.  If you just can’t wait to explore this funny, heartfelt, full-of-imagination musical, you can also find a great deal out about characters and story here .
We will have a read-through of the script after casting has been announced but then will not begin regular rehearsals until after Memorial Day.  Rehearsals will run through July and, again the production dates will be July 25-26; July 31 – August 3.
We are also looking for people to join our production team. Please contact us if you are interested in costuming or sewing crew, set construction, pit orchestra, hair and make up, choreography, etc.
If you have ANY questions, please feel free to contact the director, Kim Beyer, at kim.beyer@comcast.net or the producer, Brystal Hopkins, at brystalhopkins@gmail.com.
We look forward to seeing you at auditions!!!