00 News & Updates

Five USP Alumni Nominated for 2015 Tulip Court

Here at Union Street Players, Pella’s award-winning community theatre, we’ve long known that being involved in theatre helps develop kids into confident, expressive, well-rounded individuals. So, it comes as no surprise that we have have five USP alumni nominated for the 2015 Pella Tulip Time court! We encourage everyone to support these amazing young ladies in their bid to represent our community at next year’s Tulip Time.

USP Alumni nominated are (in alphabetical order):


Megan Atkins

Megan Atkins (A Christmas Carol [2004], Yes Virginia There is a Santa Claus, The Christmas Post, Cheaper by the Dozen, The Sound of Music [2009], K.O.L.D. Radio, Annie, Once Upon a Mattress, Seussical the Musical, A Christmas Carol [2014])





Devin McCainDevin McCain (Jungle Book, Bye Bye Birdie, Seussical the Musical)





Annie Matherly

Annie Matherly (Annie, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat)






Leah Wilborn

Leah Wilborn (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, A Christmas Carol [2004], Yes Virginia There is a Santa)






Eleanor Witt

Eleanor Witt (Music Man [2007], Sound of Music [2009], Annie)




Voters may select their top three candidates from the 20 ladies nominated and drop their ballots off at specified locations, including the Pella Hy-Vee, Fareway, the Vermeer Windmill and Marion County Bank by Tuesday, October 21st. Official ballots were included in this week’s local newspapers. Once the votes have been tallied and the twelve finalists selected, the 2015 Tulip Time Royal Court will be chosen by a panel of judges on Saturday, November 8th at the Pella Christian High School. Tickets to the event will go on sale next month. Rules include only one ballot per voter, and voters must be at least 17 years old and have a permanent home address in the Pella Community School District.

00 News & Updates, 04 The USP Walk of Fame

Don Graves Inducted to Walk of Fame at 2014 USP Awards Night

On Saturday night, October 4th, Union Street Players gathered at the Pella Opera House for our annual Awards Night. Don Graves was this year’s inductee to the USP Walk of Fame. Don was instrumental in the founding of USP and our award winning community theatre’s early years. The evening began with a social hour. USP President, Tom Vander Well, was mater of ceremonies. A slide show highlighting USP’s three productions since last year’s Awards Night was presented. Vander Well announced that all three shows, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, Ham Buns and Potato Salad, and Seussical the Musical were profitable productions. The slide show also honored USP Walk of Fame member, Dottie McGee, who passed away this past summer. The evening’s honoree, Don Graves, was introduced by his wife, Bev Graves, who was inducted to the Walk of Fame back in 2009. Together, the Graves represent the third married couple to be inducted, joining Pat and Peggy Moriarity and Arvin and Pati Van Zante. The evening’s program ended with Vander Well honoring Pati Van Zante for stepping up and volunteering to manage the USP Costume Shop for three years after McGee’s passing. All those who have volunteered at the Costume Shop over the years were also honored.

The evening continued in the Opera House auditorium with Theatre Central’s production of The Game’s Afoot. After the show, everyone returned to the Great Room for dessert and merriment highlighted by Wendy Vander Well’s cheesecakes. The cast and crew of the Central show were invited to join in the festivities along with Theatre Central faculty and alumni. Greetings from former Theatre Central professor and USP member, Ann Wilkinson, were shared with the group by Tom Vander Well as conveyed through Mary Jo Sodd.