00 News & Updates

USP’s Randy Icenbice Remembered

Randy Icenbice Head ShotDuring last year’s Tulip Time festival I happened to be in Pella’s Scholte House Museum. Randy Icenbice was a volunteer guide that day. For a time I was in the same area of the museum and was privy to his conversation with another volunteer. He was speaking incessantly of Union Street Players and of the upcoming summer musical Fiddler on the Roof. After a few minutes of Randy’s monologue about his love of theatre and his long resume with USP, I could tell that his listener was weary. I’m sure that Randy, ever challenged with eye problems, didn’t pick up the non-verbal cues. I remember chuckling to myself. There was something sweet and humorous in the moment that captured Randy.

Randy Icenbice passed away this week at the age of 46. In many ways, Randy embodies the spirit of community theatre. A diabetic, Randy had many physical challenges that limited what he could do on stage, but he found his place. Randy was a regular at auditions. Directors and productions crews worked to accommodate Randy’s physical struggles and make sure he could get on and off stage. Theatre people are fond of saying, “there are no small roles,” and Randy could always be counted upon to show up and play his part no matter how small or seemingly insignificant. He was part of our family.

Over the past 18 years Randy was credited for 39 roles, both on and off stage, in 22 different productions. His first appearance with USP was as Traveling Salesman in 1997’s Music Man. Most recently, Randy played Nachum in this past summer’s production of Fiddler on the Roof. Beyond his roles on stage, Randy could be counted on to pitch in with set construction, set painting, and was even credited with Floral Design in 1999’s Sound of Music.

Below is a complete list of Randy’s credited roles with USP:

1997 Traveling Salesman Music Man
1997 Fireman #2 The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
1998 Bob Cratchit A Christmas Carol
1998 Muppin Fiddler on the Roof
1998 Russian Fiddler on the Roof
1998 Villager of Anatevka Fiddler on the Roof
1999 Floral Design The Sound of Music
1999 Soldier The Sound of Music
2000 Policeman Hello Dolly
2000 Set Construction & Paint Hello Dolly
2000 Townsperson Hello Dolly
2001 Waldo the Waiter Guys & Dolls
2002 Chester Dillon It’s a Wonderful Life
2002 Set Construction It’s a Wonderful Life
2002 Mike Oklahoma!
2002 Set Construction Oklahoma!
2003 Grandpa George Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
2004 Beggar A Christmas Carol
2004 Party Guest A Christmas Carol
2004 Scene & Set Construction A Christmas Carol
2004 Schoolmaster A Christmas Carol
2004 Undertaker’s Man A Christmas Carol
2004 Marine Cpl. Hamilton Steeves South Pacific
2005 Old Man Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus
2005 Sam Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus
2005 Scene & Set Construction Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus
2005 Shannon Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus
2006 Funeral Attendee Our Town
2006 Howie Newsome Our Town
2006 Wedding Guest Our Town
2006 Caroler The Christmas Post
2006 Set Construction The Christmas Post
2007 Townsperson Music Man
2007 Traveling Salesman Music Man
2008 Pirate Pirates of Penzance
2010 Hooverville & NYC Chorus Annie
2011 Grandpa Tinkerman A Tinkerman Christmas Eve
2013 Fireman The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
2014 Beggar Christmas Carol
2015 Nachum Fiddler on the Roof

Randy’s funeral will be held at Calvary Christian Reformed Church on Tuesday, December 22nd at 1:30 p.m. Arvin or Pati Van Zante have been asked by the family to share about Randy’s involvement in USP during the service. Visitation will begin at 2:00 p.m. Monday, December 21st at Van Dyk Duven funeral home. Randy’s family will be present from 5:00-7:00 p.m.

Union Street Players will honor Randy at next year’s Award’s Night and a memorial plaque honoring Randy’s involvement will, at that time, be added to our memorial wall in the Pella Community Center

2016 Almost Maine

“Almost, Maine” Cast Announcement

A note of thanks and respect to all who auditioned: Please allow me to thank each and every person who auditioned. Casting decisions are always difficult, and are not made lightly. I appreciate and respect your talent and your courage. Please let me know if you have any questions about your auditions—I welcome those conversations and would be happy to meet with you one-on-one to have a dialogue about your audition and my observations of them. Most importantly, thank you for actively participating in theatre.

Kevin McQuade

Almost, Maine
Cast and Production Staff




Man 1                               Tom Vander Well (Pete, Steve, Lendall, Randy, Daniel)

Man 2                               Spence Ver Meer (East, Jimmy, Chad, Phil, Dave)

Woman 1                         Wendy Vander Well (Ginette, Gayle, Hope)

Woman 2                         Jana De Zwarte (Marvalyn, Marci)

Woman 3                         Sara Collins (Glory, Waitress)

Woman 4                         Stephanie Lantz (Suzette, Rhonda)

Woman 5                         Ana Lucia Reigstad (Sandrine)

Guitar                               In discussion

Violin                                In discussion


Production Team


Director                            Kevin McQuade

Assistant Director/

Stage Manager                Alex Dean

Set Design                        Mat Kelly

Tech Director                   Curtis Brobst

Light Design                     TBA

Sound                               TBA

Costumes                         Linda McQuade

Props                                TBA

The first rehearsal will take place Tuesday, December 15 at 6:30 p.m. at the McQuade home at 201 Utrecht Laan in Pella. Directions will be sent under separate cover to the cast and production team. Please bring a pencil with an eraser and your calendar device (iPad, phone, actual paper calendar, etc.).

2015 The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe

“Lion, Witch, & Wardrobe” Sets Records

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Union Street Players, Pella’s award winning community theatre, set attendance records for a holiday show with this year’s The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. The play, adapted from C.S. Lewis’ timeless children’s classic, delighted audiences with a spectacular wintry set (Set Design by Mat Kelly and Deb Linn) and wonderful costumes (Costume design by Lori Vande Zande). Under the direction of Deb Linn and assistant Cody Kooi, the play transported audiences to the mythical land of Narnia where the four Pevensie children (Tom Palmer, Emily Carlo, Will Rasmussen, and Elyse Parisee) become embroiled in a conflict between the White Witch (Jana DeZwarte) and the lion, Aslan (Lonnie Appleby).

For the first time since USP began keeping accurate attendance, a show opened a on the Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend and had performances on a Monday and Tuesday night. Attendance for the seven show run was:

Sun Nov 29: 290
Mon Nov 30: 101
Tue Dec 1: 129
Thu Dec 3: 175
Fri Dec 4: 297
Sat Dec 5: 284
Sun Dec 6: 339
Total: 1615

The 1,615 audience members over the seven show run was the largest recorded USP audience for a non-musical holiday show and was greater than this past summer’s seven show run of Fiddler on the Roof (1,517). While it is not unprecedented for a non-musical holiday show to have larger audience than the preceding summer musical, data reveal that it is unusual. The choice to open the show on the Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend appears to have been a good one. Attendance for the first performance was only surpassed by the last. Sunday afternoon’s final show was sold out by late Sunday morning.

This is the second time USP has produced The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. While individual show attendance is not available for the 1999 production, USP records reveal that 498 people attended.

Next up for Union Street Players is the romantic comedy Almost, Maine directed by Kevin McQuade. Auditions are this coming week. For more information, please click here.

Photos: Jim Palmer