00 News & Updates, 2016 Almost Maine

5 Reasons to See USP’s “Almost, Maine”

Union Street Players’ production of Almost, Maine is the place to be April 14-17th. The spring production is a romantic comedy that has, in recent years, become the most produced play in community theatres and schools across the United States. Critics have called Almost, Maine the Our Town of the 21st century. The popular play is sure to delight local audiences, but there are other reasons to mark your calendars and get purchase your tickets:

  1. Almost, Maine will be the local directing debut of Kevin McQuade, Executive Director of the Pella Opera House. Kevin has a master’s degree in directing and has taught theatre in both the secondary and college levels. Kevin brings a wealth of experience to the local stage and USP is excited to have a director with such talent at the helm of our show. As an audience member, you will be delighted with the results!
  2. Local audiences have come to expect great things from our talented veteran actors, and Almost, Maine features a number of them in the ensemble including Jana DeZwarte, who won the ICTA award for Best Actress as Miss Hannigan in Annie and recently starred as the White Witch in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Spence Ver Meer has been USP’s memorable leading man as Captain Von Trapp in Sound of Music and as Emile DeBecque in South Pacific. Sara Collins has been a regular on the USP stage, starring as Grandma Tzeitel in Fiddler on the Roof and Gertrude McFuzz in Suessical the Musical. Wendy Vander Well has starred in a number of comedic roles for USP over the years including Gladys Iskowitch in Ham Buns and Potato Salad, Olive Madison in The Odd Couple, and Corrie Bratter in Barefoot in the Park. Tom Vander Well is remembered for his role as Lars Knudsen in O.L.D. Radio and as the Elvis impersonating Pharaoh in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. You don’t want to miss this amazing group of experienced actors on stage together!
  3. USP is proud to continually give new residents and aspiring actors a chance to shine. Ana Lucia Reigstad made her USP debut last summer in Fiddler on the Roof and then made a memorable turn as villain Fenris Ulf in The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe. Stephanie Lantz makes her local debut in Almost, Maine and you don’t want to miss her gut busting antics in the show’s finale!
  4. The shows nine vignettes about love and relationships is tied together with amazing live music from the talented of Charlee Eekhoff (our Fiddler from last summer’s Fiddler on the Roof) and Tyler Coleman.
  5. Almost, Maine takes place at 9:00 p.m. on a moonless night in the depths of winter in northern Maine. The set is artistically staged by Mat Kelly and Curtis Brobst and the Aurora Borealis (aka Northern Lights) will delight audiences thanks to the veteran lighting wizardry of USP Walk of Fame member Arvin Van Zante. The show also features audio effects designed by Cody Kooi who has engineered sound on over ten USP shows.

Almost, Maine will be performed April 14-16 at 7:00 p.m. and April 17 at 2:00 p.m. on the stage of the Joan Kuyper Farver Auditorium in the Pella Community Center (712 Union Street, Pella, 50219). Tickets are available for purchase at a reduced fare in advance on-line at http://ticketpeak.com/events/usp . Any remaining seats will be available for purchase at the door. If you have any questions, please call USP’s virtual box office 641-204-1094.

00 News & Updates, 01 Auditions & Talent Calls

Theatrical Experience Offered for Grades 5-8

Union Street Players is sponsoring The Theatrical Experience-Summer production of Tom Sawyer,  this summer which is scheduled for the week of June 20-25! It will be, for children Currently in  5th grade through 8th grade (as of this school year).  It will include creating a production of Tom Sawyer. There are stage roles for 5 girls and 8 boys (The first 5 girls and 8 boys to register are guaranteed a stage role in the production.). There are also 6 production roles available in areas such as directing, lighting, sound, stage manager, etc. This production will be created entirely by the children with adult guidance. There are limited spots available so don’t delay in registering your child for this delightful learning experience!

The fee per child is $50 for the camp.
Registration is from April 4 to May 2, 2016.

Please click on the link provided below for registration info and camp details.

Contact cody.kooi@gmail.com with questions or for more information.


2016 Almost Maine

Tickets on Sale for “Almost, Maine”!


Jana DeZwarte and Spence Ver Meer rehearsing a scene from "Almost, Maine"
Jana DeZwarte and Spence Ver Meer rehearsing a scene from “Almost, Maine”

Union Street Players, Pella’s award-winning community theatre, is excited to announce that tickets for our spring production, Almost, Maine, are now on sale! Simply click the button below to securely purchase tickets online!

purchase tickets button

About Almost, Maine

Although many people have never heard of the show, Almost, Maine, it has rocketed from obscurity to become the most frequently produced show in schools and community theatres across the United States. Don’t miss your opportunity to see this instant classic for the first time and see for yourself what audiences across the country are raving about!

The play is set in a mythical, unincorporated community in northern Maine called “Almost” (population 300). It is a moonless night in the depths of the harsh Maine winter and the Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights, are ablaze in the sky.  Through the course of the evening audiences meet nine different couples experiencing diverse relational circumstances and in nine different, unique scenes. Each scene takes place minutes before 9:00 p.m. and each couple experiences a “magical” moment at exactly the same 9:00 p.m. moment. It is a romantic comedy sure delight!

“This snowy play will leave you much warmed, and in more ways than you may have expected.” The Des Moines Register

“Mega-hit ALMOST, MAINE lands somewhere between Norman Rockwell and ‘Our Town.’ Unabashedly unhip. There is no pretense of an edge here — the show offers a sweetness and decency that’s become rare at the theater. At this point, it’s a welcome breath of fresh air.” The New York Post (2014)

“AMOST, MAINE’s charm is real. [It] packs wit, earns its laughs and, like love, surprises you.” The New York Daily News (2014)

“Entirely charming. Hilarious. Sweet but not cloying. ALMOST, MAINE is a fairy tale, or a collection of them, and it’s quiet enough, subtle enough, funny enough…that we believe.” The New York Observer

“Escape from cell phones and city tensions to a world where a kiss is not just a kiss, but a life changing big deal.” CurtainUp.com (2006)

“Bewitching. Unashamed warmth emanates through every minute of ALMOST, MAINE. A heady antidote for the frostbitten cynicism that is currently defining our world.” TalkinBroadway.com (2014)

“Heartwarming and comedic. Complex. Complicated. [ALMOST, MAINE charts the] search for intimacy in the midst of ennui and profound loneliness.” TheaterReviews.com (NY)

“Catchy and creative. The perfect date show for young and old alike.”AM New York

Performance Dates/Times

Thu Apr 14 at 7:00 p.m.
Fri Apr 15 at 7:00 p.m.
Sat Apr 16 at 7:00 p.m.
Sun Apr 17 at 2:00 p.m.

All shows on the stage of the Joan Kuyper Farver Auditorium in the Pella Community Center, 712 Union Street, Pella, IA 50219.

All pre-show tickets are sold on-line. Tickets may also be purchased at the door (typically $2.00 more) of any performance, subject to availability.

Questions? Call USP’s virtual box office at 641-204-1094

purchase tickets button