00 News & Updates, 04 The USP Walk of Fame

Who Do YOU Think Will Win the “USPy” for Outstanding Production?

2016-2017 USPy nominees for Outstanding Production

On September 23rd, Union Street Players will present the first annual awards for Outstanding Production and Performance (aka the “USPy”). Nominees and winners were chosen by a five judge panel of local theatre educators. Now it’s your turn to vote for which show you think will win the “USPy” for outstanding show this year:

00 News & Updates, 01 Auditions & Talent Calls, 2017 Its a Wonderful LIfe

“It’s a Wonderful Life” Auditions

Wlife AUDweb

There are five perusal scripts available at the Pella Public Library for a two-day check out. There are 26 speaking parts and some small ensemble opportunities. The cut off age for walk in auditions is eight-years old.  Any actors younger than eight years old must be approved by the director to audition previous to the audition.

Director Pati Van Zante can be reached at 641-780-3190.

00 News & Updates, 04 The USP Walk of Fame

USP Awards Night September 23rd!

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It was ten years ago that Union Street Players (USP) instituted our Walk of Fame and began our annual autumnal Awards Night. For our Awards Night’s 10th Anniversary, USP is taking things to a whole new level!

We invite the public to join us for an evening of food, fun, and celebration as we remember another successful year as Pella’s award-winning community theatre. USP will be inducting Doug DeWolf into the USP Walk of Fame. We will also be instituting our first annual “USPy” awards. Professional, local theatre educators have adjudicated every show of our 2016-2017 season. They have nominated finalists for awards of outstanding performance and production in several categories. Winners will be announced at our Awards Night Celebration. We will also look back at our 2015-2016 productions includingThe Christmas PostNoises Off, and The Wizard of Oz.

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If you would like to pay with a check, or have questions or need help purchasing tickets, please call the box office at 641-204-1094.

Here’s what you need to know:

When:  September 23, 2017, 6 PM – 11 PM
Where:  Pella Opera House
Cost:  $15 adult (17+), $10 child

Tickets must be purchased in advance online by September 18!!

Call the USP Box Office at 641-204-1094 for assistance or questions

6:00  Reception with heavy appetizer buffet and cash bar
7:00  Evening program with Induction of Doug DeWolf to Walk of Fame and 1st annual USPy Awards

Dessert, drinks, and conversation to follow award ceremony 

Attire: Cocktail/Party/Business Casual

2017 USPy Nomination Announcement Video 

Here are the 2017 Nominees for Outstanding Production and Performance (or, as we’re calling them, the “USPys”):

Outstanding Technical Achievement

  • Mat Kelly for Set Design, The Christmas Post
  • Karen Ryals and Brystal Hopkins for Choreography, The Christmas Post
  • Jim Palmer for Set Design, Noises Off
  • Kim Beyer for Make-up Design, The Wizard of Oz
  • Anne McCullough Kelly for Costume Design, The Wizard of Oz

Outstanding Ensemble

  • Newsies, The Christmas Post
  • Shoppers, The Christmas Post
  • Crows, The Wizard of Oz

Outstanding Young Performer

  • Mia Andringa as Katie Garfield, The Christmas Post
  • Garion Cutler as Nikko-Monkey Leader, The Wizard of Oz

Outstanding Newcomer

  • Mia Andringa as Katie Garfield, The Christmas Post
  • Elise Pederson as Alice, The Christmas Post
  • Becca Beyer as Toto, The Wizard of Oz
  • Cory Oltrogge as Zeke,  The Wizard of Oz

Outstanding Actor in a Supporting Role

  • Doug DeWolf as Brother Sam Gillespie, The Christmas Post
  • Tom VanderWell as Elliot Herzog Jr., The Christmas Post
  • Jessie Nieboer as Tim Algood, Noises Off
  • Dayrel Gates as Uncle Henry, The Wizard of Oz
  • Arvin VanZante as Professor/Wizard, The Wizard of Oz

Outstanding Actress in a Supporting Role

  • Kim Beyer as Dixie Plunkett, The Christmas Post
  • Jana DeZwarte as Poppy Norton-Taylor, Noises Off
  • Lynn Cutler as Almira Gulch, The Wizard of Oz
  • Jana DeZwarte as Glinda, The Wizard of Oz
  • Deb Linn as Aunt Em, The Wizard of Oz

Outstanding Actor in a Leading Role

  • Scott Burns as Maxwell Q. Seldon, The Christmas Post
  • Lonnie Appleby as Garry, Noises Off
  • Lonnie Appleby as Scarecrow, The Wizard of Oz
  • Spence Ver Meer as Cowardly Lion, The Wizard of Oz

Outstanding Actress in a Leading Role

  • Lisa Witzenburg as Hattie McGee, The Christmas Post
  • Elise Pederson as Alice Garfield, The Christmas Post
  • Stephanie Lantz as Dotty Otley, Noises Off
  • Sarah Davis as Brooke Ashton, Noises Off

Outstanding Direction

  • Wendy VanderWell for The Christmas Post
  • Denise Gregory for Noises Off
  • Anne McCullough Kelly for The Wizard of Oz

Outstanding Production

  • The Christmas Post
  • Noises Off
  • The Wizard of Oz


00 News & Updates

New Leadership for USP

2017-2018 USP Board of Directors (L-R Pati Van Zante, Arvin Van Zante, Denise Gregory, Mat Kelly, Deb Linn, Jim Palmer, Kim Beyer, Doug De Wolf)

Union Street Players, Pella’s award-winning community theatre, held our annual elections on Monday evening, August 14th. For several years now, USP has held the August annual meeting at West Market Park and celebrated the finish of our fiscal year with a potluck picnic. Once again, a large crowd of members gathered to honor the year that was and look forward to the future.

After everyone filled themselves with a generous feast, USP President, Tom Vander Well, presided over elections for the 2017-2018 Board of Directors. The 2017-2018 Board of Directors bring years of experience to their posts, however the leadership of Pella’s community theatre will look different in the coming year.

The 2017-2018 USP Board of Directors will be:

President: Mat Kelly
Vice-President: Denise Gregory
Secretary: Deb Linn
Treasurer: Jim Palmer
At-Large: Kim Beyer
At-Large: Doug DeWolf
At-Large: Arvin Van Zante

In keeping with the USP Corporate By-Laws the USP Costume Shop Manager, Pati Van Zante, will also serve as an ex-officio Board Member. Past President, Tom Vander Well, will also serve an ex-officio role for one year to help with the transition, as prescribed by the organizational By-Laws.

With the exception of Jim Palmer, all of the 2017-2018 Board members have previously served on the USP Board. Palmer has been an active member and participant of USP, both on stage and off, for many years. Arvin Van Zante and Doug DeWolf will retain their positions on the Board. Deb Linn and Kim Beyer will continue to serve on the Board, though each will be in new positions in the coming year. Denise Gregory and Mat Kelly are returning to the Board, having served in different capacities in previous years.

Out-going President, Tom Vander Well, also gave an annual report during the meeting. USP has invested money in infrastructure improvements during the 2016-2017 year including:

  • Repairing and renovating the Pella Community Center audio system
  • Organizing and moving prop storage to a new storage facility
  • Repairing and rehanging USP show posters in the Community Center hallway
  • Adding additional storage in the Pella Community Center for audio and lighting equipment
  • Funding the cleaning of duct work in the Community Center auditorium HVAC system
  • Updating air conditioning in the USP meeting room and Green Room

Vander Well reported that the investment in infrastructure meant that USP would end the 2016-2017 fiscal year “in the red.” Nevertheless, USP celebrated strong support from local donors and advertisers. He also cited strong support from, and collaboration with, the City of Pella who sponsor USP and generously provide for USP’s stage home in the Pella Community Center.

The outgoing Board of Directors will finish their tenure by administrating the 2017 USP Awards Night. Doug DeWolf was announced as this year’s inductee to the USP Walk of Fame. Vander Well encouraged everyone to pay attention to the website and Facebook for upcoming announcements about the Awards Night and the first annual “USPy” awards.

2017 Wizard of Oz

USP Closes “The Wizard of Oz”

Union Street Players, Pella’s award-winning community theatre, followed the yellow brick road and ushered delighted audience members to Emerald City for seven wonderful performances. The summer musical production of The Wizard of Oz brought the familiar favorite to life for local audience members. The show also fulfilled the dreams of cast members who had longed to be part of the iconic story. Director Anne McCullough Kelly capably helmed her first musical production and the stellar cast included veteran USP Walk of Fame members as well actors making their USP debut.

Attendance for the seven-show run was:

Fri Jul 21: 199
Sat Jul 22: 167
Sun Jul 23: 231
Tue Jul 25: 271
Fri Jul 28: 181
Sat Jul 29: 182
Sun Jul 30: 241
Total: 1,472

With the curtain dropping on The Wizard of Oz USP finishes it’s 2016-2017 season. USP will hold elections for our 2017-2018 Board of Directors at our annual meeting and picnic on August 14, and will celebrate our annual Awards Night on September 23rd. The 2017-2018 season will be:

Holiday 2017: It’s a Wonderful Life directed by Pati Van Zante
Spring 2018: Twelve Angry Men directed by Spence Ver Meer
Summer 2018: Kiss Me Kate directed by Pati Van Zante

00 News & Updates, 04 The USP Walk of Fame

USP Annual Picnic & Elections Aug 14

Union Street Players, Pella’s award-winning community theatre, will hold our annual picnic and Board elections on Monday evening, August 14th at West Market Park. Everyone is welcome to join in on the food, fun, and future of USP whether a member or not. Bring a dish to share and drinks for your family. The meal begins at 6:00 with our meeting and elections for the 2017-2018 Board of Directors to begin somewhere around 6:45-7:00.

At the picnic we will publicly announce our 2017 inductee to the USP Walk of Fame, which is an honor bestowed by the current Board of Directors.

There will be a number of Board positions open this year. Any USP members interested in running for a Board position may submit their nomination to current Secretary, Kim Beyer (kim.beyer@comcast.net).

A Word About Membership

Only current USP adult members may vote in the election for our Board of Directors.  Over the past year, USP changed the designation of “member” to include any one who makes a qualifying tax-deductible donation of $10 or more to our non-profit organization. Those who, in the past, made donations and were considered “Patrons” are now considered active “Members” eligible to participate and vote at the annual meeting. A person’s “membership” starts when the donation is received and continues for one year from receipt. Any members who paid their qualifying $10 membership at last year’s annual picnic may simply pay $10 again at his year’s picnic to bring their membership current. If a member made a larger tax deductible contribution at the end of the 2016 calendar year, they are considered a current member for twelve months after the receipt of the last qualifying donation. Current Treasurer, Wendy Vander Well, will be collecting qualifying member donations at the meeting.

For more about member levels and incentives, please click here.