00 News & Updates, 04 The USP Walk of Fame, Slider Posts

USP Sets the Stage for 2016-2017

Union Street Players, Pella’s award-winning community theatre, held our annual picnic and year-end meeting last night at West Market Park. For several years our group has held a potluck picnic in August to celebrate the end of our fiscal year (Aug 31), renew memberships, and elect our Board of Directors for the coming year. It was a gorgeous summer evening and everyone enjoyed the food and socializing.

Outgoing USP President, Cyndi Atkins, presided over a brief meeting and shared an annual recap of our group’s 2015-2016 fiscal year (full text below). Treasurer Wendy Vander Well handed out a Treasurer’s report showing a positive fiscal year balance through the end of July. Pati Van Zante shared a year-end report on the USP Costume Shop. Cyndi then announced that this year’s inductee to the USP Walk of Fame is Spence Ver Meer. An October 8th awards night is planned at Central College.

Elections were then held for the USP Board of Directors. Our Board for 2016-2017 will be:

President: Tom Vander Well
Vice-President: Deb Linn
Treasurer: Wendy Vander Well
Secretary: Kim Beyer
At-Large: Doug DeWolf
At-Large: Jana DeZwarte
At-Large: Arvin Van Zante

Shows currently scheduled for 2016-2017 (all shows/dates subject to change):

Holiday 2016: The Christmas Post (Wendy Vander Well, Director)
Spring 2017: Noises Off (Denise Gregory, Director)
Summer 2017: The Wizard of Oz (Anne McCullough Kelly, Director)
Holiday 2017: It’s a Wonderful Life (Pati Van Zante, Director)

Here is President Cyndi Atkins report on Union Street Players 2015-2016 year:

Congratulations to the cast and crew of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe which delighted audiences with a spectacular wintry set and wonderful costumes. Kudos to director Deb Linn and assistant Cody Kooi for a record-breaking show. The 1,615 audience members over the seven show run was the largest recorded audience for a non-musical holiday show! The choice to open the show on the Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend was a good one.

This spring, we welcomed new director Kevin McQuade who brought Almost, Maine to our stage. The show was set in the depths of winter on a moonless night in northern Maine. It’s a chilly, snowy setting and much of the cast, costumed by Linda McQuade, spent their time on stage sweating in full winter regalia. The seven cast members delighted audiences with the script’s nine vignettes which produced both laughter and tears.

Our summer show, Sabrina Fair, was sadly cancelled this spring. With only 14 roles, it was disappointing to have only half that number try out. And even with recruitment, we were missing some key actors. But summer has not been quiet on the set at the Community Center.

The Middle School Theatre Experience led by Cody Kooi and Deb Linn brought 20 students to direct, produce, costume, run lights and sound and act Tom Sawyer in early June. Students were selected on a first-come, first-served basis in early May and then began meeting weekly to discover how a show goes together. The experience ended with a weeklong production schedule where all the pieces were put together before two performances at the end of the week to a delighted audience of family and friends.

Later in the summer, drama camp opened at the Community Center. The camp, under the leadership of Brystal Hopkins and Suzi Jones, continues to be immensely popular – filling just three days after it opened. Another grade school session was added the following week. In addition to the two grade school sessions and a junior high session, an alumni camp was a popular addition this year. Over 120 children celebrated life in the theatre during the drama camp weeks.

There are many other items that I could report, but I’m going to stay with some minimum things that we should have on file. For example, our current checking account balance is $59,842.01 and I would ask our treasurer to present her report. And our Costume Shop report was emailed to members earlier and again a final report will be given in September, but I do want to call out two remarkable things: our rental income was $4,491 during 2015-16 and we received an amazing $17,723 in community donations this year. What a wonderful, supportive community! Pati Van Zante has additional comments on the Costume Shop.

Coming up this fall, we will be hosting the annual Union Street Players Walk of Fame. Mark your calendars for Saturday, October 8 at Central College. It is my great pleasure to announce that Spence Vermeer will be our honoree for 2016! Congratulations to Spence and we look forward to celebrating with you in October.

Let’s finish this meeting with our election of the USP board. I think it’s wonderful to see so many coming back this year with an interest in being involved in our community. I thank all of you who are willing to serve.

Respectfully submitted,

Cyndi Atkins
President

00 News & Updates

USP Picnic & Annual Meeting Tomorrow!


Union Street Players will have our annual meeting and potluck picnic on Monday evening, August 8th at 6:00 p.m. The picnic will be held at West Market Park. This is the final meeting of our 2015-2016 fiscal year. The public is welcome and this is a wonderful social evening for everyone including former cast members, patrons, advertisers, audience members and anyone who would love to join us. After the potluck dinner a brief meeting will follow in which President Cyndi Atkins will recap the previous year. We will then hold elections for our Board of Directors. You must be a member to vote and Treasurer, Wendy Vander Well, will be collecting membership dues ($10 for adults; $5 for junior members) prior to voting. You do not have to become a member or vote to be present and enjoy the picnic!

Bring table service, your own drink, and a dish to share.

Anyone interested in running for a Board position should contact Secretary Kim Beyer, or you can shoot a note to info@unionstreetplayers.com or a message via our Facebook page or @unionstplayers Twitter account.

01 Auditions & Talent Calls, 2016 The Christmas Post, Slider Posts

Auditions for “The Christmas Post” Announced

The Christmas PostUnion Street Players, Pella’s award-winning community theatre, is excited to announce auditions for our Christmas musical, The Christmas Post. The heart-warming, family friendly musical based on two Norman Rockwell paintings was a huge hit with USP audiences ten years ago. The Christmas Post tells a heartwarming Christmas story set in the postwar years after World War II. A young widow works tirelessly at Herzog’s department store hoping to make enough money to buy Christmas presents for her children.

We know that audiences will love to experience the love and laughter of The Christmas Post once again and to introduce the show to a new generation of fans. Director Wendy Vander Well will again take the helm of our production and Kathy Haug returns as the show’s musical director. If you have any questions, please contact Director Wendy Vander Well at wendyvanderwell@gmail.com or 515.326.2661.

No experience necessary. No roles precast. There are roles for men and women, boys and girls from ages 10 to 110.

Perusal scripts, along with a CD of the soundtrack, are available at the Pella Public Library.

Audition Dates:
Aug 15  6:30-8:30
Aug 16  6:30-8:30
Aug 18  6:30-8:30
Aug 20  9:00-11:00
Aug 22  6:30-8:30

All auditions are on the stage of the Joan Kuyper Farver Auditorium in the Pella Community Center, 712 Union St., Pella, Iowa.

 

If you wish to audition for a solo or small group ensemble role, please prepare one of these two songs for your audition:
Deck the Halls (Eb, key in book)
Silent Night (in key of A for ladies, Bb for tenor, Ab for bass)

Principle Speaking and Singing Characters (*indicates solo singing required)
ALICE GARFIELD* (30’s), young widow trying to make ends meet at Christmas
KATIE GARFIELD* (9-10), her daughter
HATTIE MCGEE* (60’s-70’s), owner of the corner news hut
BROTHER SAM GILLESPIE* (30’s-50’s), pastor of a small local church
MAXWELL Q. SELDON* (20’s-30’s), sales manager at Herzog’s
ELLIOTT HERZOG JR* (30’s-40’s), runs Herzog’s Department Store
ELLIOTT HERZOG SR (60’s-70’s), his father
DIXIE PLUNKETT* (30’s-50’s), bookkeeper at Herzog’s
SGT. BUCHANAN (40’s-60’s), local policeman

Incidental Line Characters
HANK, newspaper delivery man
HAPLESS MAN, a shopper
FRANTIC MAN, a shopper
MALE SHOPPER
FEMALE SHOPPER

Chorus Groups
HERZOG’S STAFF (3-4 employees of Herzog’s, including Otis, Patsy and Nadine)
NEWSIES (15-20 kids who sell newspapers for Hattie)
CAROLERS (6-10 members of Brother Sam’s congregation)
SHOPPERS (10-20 members of the general chorus)

00 News & Updates, 2016 Theatre Experience

USP Theatre Experience: Tom Sawyer

Tom Sawyer Poster Full
Union Street Players, Pella’s award-winning community theatre, is excited to announce our Middle School Theatre Experience production of Tom Sawyer this Friday and Saturday. Under the supervision of Cody Kooi and Deb Linn, a group of middle school students have been busy in all aspects of production. The Theatre Experience allows the students to run every aspect of theatre production from directing to lights to sound and stage management. The students (under adult supervision) do it all.

Tom Sawyer will be performed on Friday, June 24th at 7:00 p.m. and again on Saturday, June 25th at 2:00 p.m. Admission is free. A free will donation will be taken to support Union Street Players and the production.

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00 News & Updates, 2016 Sabrina Fair, Slider Posts

USP’s Production of “Sabrina Fair” Cancelled

Union Street Players is saddened to announce that our summer production of Sabrina Fair has been cancelled. Director, and USP President, Cyndi Atkins explained that there were simply not enough people available this summer to fill all fourteen roles on stage and all production roles off stage. Atkins said it was a difficult decision. USP hopes to reschedule Sabrina Fair in a future time slot on the production schedule.

We apologize to the few individuals who had auditioned and were looking forward to the show. We hope to provide another opportunity in the future.

01 Auditions & Talent Calls, 2016 Sabrina Fair

Auditions Set for USP’s “Sabrina Fair”

Auditions for Union Street Players’ summer production Sabrina Fair will be held May 10 and 12 at 6:30 p.m. and May 14 at 9:00 a.m. Under the direction of Cyndi Atkins who last helmed 2010’s Annie, the play has 14 roles for adults from 21-81 (Sorry, there are no roles for children. Children should plan to audition for our holiday show, The Christmas Post).

Sabrina Fair is the stage play from which two Hollywood films titled Sabrina were born. The 1954 film starred Audrey Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart. The 1995 remake starred Julia Ormond, Harrison Ford, and Greg Kinnear. The play is set on a wealthy Larrabee family estate on Long Island, New York. Sabrina Fairchild is the chauffeur’s daughter who has just returned from school in Paris. Her return sets up a comical triangle with the two Larrabee sons. It is a romantic comedy everyone will enjoy!

Perusal scripts are available at the Pella Public Library. Please contact Cyndi Atkins (cyndiatkins@gmail.com) with any questions for for more information.