00 News & Updates, 2016 Almost Maine, 2016 The Christmas Post

Three USP Finalists for Four ICTA Awards

usp-2016-icta-finalists

Union Street Players, Pella’s award winning community theatre, is proud to announce that three 2016 production crew members have been announced as finalists for four of the Iowa Community Theatre Association’s (ICTA) annual awards for excellence. Finalists are:

  • Mat Kelly for excellence in scene design for Almost, Maine
  • Mat Kelly for excellence in scene design for The Christmas Post
  • Karen Ryals for excellence in choreography for The Christmas Post
  • Arvin Van Zante for excellence in Lighting for Almost, Maine

Awards will be presented at ICTA’s annual festival. The festival is being held on March 17-18 in Marshalltown.

Several other actors and crew from both 2016 products were nominated for awards in numerous categories, but were not named as finalists. The nominees names will, however, appear in the ICTA Festival program.

Congratulations to our three finalists!

————

USP’s next production, Noises Off, will be performed March 30 through April 2nd on the stage of the Joan Kuyper Farver Auditorium in the Pella Community Center. For more information, please visit http://www.unionstreetplayers.com or visit USP’s Facebook page.

 

00 News & Updates, 2016 The Christmas Post

“Christmas Post” Closes Holiday Run

 

Union Street Players (USP), Pella’s award-winning community theatre, ended its six show run on Saturday afternoon. It was Director Wendy Vander Well’s third time at the helm of the holiday musical. She first directed the show at Third Church in Pella in 2001. Five years later, in 2006, she was tapped to produce the show for Union Street Players. The heart-warming musical, based on two Norman Rockwell paintings, tells the story of a World War II widow trying desperately to make enough commission at the local department store to buy her children the “special gifts” that will fulfill their Christmas wishes. With the help of an angelic newsstand owner, and the support of friends and co-workers, the widow overcomes a greedy store owner and hard-hearted Sales Manager and develops the faith needed to believe it will happen.

Along with Vander Well, the cast and crew included a few members (Dirk Ryals, Karen Ryals, Cal Van Ee, Brian Vande Lune, Lisa Vande Lune) who had participated in all three local productions, along with a host of others who had been in two of the three. As with most USP productions, the cast included seasoned veterans as well as newcomers, such as lead actresses Mia Andringa (Katie) and Elise Pederson (Alice), who were in their first USP production.

Attendance for the six show run:

Fri Dec 2: 225
Sat Dec 3: 242
Sun Dec 4: 289
Tue Dec 6: 154
Fri Dec 9: 249
Sat Dec 10: 220
Total: 1379

For veterans of the 2006 production of The Christmas Post, this year’s show tugged extra hard on the heart-strings, and it wasn’t just the sentimental storyline that elicited emotion. In the past 10 years USP has memorialized three of the cast members of the 2006 production who have since passed away: Mike Atkins (Accompanist), Randy Icenbice (Caroler), and Sherm Van Zee (Brother Sam).

Next up for USP:
Noises Off by Michael Frayn; Directed by Denise Gregory
Auditions Jan 12-14

 

00 News & Updates, 2016 The Christmas Post

Stolen Uniform Articles Retrieved

uniform

Late this afternoon a local Good Samaritan contacted Union Street Players to explain that they believed they had located stolen costume pieces, including an authentic Naval officer’s uniform belonging to USP member Jim Palmer, a veteran of the U.S Navy. Palmer had loaned his uniform to Union Street Players for the upcoming production of The Christmas Post. Within an hour of receiving the initial call, most of the stolen articles were back in USP’s possession. A uniform dress shirt and uniform dress pants remain missing.

On Sunday evening a story was posted on USP’s website and Facebook page asking help from the public in locating Palmer’s uniform along with other uniform related articles stolen from Union Street Players’ Green Room in the Pella Community Center last week. While still hopeful that the remaining articles will be retrieved, USP is extremely grateful to the concerned local citizen who located and returned the vast majority of stolen items.

Union Street Players would like to thank everyone in the community who has shared the story on Facebook and other social media. A special thank you to KNIA/KRLS who picked up the story and helped spread the word on their website and news broadcasts. Without community concern and action, it’s doubtful we’d have the stolen items back.

The Christmas Post , a heart-warming Broadway style musical based on two Norman Rockwell paintings will be performed Dec 2-4, 6, 9-10 in the Pella Community Center. For information regarding showtimes and on-line ticket ordering visit https://unionstreetplayers.com/ticket-information.

00 News & Updates, 2016 The Christmas Post

Pella Veteran’s Uniform Stolen from Union Street Players

usp-herzog-costume-example-1
An authentic naval dress jacket & hat similar to the one worn by Tom Vander Well in the 2006 production of “The Christmas Post”, which belonged to naval veteran Jim Palmer (right, in brown hat) was stolen from the USP Green Room.

Sometime between Tuesday evening, November 8th and Thursday evening, November 10th someone stole several pieces of an authentic naval uniform from Union Street Players’s (USP’s) Green Room in the Pella Community Center. The uniform belonged to USP member Jim Palmer from his years serving our country as a pilot in the United States Navy. Palmer served on the USS Ranger aircraft carrier. Palmer, a member of the cast and crew of “The Christmas Post” had brought his old uniform to the community center to see if they could be used in the show.

“The Christmas Post” is USP’s holiday show and one of the characters runs a small town department store like a naval commander. The character, portrayed by Tom Vander Well, was utilizing Palmer’s dress uniform jacket and hat for his costume. Those two articles disappeared from the USP Green Room along with a white dress shirt, black dress pants, and wool overcoat that all belonged to Jim Palmer. A policeman’s hat, unrelated to Palmer’s uniform was also stolen.

Union Street Players is interested in finding and reclaiming the stolen pieces. If anyone has any information that might lead to their recovery, we encourage you to e-mail us at info@unionstreetplayers.com or call our box office at 641-204-1094.

00 News & Updates, 2016 The Christmas Post, Slider Posts

Tickets On Sale for “The Christmas Post”

USP Logo 150x150

The Christmas Post

Tickets Now On Sale to General Public!

Performance Dates/Times
Fri Dec 2 @ 7:00 p.m.
Sat Dec 3 @ 2:00 p.m.
Sun Dec 4 @ 2:00 p.m.
Tue Dec 6 @ 7:00 p.m.
Fri Dec 9 @ 7:00 p.m.
Sat Dec 10 @ 2:00 p.m.

purchase tickets button

Advance Tickets
$10 Adults/$8 Students & children
Tickets are $2.00 more at the door.

Tickets for all USP performances are made on-line.
Any unsold seats will be sold at the door 30 minutes prior to performance.
We’re sorry, but USP does not have a physical box office location.
If you need assistance making alternative purchase arrangements, please call our virtual box office 641-204-1094.

The Christmas Post

USP VIRTUAL BOX OFFICE: 641-204-1094

Joan Kuyper Farver Auditorium Seating Chart

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

Cast List for USP’s “The Christmas Post”

Director Wendy Applauds the Audition - 1
Director Wendy Vander Well applauds all of the courageous people who auditioned (and made her casting choices very difficult!)

Thank you to everyone who auditioned for The Christmas Post! There are an amazing amount of talented people choosing to be part of this show, and I’m very excited about the high quality of production we’ll be able to give our community this December. Our rehearsal process is going to be a ton of fun and I look forward to working with you all.

Our first rehearsal will be read-through of the show on Tuesday, September 6 at 7pm. We will also distribute rehearsal schedules and let everyone get a chance to know one another. Please let me know immediately via email (wendyvanderwell@gmail.com) if you will not be able to attend that rehearsal. You may also feel free to email or call (515-326-2661) if you have any questions!

Wendy Vander Well
Director

Hattie McGee: Lisa Witzenburg
Hank: Dave Erickson
Alice Garfield: Elise Pederson
Katie Garfield: Mia Andringa
Brother Sam: Doug DeWolf
Sgt. Buchanan: Jesse Nieboer
Maxwell Q. Seldon: Scott Burns
Mr. Elliot Herzog Jr.: Tom Vander Well
Dixie Plunkett: Kim Beyer
Hapless Shopper: Jim Palmer
Herzog Staff (Nadine): Stephanie Lantz
Herzog Staff (Patsy): Anne McCullough Kelly
Herzog Staff (Otis): Brian Vande Lune

Shoppers
Veronica Acosta
Mary Chaffin
Julie Collins
Lynn Cutler
Dave Erickson
Denise Gregory
Tianna Loftis
Holly Long-DeWolf
Jim Palmer
Karen Ryals
Arlyn Stuart
Mike Van Zee

Teenage Shoppers
Titus Hopkins
Braden Rowe

Child Shoppers
Ellah Acosta
Samantha Mora
Kadin Schreyer Ryals

Carolers
Kathryn Andringa
Jordan Marie DeArmond
Sara Purdy
Dora Roorda
Doug Roorda
Thomas Salz
Cal Van Ee

Newsies
Sophia Burns
Eli Ebeling
McKenna Evans
Luke Fairchild
Connor Gauley
Abigail Hietbrink
Tess Hopkins
Trace Hopkins
Trent Hopkins
Josephine McDonald
Kalyn Oltrogge
Elisabeth Pumphrey
Nora Rasmussen
Will Rasmussen
Penelope Shriver
Eliza Van Zee
Kylie Villobos
Hope Vos
Zoie Winward

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)