2009 Letters from Pella

“Letters from Pella” Closes Successful Run

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Another Tulip Time in Pella is behind us, and the curtain dropped on the 2009 Union Street Players premier of "Letters from Pella." The show was very well received by residents and tourists alike, who appreciated learning a forgotten chapter in Pella's rich history.

Attendance was down compared to the past Tulip Time productions, though the show enjoyed good houses. Unofficial attendance figures from Producer Pat Moriarity are:

Wed: 124
Thu: 80
Fri: 164
Sat: 142

(above) Wendy & Tom Vander Well portray Dominie H.P. Scholte and his wife, Mareah
(below) Sherm Van Zee portrays Teunis, a disgruntled immigrant

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2009 Letters from Pella

Last Chance to See “Letters from Pella”!

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Saturday, May 9th is the last day of Pella's 2009 Tulip Time, and it's the last day to see Union Street Players' world premier of "Letters from Pella." The one-act play, which tells a forgotten story of Pella's founding residents, has been well received by residents and tourists alike. Audiences have found the show both entertaining and informative.

The final performance of "Letters from Pella" will be this afternoon at 4:30. Tickets are $7.00 and may be purchased in advance at the Central Park ticket booth or at the door. It will be performed at the Pella Community Center, located two blocks directly south of the square just west of the Public Library (712 Union Street).

(above) Sherm Van Zee, Sara Peterson, Sally Job and Christina Thompson portray disgruntled colonists.(below) Tom Vander Well portrays Pella Founder, Dominie Hendrik Peter Scholte, with Christina Thompson

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2009 Letters from Pella

“Letters from Pella” Pleases Audience on Opening Night

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Union Street Players' world premier of "Letters from Pella" opened last night and generated great reviews from audience members. Producer, Pat Moriarity, reported that there were 124 audience members at the opening performance. Because most Pella residents are busy volunteering during Tulip Time, the Wednesday night performance is generally full of Pella residents for whom this is the only opportunity to see it.

Even life-long Pella residents claimed to learn things about Pella's history that they did not know, even as they were entertained by the story and the colorful characters in Tom Vander Well's original script. The one-hour show shares a largely forgotten story of the intense personal discord between Pella's founders, and their struggle towards reconciliation as they build the town of Pella in the middle of the Iowa prairie.

There will be additional performances each day of Tulip Time at 4:30 p.m. Tickets may be purchased for $7.00 at the door of any performance or at the Central Park ticket booth.


(above) Robert D. Justice plays Tim Bloem, a young pastor who is struggling with the realities of leading his first congregation. Peggy Moriarity plays the matriarchal librarian, Shirley, who takes Tim under her wing and shares with him the incredible story of Pella's first residents.

(below) Cameron Van Kooten (left) portrays Hendrik Hospers, who at 17, came to America by himself and helped create the town of Pella, eventually becoming Mayor. Arvin Van Zante (right) portrays Isaac Overkamp, a tutor to members of the Dutch royal family who became Pella's first schoolmaster.

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2009 Letters from Pella

“Letters from Pella” Opens TONIGHT!

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Union Street Players' world premier production of "Letters from Pella" opens tonight, May 6th at 7:00 p.m. Tickets may be purchased at the Pella Historical Village Ticket Office or at the door of the performance. The show will be performed on the stage of the Joan Kuyper Farver Auditorium in the Pella Community Center (712 Union Street – just two blocks south of the square and immediately west of the Pella Public Library). All tickets are $7.00. Additional performances will be 4:30 p.m. each day of Tulip Time (May 7, 8, & 9). The performance is one hour in length.

Letters from Pella tells the forgotten story of Pella's first immigrants. It reveals the intense conflict and interpersonal hardship they faced as they struggled to forge a community on the Iowa prairie. Based on actual letters from the founding citizens to their family, friends and colleagues back in the Netherlands, the untold story of Pella's past is one you won't want to miss!

The play was written by Tom Vander Well, directed by Ann Wilkinson, and produced by Pat Moriarity.

00 News & Updates, 2009 Letters from Pella

Be an Usher! See “Letters from Pella” for FREE!!

Letters poster Union Street Players needs ushers and tickets takers for the USP Tulip Time Show, “Letters from Pella.”
Here is your chance to see the show for free!  All you need to do is show up 45 minutes early and help our audience find their seat.
Please email or call Pat Moriarity (628-1549) if you are available to help. Peformances are Wednesday, May 6th at 7 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. on each day of Tulip Time (Thu, Fri, Sat, May 7-9).  You can usher as many times as you wish.  Feel free to sign up your friends! 
The show is approximately 1 hour, so you still have plenty of time to get all the vet bollen you want!   Wowzer!

2009 Letters from Pella

“Letters from Pella” Cast List Announced

Letters from Pella
Written by Tom Vander Well
World Premier of an Original Play
Tim Bloem                    Robert  D. Justice
Shirley Harrison            Peggy Moriarity
Hendrik Hospers           Cameron Van Kooten
Isaac Overkamp            Arvin Van Zante
Teunis                          Sherman Van Zee
Anna                            Sara Peterson
Jannetje                       Christina Thompson
Widow Overkamp          Sally Job
Rev. H.P. Scholte         Tom Vander Well
Mareah Scholte            Wendy Vander Well
Production Team
Director                        Ann Wilkinson
Light Design                 Shawn Jensen
Producer                      Pat Moriarity
The play is based on actual letters written by Pella’s first residents back to their native Holland.  In their own words and through their experiences, we are reminded that “people are people” and the struggle for true community does not change with time. 
Opening night is Wednesday, May 6 at 7:00 p.m.  Performances will be daily during Tulip Time (Thurs., Fri., Sat.) at 4:30 p.m. at the Pella Community Center Joan Kuyper Farver Auditorium. 
Tickets are now available at the Pella Historical Village business office at 507 Franklin Street, Phone 641-628-2409.  During Tulip Time, tickets will be available at the Central Park Ticket Booth or at the auditorium before the show.
For more information or if you would like to help with costumes, set pieces, sound, lighting, stage crew or makeup, please contact director Ann Wilkinson at 641-628-3667 or producer Pat Moriarity 641-628-1549 (mort@iowatelecom.net) .  Sponsored by the Pella Community Center and the Pella Historical Society.