2013 Best Christmas Pageant Ever

USP’s “Best Christmas Pageant Ever” Shines!

2013 12 USP BCPE Cast Photo 2 LR


Union Street Players‘ production closed on Sunday afternoon to a full house and capped one of the most successful runs for a non-musical show in USP history. This is the fourth time USP has produced the Christmas classic about a group of ruffian siblings who take over the church’s annual Christmas pageant. The past productions were in 1997, 2001, and 2007. This year’s show delighted audiences who filled the Joan Kuyper Farver Auditorium in the Pella Community Center for each of the four performances. Attendance figures for the four show run were:

  • Thursday, December 5th: 243
  • Friday, December 6th: 281
  • Saturday, December 7th: 267
  • Sunday, December 8th: 290
  • [*Tuesday special performance for Marion County Bank] 93
  • Total: 1,081 [*1,174]

Director Tom Vander Well had announced to the cast after the closing performance that the final show attendance was 331, but a review of the numbers revealed an error in the figures. Nevertheless, this production of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever proved to be the best attended non-musical show in USP recorded history and the first non-musical to exceed 1,000 audience members. The total of the four show run was 1081 audience members is almost twice the average non-musical audience (526), and while holiday non-musical shows tend to attract a larger average audience (731) this year’s Best Christmas Pageant Ever set new records.

Congratulations to cast and crew who put together another successful USP production!

Next up for Union Street Players: The world premiere of an original script! Ham Buns and Potato Salad sure to delight Pella audiences:

When Thomas Prins was 18 his hometown of Hebron, Iowa (population 318) was boiling in  a scandal that was never resolved. He packed his bags and left for college in New York City. He went to school, found unexpected success as a writer, and never looked back. Twelve years later, after his parents lose their lives in a tragic auto accident, Thomas has no choice but to return home. The town prepares for the funeral and the local residents are atwitter that “Tommy” is coming home. With his return, heat is turned up on the old scandal which has quietly simmered in the town’s collective conscience since his departure. Ham Buns and Potato Salad is a play about going home. It’s about grief and hope. It’s about confronting our past and stepping into our future. It’s about small town quirks and human frailties. It’s about fear and love and grace and forgiveness.

Ham Buns and Potato Salad by Tom Vander Well
Directed by Ann Wilkinson
Audition dates are not set
Production is set for April 10-13, 2014

2013 Best Christmas Pageant Ever

Tickets On Sale for “Best Christmas Pageant”

BCPE final sm

Union Street Players, Pella’s award-winning community theatre, is now selling tickets to our 2013 holiday show, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. As always, our holiday show coincides with the annual Christmas in Pella weekend and Tour of Homes. Performances of this family-friendly holiday comedy will be:

Thu Dec 5 at 7:00 p.m.
Fri Dec 6 at 7:00 p.m.
Sat Dec 7 at 7:00 p.m.
Sun Dec 8 at 2:00 p.m. matinee!

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

Tickets are $7.00 for adults and $5.00 for students and children. Tickets may be purchased on-line by clicking here. If you require assistance you may call our virtual box office at 641-204-1094

2013 Best Christmas Pageant Ever

Best Christmas Pageant Ever Cast List

Director Tom Vander Well has announced the cast list for Union Street Players’ holiday production of “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.” The show will be performed December 5-8, 2013.

Union Street Players’ “Best Christmas Pageant Ever”

Cast List

Father (Bob Bradley)         Doug DeWolf
Mother (Grace Bradley)    Brystal Hopkins
Beth Bradley                      Ashley Uitermarkt
Charlie Bradley                  Titus Hopkins
Ralph Herdman                 Calvin Van Donselaar
Imogene Herdman            Sarah Petersen
Leroy Herdman                 Isaac Zeimetz
Claude Herdman               Braden Rowe
Ollie Herdman                   Eli Ebeling
Gladys Herdman               Tess Hopkins
Alice Wendleken                Lily Teeple
Maxine                                Julia Smart
Eloise Hopkins (Elmer)      Frances DeArmond
Helen (Hobie)                     Alexandrea DeArmond
Reverend Hopkins            TBA

Church Ladies
Dawn Cowman
Sally Job
Anne McCullough Kelly
Jana DeZwarte


Nathan Bolt
Randy Icenbice
Davis Vande Steeg

Angel Choir
Emma Bogaard (Doris)
Charlize DeArmond (Shirley)
Whitney Ebeling
Trace Hopkins (David)
Trent Hopkins
Calla Kerndt
Emma Roepcke (Juanita)

Church Kids

Nathan Boldt
Carissa Cowman
Em Ebeling
Gabrielle Heerema
Elizabeth Lovell
Davis Vande Steeg

01 Auditions & Talent Calls, 2013 Best Christmas Pageant Ever

USP Announces Auditions for “Best Christmas Pageant Ever”

Union Street Players is excited to reprise what has become one of the most beloved Christmas tales. USP President, Tom Vander Well (previously directed The Odd Couple (Female Version), Morning’s at Seven, Barefoot in the Park), takes the helm of this holiday production which will be produced for the fourth time by USP.

In this hilarious Christmas classic, a couple struggling to put on a church Christmas pageant is faced with casting the Herdman kids–probably the most inventively awful kids in history. You won’t believe the mayhem – and the fun – when the Herdmans collide with the Christmas story head on! This delightful comedy is adapted from the best-selling Young Adult book, and has become a holiday staple for theatre across the United States! Features plenty of great roles for children and adults, a few favorite Christmas Carols, and a lot of laughs!



Saturday, September 7th (9:00 a.m. to Noon)

Monday, September 9th (8:00-10:00 p.m. ADULTS ONLY)

Tuesday, September 10th (7:00-9:00 p.m.)

Roles for:

6 Adult Females

2+ Adult Males

14+ Children ages 8 to teen

Production Dates December 5-8, 2013


For More Information Contact
Tom Vander Well, Director (tomvanderwell@gmail.com)
Wendy Vander Well, Producer (wendyvanderwell@gmail.com)

Produced by special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc.
Union Street Players and our productions are sponsored by the Pella Community Center