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.

00 News & Updates

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.

00 News & Updates, 2017 Wizard of Oz

Tickets to USP’s “The Wizard of Oz” are Now on Sale!

purchase tickets button

Tickets for Union Street Players’ summer production of The Wizard of Oz are now on sale to the public. This timeless American classic, directed by Anne McCullough Kelly, is sure to delight all ages!

Performance dates and times are:

Fri Jul 21 at 7 pm
Sat Jul 22 at 7 pm
Sun Jul 23 at 2 pm
Tue Jul 25 at 7 pm
Fri Jul 28 at 7 pm
Sat Jul 29 at 7 pm
Sun Jul 30 at 2 pm

Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for children/students.

Tickets for all USP shows are sold exclusively on-line. Click one of the “Purchase Tickets” buttons and you will be taken to our on-line ticketing site.

Need help? Call our virtual box office 641-204-1094

For wheelchair seating please call our virtual box office 641-204-1094

If you’re a USP member using your membership benefits: After you’ve chosen your tickets online click on “redeem benefits” at the payment step. Enter your patron ID number and full name exactly as it appears on your membership receipt, and if you have benefits available you’ll be able to choose what to use on your current order. Call the USP box office at 641-204-1094 for assistance or if you cannot find yourself in the system.

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00 News & Updates, 01 Auditions & Talent Calls, 2017 Wizard of Oz

“Wizard of Oz” Cast Announced

Anne McCullough Kelly and Chandra Clark extend a heartfelt thank you to all who auditioned for Wizard of Oz last week. Eighty courageous people auditioned and the great amount of talent made casting this show very challenging for the production team!

Please contact Anne at amcculloughkelly@gmail.com to accept your role in this production. Also, please inform Anne of any additional schedule conflicts that may have developed since auditions. We only have seven weeks to rehearse so we need to confirm a rehearsal schedule quickly.

Our first rehearsal will be on Tuesday, May 30 at 6:30pm.  We would like the entire cast to attend the first hour of the rehearsal as we will use this time to hand out scripts, instructions regarding accessing and using rehearsal music tracks, and get acquainted with each other. We also request that a parent or caregiver for each child in the ensemble also attend to receive these instructions as well. We rely on parent and caregiver support for the children in our productions and are grateful for your involvement.

We are also organizing teams for several production crews including backstage running crew, properties, costumes, make-up, and hair design. Please contact Anne or Denise Gregory (denise2352004@yahoo.com) if you are interested in volunteering for any of these production crews.

Thank you everyone! We look forward to creating a fabulous production with you!

Dorothy: Sara Davis
Wicked Witch of the West: Denise Gregory
Glinda, the Good Witch of the North: Jana DeZwarte
Scarecrow: Lonnie Appleby
Tin Man: Doug DeWolf
Cowardly Lion: Spence Ver Meer
Professor Chester Marvel/The Wizard of Oz: Arvin Van Zante
Almira Gulch: Lynn Cutler*
Aunt Em: Deb Linn
Uncle Henry: Dayrel Gates*
Hunk (farmhand): Scott Burns*
Hickory (farmhand): Mark Schaefer*
Zeke (farmhand): Cory Oltrogge*
Emerald City Guard: Thomas Salz
Mayor of Munchkinland: Sally Job

*Also members of adult ensemble

Adult Ensemble (may include Munchkins, Ozians, Winkies, Jitterbugs, Crows, Trees, Poppies, Snowmen – specific groups will be assigned during rehearsals)

Kathryn Andringa
Gloria Ashworth
Lauren Ashworth
Abby Cutler
Emily Cutler
Rhea Cutler
Jenny Jensen
Tianna Loftis
Devin McCain
Jalayna Morgan
Sandra Olsthoorn
Rachel Peter
Austin Rozandaal
Dora Roorda
Arlyn Stuart
Zarah Van Dyk
Lily Ver Meer
Tressa Vos

Child Ensemble (may include Munchkins, Trees, Rocks, Poppies, Snowmen, Monkeys – specific groups will be assigned during rehearsals)

Mia Andringa
Alex Bishara
Claire Braafhart
Kate Braafhart
Sophia Burns
Amaya Cervantes
Garion Cutler
Olivia Cutler
Bella DeHaan
Jessa De Nooy
Sam Gillespie
Alise Haug
Porter Haug
Lucille Hopkins
Madeline Kelly
Alexa Klein
Josephine McDonald
Meg Muller
Kalyn Oltrogge
Ellison Ritzert
Hudson Ritzert
Lily Steenhoek
Emery Ter Louw
Annabelle Winward
Zoie Winward

00 News & Updates, 03 Drama Camp

Drama Camp Registration Opens May 12

Click the following link to download a PDF of this info: 2017 Drama Camp Flyer

Drama Camp Registration Button

2017 USP Drama Camp Flyer

Drama Camp Registration Button

Registration for USP Drama Camp is done exclusively on-line.
Each camp session is limited to 30 campers.

Questions? Please contact:


00 News & Updates, 01 Auditions & Talent Calls, 2017 Wizard of Oz

Auditions Info USP’s “The Wizard of Oz”

Wiz audition posterFBLocation: Pella Community Center 712 Union Street, Pella IA  50219
Tuesday, May 9 from 6:30-9:30pm
Wednesday, May 10 from 6:30-9:30pm
Saturday, May 13 from 1-4pm

Performances Jul 21-22; 27-29


The audition process will consist of singing and movement auditions. Those auditioning for speaking roles will have time at the audition to prepare a selection from the script we will provide for you.

Please come prepared to sing your choice of the songs listed below for your age group. Wear comfortable clothing and secure shoes (no flip-flops, please) as we will teach you a short dance for the movement section of the audition.

Music Selections:

Adults (7th Grade and Older):
“Amazing Grace” in Key of C Major
“America, the Beautiful” in Key of C Major

Children (Kindergarten-6th Grade):
“Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” in Key of C Major
“Happy Birthday” in Key of C Major

Young ladies auditioning for the role of Dorothy, be prepared to sing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” in Key of Bb Major. Email director, Anne McCullough Kelly or producer, Denise Gregory, for the sheet music.

Parts Available:

*Denotes non-singing role, if desired. Aunt Em, Uncle Henry, Zeke, Hickory, and Hunk may be incorporated into the Adult Chorus as Ozians

Dorothy Gale – female, actor cast age 16 – early 20s (please note, due to the maturity needed for this role, we will only audition girls and young women in the specified age range).
*Aunt Em – female, actor cast age 40+
*Uncle Henry – male, actor cast age 40+
*Zeke (farmhand) – male, actor cast age late 20s+
*Hickory (farmhand) – male, actor cast age late 20s+
*Hunk (farmhand) – male, actor cast age late 20s+
*Miss Almira Gultch (may be double cast as Wicked Witch of the West) – female, actor cast age mid 30s+
*Professor Chester Marvel/The Wizard of Oz – male, actor cast, age 50s+
Glinda, the Good Witch of the North – female, actor cast mid 30s+
*The Wicked Witch of the West (may be double cast as Miss Almira Gulch) – female, actor cast age mid 30s+
Scarecrow – male, actor cast age late 20s+
Tin Man – male, actor cast age late 20s+
Cowardly Lion – male, actor cast age late 20s+
Emerald City Guard – male, actor cast age late 20s+

Adult Ensemble (may include Munchkins, Ozians, Winkies, Jitterbugs, Crows, Trees, Poppies, Snowmen – specific groups will be assigned once rehearsals commence) – Maximum of 20.

Child Ensemble (may include Munchkins, Trees, Rocks, Poppies, Snowmen, Monkeys – specific groups will be assigned once rehearsals commence) – Maximum of 25.

Questions? Please contact:

Anne McCullough Kelly, Director  amcculloughkelly@gmail.com

Denise Gregory, Producer  denise2352004@yahoo.com