00 News & Updates

USP Awards Night

Over 80 people attended the annual Union Street Players Awards night on October 6th at the Pella Golf and Country Club. (Photos to follow soon)

Wendy Vander Well was inducted into our USP Walk of Fame in honor of her outstanding contributions to the organization over a span of 14 years! Contributions include being a member of the USP Board of Directors from 2004-2017, Treasurer from 2007-2017, Makeup designer, in charge of Front of House, Set crew, Props Master, Producer, Assistant Director, Director, and performed in 13 roles according to the USP Database. In addition, she is responsible for creating our Walk of Fame awards night, and moving the organization to online ticket sales. There was a standing ovation for Wendy’s induction as a heartfelt thank you for her work.

For the second year, the USPy Awards were given honoring the outstanding contributions of cast and crew members from last year’s productions of:

It’s a Wonderful Life, 12 Angry Men, and Kiss me, Kate!

The USPy winners are:

Outstanding Actor in a Leading Role – Lonnie Appleby as George Bailey in It’s a Wonderful Life

Outstanding Actress in a Leading Role – Lynn Cooper as Lilli Vanessi/Katharine in Kiss Me, Kate

Outstanding Actor in a Supporting Role – Danny Rivas as Juror #7 in 12 Angry Men

Outstanding Actress in a Supporting Role – Denise Gregory as Mother Bailey in It’s a Wonderful Life

Outstanding Young Performer – Annabelle Winward as Zuzu in It’s a Wonderful Life

Outstanding Newcomer – Justin Lenger as Juror #5 in 12 Angry Men

Outstanding Direction – Spence Ver Meer for 12 Angry Men

Outstanding Production – It’s a Wonderful Life

Outstanding Technical Achievement – Mat Kelly for Set Design in It’s a Wonderful Life

Outstanding Ensemble – Danny Rivas and Robert Uy as Gangsters 1 and 2 in Kiss Me, Kate

Outstanding Crew Member for It’s a Wonderful Life – Leigh Rasmussen

Outstanding Crew Member for 12 Angry Men – Jim Emmert

Outstanding Crew Member for Kiss Me, Kate – Holly Long-DeWolf and Denise Gregory

00 News & Updates, 2018 The Little Mermaid

The Little Mermaid has been cast!

LMMaid vend

Director:  Deb Linn – Producer: Denise Gregory

Ariel – Kaitlyn Collin

Prince Eric – Michael Howland

King Triton – Danny Rivas

Grimsby – Jim Palmer

Ursula – Phyllis Beyer

Sebastian – Brad Rozenboom

Scuttle – Denise Gregory

Flounder – Sami Clark

Flotsam – Mia Andringa

Jetsam – McKenna Evans

Winward – Griffin Turner

Leeward – Hope Vos

Chef Louis – Doug Dewolf



Sarah Purdy

Taylor Decious

Sarah Maxwell

Emily Cutler

Katie Williams

Kathryn Andringa


Sailors/Sous Chef:

Pilot – Mark Schaefer

Arlyn Stuart

Chris Brown

Scott Vandenberg

Spence Vermeer

Jim Emmert

Dayrel Gates

Doug Dewolf



Sarah Dron

Lynn Cutler

Hanna Sampsel

Zarah Van Dyke



Karen Ryals

Marti Zylstra


Sea Creatures/Merfolk

Amaya Cervantes

Carlyn Henry

Claire Braafhart

Kate Braafhart

Jessa DeNooy

Raegan Decious

Josephine McDonald

Kadin Ryals

Della Hesseltine

Rashaun Boyer

Aurelia Zylstra

L. Ver Meer

Kristina Mullen

Kenzie Kanis

Kelly Dykema

00 News & Updates, 2018 Kiss me, Kate

Kiss me, Kate closes.


Kiss me, Kate featured fabulous costumes, great music and the fantastic voices of a cast who clearly enjoyed every minute of the performances. We think our audiences enjoyed the shows very much too. Once again we were lucky to have so many talented actors and crew members help us bring this production to life!

As the director, Pati Van Zante noted “This has been a fun and challenging musical production, Mr. Porter has provided a wide range of musical challenges and this cast has risen to those challenges. Special thanks to vocal directors Spence Ver Meer and Kathy Haug for setting the bar so high, and getting us all up and over, to Tyler Coleman for working with the score and orchestra recording to bring a full digital orchestera to this USP production, and to my producers, Denise Gregory and Holly DeWolf whose help and mad organizational skills have made this production and the director’s sanity possible. Thanks to a talented, dedicated cast, crew and production staff.”

I would also like to add a special thanks to our audience members who attended our production and helped spread the word! We sincerely hope you enjoyed the show!



Friday, July 27 – 98

Saturday, July 28 – 77

Sunday, July 29 – 71

Tuesday, July 31 – 79

Friday, August 3 – 102

Saturday, August 4 – 93

Sunday, August 5 – 79

Total of 599 attendees

00 News & Updates, 03 Drama Camp

Drama Camp Registration is closed.

Union Street Players’ Drama Camp is an annual week-long opportunity for young people to receive a basic overview of theatre and stage craft. Camp activities include: script writing/reading, set and prop building, actin, mime, puppetry, characterization, vocalization, improv, reader’s theatre, audition preparation, costume shop visit, make-up clinic, and more!!!

Spots are not guaranteed until full payment is received. Registration will remain open until camp session is full.



00 News & Updates, 2018 12 Angry Men

Twelve Angry Men closes


28515318_10216667100616874_5109434838031125693_oUnion Street Players gave their final performance of Twelve Angry Men on March 4th at the Kruidenier Theatre on the Central College campus. The intimate “in the round”  format was arranged particularly for this production to make the audience feel as though they were in the jury room arguing right along with the jurors. Short video segments were woven into the performance to extend the drama beyond the jury room. The Director, Spence Ver Meer notes: “This is not a play that one enjoys, but more experiences.” This play being about how we come to terms with our own prejudices and biases was certainly an experience to remember.

Twelve Angry Men brought several newcomers to USP in John Dougan, Michael Garrison, Justin Lenger, Danny Rivas, and Mark Bishara. We are grateful to them for sharing their talents with us and our audiences! We certainly hope to see you all again in future productions.

A heartfelt thank you to all of the folks new and seasoned who helped bring this production to the stage. We are grateful for your help and hard work.

Finally, a thank you to Ron Rybkowski, Madison Thingstad, and Central College for the opportunity to perform on a different stage and helping USP navigate the Kruidenier Theatre.


Thursday 47

Friday 74

Saturday 83

Sunday (matinee) 77

00 News & Updates

It’s a Wonderful Life closes


“Watching It’s a Wonderful Life has been a family holiday tradition at my house every year since the early 1950’s” writes Director, Pati Van Zante. This year, she and a great cast and crew brought the stage production of It’s a Wonderful Life to the Joan Kuyper Farver auditorium at the Pella Community Center. While we had a number of our seasoned actors involved with this production we also enjoyed the many talents shared by the newcomers to USP. It takes a dedicated group of people to pull of a quality production and this cast and crew did not disappoint!  The message of the importance of our impact on each other’s lives was keenly felt by our audiences.  Additionally, we received a special message from, Karolyn Grimes the actress who played Zuzu in the 1946 movie: “Best wishes for a very successful run. So happy to hear that it is so well attended and received, such positive acclamation.” With this we close 2017 anticipating yet another wonderful series of productions in the new year with Twelve Angry Men, March 1-4 and Kiss Me Kate in the Summer. On behalf of Union Street Players, Happy Holidays to all!


December 1 – 191

December 2 – 158

December 3 – 219

December 5 – 145

December 8 – 198

December 9 – 215

December 10 – 224

Total – 1219

00 News & Updates, 2018 12 Angry Men

USP Announces “12 Angry Men” Cast

Union Street Players, Pella’s award-winning community theatre, is proud to announce the cast for our spring production of the dramatic courtroom classic, 12 Angry Men.

This from Director Spence Ver Meer:

After three days of auditions for Twelve Angry Men, we have a cast! Thanks to all who came out and auditioned, and thanks to Denis Gregory, Deb Linn, Arvin Van Zante, Lynn Cutler, and Mark Schaeffer for helping behind the scenes, you made things considerably simpler. The cast for the March 1 to 4 run will be:

Juror #1-John Dougan

Juror #2-Mark Schaeffer

Juror #3-Michael Garrison

Juror #4-Arvin Van Zante

Juror #5-Justin Lenger

Juror #6-Jim Emmert

Juror #7-Danny Rivas

Juror #8-Doug DeWolf

Juror #9-Larry Peterson

Juror #10-Spence Ver Meer

Juror #11-Mark Bishara

Juror #12-Greg May

Thanks again to all who auditioned. I will communicate further very soon on how to get a script to you, and more info after that. The first read-through will be Thursday, Jan 4th