The local stars were shining at USP’s 2015 Awards Night last night at the Pella Opera House. USP President, Cyndi Atkins, opened and closed the program in which Carolyn Scharff was inducted into the USP Walk of Fame and honored for her many years of service to USP and local theatre. Fellow Walk of Fame member and USP founding member, Bev Graves, introduced Scharff. It was the second year in a row that Graves introduced the Walk of Fame honoree. Her husband, Don, was inducted last year.
Entertainment for the evening was provided by the Heather MacLennan Trio, which was a big hit with those who attended. After the ceremony the group enjoyed cheesecake provided by Wendy Vander Well. Her new creation, the Dutch Letter Cheesecake, was a big hit. The group danced and mingled late into the night. Cyndi Atkins reminded attendees of the great slate of USP shows planned through 2016 including The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (Dec 2015), Almost Maine (Spring 2016), Sabrina Fair (Summer 2016), and The Christmas Post (Dec 2016).
Union Street Players‘ family gathered last week for a potluck to celebrate a successful 2012-2013 and to elect Board Members for the 2013-2014 fiscal year. During the festivities, Board President Tom Vander Well announced that USP will be inducting two individuals to the USP Walk of Fame this fall. The Walk of Fame is a honorary designation given since 2008 to individuals who have been actively involved over ten years and have contributed to the furthering of USP’s mission in multiple capacities. Nominations are accepted from both members and the public. The Board of Directors chooses inductees who are honored at USP’s annual award’s dinner held each fall.
In making the announcement, Vander Well explained that last year the Board of Directors had chosen not to induct an individual into the Walk of Fame because USP was celebrating their 25th Anniversary and the Board wanted to celebrate everyone who had been involved over the years. This year the Board received and considered the nominations of five different individuals. Vander Well reported that the Board found each and every individual nominated worthy of induction. He went on to explain that the annual award is intended to honor every worthy individual over time. Those who were not chosen this year will be reconsidered next year and in future years. Having not awarded an individual last year, the Board of Directors opted to induct two members into the Walk of Fame this year: Pat Van Zante and Liza Witzenburg
Pat Van Zante‘s first credited role for USP was as a seamstress in 1989’s Polky Dot and the Christmas Wish. Her involvement has been on-going since then. She has been on-stage several times and has served as a Board Member, but her greatest mark on USP has been as a Director and with Costumes. In 1997, she took the helm as Director of Music Man. That production launched USP’s tradition of producing at least one musical each year. Hers was the first in a string of 17 annual musicals produced to date. She reprised the musical again in 2007. Last year, her costume work in two USP productions (Night of January 16th and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat) made her a finalist for the Iowa Community Theater Associations annual award for outstanding achievement. She won the award for her costuming in Joseph.
Lisa Witzenburg is one of the founding members of Union Street Players when the group officially incorporated back in 1989. Her first credited role was doing programs and make-up for Never Too Late in 1989. Her first credited stage role was as Veta Louise Simmons in 1990’s production of Harvey. She has been regularly involved over the years both on and off the stage. She served two terms as USP’s President and one as Vice-President. She worked as Director on two productions (Legend of the Christmas Rose and Guys and Dolls) and appeared in the spotlight as Marian Paroo in USP’s first production of Music Man. She is credited with many other roles through the years.
USP will induct Pat Van Zante and Lisa Witzenburg into the USP Walk of Fame at an annual awards dinner on the evening of Saturday October 5th at the Pella Opera House. More information will be released in the coming weeks. The evening will include a meal of light appetizers and a brief program. Participants will go upstairs to enjoy Theatre Central’s production of Jekyl and Hyde in the Pella Opera House auditorium followed by drinks, dessert and an informal reception in the Great Hall.
Union Street Players (USP), Pella’s award-winning community theatre, is proud to announce that Deb Linn will be honored as the 2011 inductee into USP’s Walk of Fame. Deb’s first credited role with USP was as Costume Seamtress on the 1989 children’s production “Polky Dot and the Christmas Wish.” Since that time, Deb has continually helped to hold the seams of USP together. She has been involved in over 20 USP productions and has been credited in a wide range of production roles both on stage and off. She has contributed as actor, director, producer as well as working on costumes, set construction, props, programs and publicity. On top of all that, Deb has served for many years as a member of the USP Board of Directors as both Secretary and Vice-President and has been a faithful volunteer in the USP Costume Shop. Most people are unaware that for several years Deb has managed, single-handed, the advertising sales for USP’s programs.
This will be the fourth year USP has honored one of our members by inducting them into the Walk of Fame. Walk of Fame inductees are nominated by USP members or the public. The inductee is chosen from those nominated by the USP Board of Directors. USP has set general criteria used by the Board of Directors for choosing each year’s honoree(s). Walk of Fame members have been involved with USP for at least ten years, have served in multiple capacities, and have helped USP further its stated mission. Deb Linn will join Dottie McGee (2008), Pat Moriarity (2008), Arvin Van Zante (2008), Bev Graves (2009), Peggy Moriarity (2009), and Shelley Buhrow (2010).
Awards Dinner Information
Deb will be honored at the Fourth Annual USP Awards Dinner on October 15th, 2011. The Dinner will once again be at Monarch’s on the Molengracht. A cash bar will be open at 5:30 p.m. with the dinner and program scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Everyone is welcome. The dinner is $25 per person and reservations are required. You may R.S.V.P. by sending a check to Union Street Players, 712 Union St., Pella, IA 50219. You may also R.S.V.P. and pay by phone using a credit card by calling Tom or Wendy Vander Well at 641-620-9107.
Almost 50 people joined the fun at Monarch's on the Molengracht for the 2009 Union Street Players Awards Night. There was plenty of laughter and conversation both before the dinner and afterwards. After an enjoyable and leisurely dinner, the current USP President, Tom Vander Well, presided as master of ceremonies for the evening's program. A recap of 2008-2009 came complete with slide show of photos from USP's past three productions. City Councilman, Tony Bokhoven, brought words of appreciation and congratulations on behalf of the city. Then came the induction of members to USP's Walk of Fame.
Peggy Moriarity introduced Dottie McGee, who was inducted last year but was unable to attend because of her battle with cancer. Arvin Van Zante, who was inducted to the Walk of Fame last year, introduced Beverly Graves. Tom Vander Well then introduced Peggy Moriarity who joins her husband Pat as the first husband and wife members on the Walk of Fame.
A wonderful time was had by all. Please make plans to join us next year!