00 News & Updates, 04 The USP Walk of Fame

“USPy” Winners Announced

 

Awardsnght18Over 80 people attended the annual Union Street Players Awards night on October 6th at the Pella Golf and Country Club.

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, 04 The USP Walk of Fame, Slider Posts

Spence Ver Meer Welcomed to USP Walk of Fame

USP Walk of Fame Members welcome Spence Ver Meer into the fold (L-R, Pat Moriarity, Peg Moriarity, Deb Linn, Pati Van Zante, Spence Ver Meer, Arvin Van Zante, Lisa Witzenburg, Don Graves, Bev Graves)
USP Walk of Fame Members welcome Spence Ver Meer into the fold (L-R, Pat Moriarity, Peg Moriarity, Deb Linn, Pati Van Zante, Spence Ver Meer, Arvin Van Zante, Lisa Witzenburg, Don Graves, Bev Graves)

Union Street Players (USP), Pella’s award-winning community theatre, welcomed Spence Ver Meer into the USP Walk of Fame at the group’s annual Awards Night October 8th. Approximately 50 people attended the festivities at Central College’s Graham Annex.

Since 2008, USP has met annually to honor long-time members who have gone above and beyond in contributing to the community theatre’s success. Each year an inductee is chosen by the USP Board of Directors. General criteria for nomination is ten or more years involvement, contribution in multiple roles (actor, director, producer, Board member, and etc.) and contributing to the furthering of USP’s mission.

USP President, Tom Vander Well, once again served as Master of Ceremonies for the festivities. He summarized what was another successful year for USP, including The Lion, Witch, and the Wardrobe which became USP’s highest attended holiday show, USP’s middle-school theatre experience with Tom Sawyer, and another record setting year for USP Drama Camp. The group then enjoyed a year-in-review video.

Vander Well also introduced Spence Ver Meer as this year’s Walk of Fame inductee, citing Spence’s faithful involvement over 20 years. While Ver Meer is most notably remembered by audience members for his multiple turns as leading man crooning Broadway favorites in popular musicals such as Sound of Music and South Pacific, he also served as Director (Pirates of Penzance, Our Town), keyboard player (Vintage Hitchcock), and Board President. Vander Well also celebrated Ver Meer for his limitless creativity.

That creativity was on full display during the remainder of the evening. In Ver Meer’s acceptance speech Spence kept the crowd in stitches as he recounted the many women he’s kissed on stage, and the fact that most of them were never seen on stage again. After his induction, he joined with fellow members of Pella’s fledgling improv troupe in performing several improv games for the evening’s audience. In acceptance of the Walk of Fame honor, Ver Meer gave kudos to the many directors and fellow actors he’d worked with through the years.

As the evening’s audience enjoyed dessert, they enjoyed the improv performance from improv troupe members Kathryn Andringa, Lynn Cutler, Denise Gregory, Kathy Haug, Stephanie Lantz,    along with Spence Ver Meer.

 

00 News & Updates, 04 The USP Walk of Fame

USP Stars Shine Bright at 2015 Awards Night

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).

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00 News & Updates, 04 The USP Walk of Fame

Carolyn Scharff to Walk of Fame; Awards Night Oct 3rd

Carolyn Scharff played a leading role in USP's 2011 production of "A Tinkerman Christmas Eve." Scharff will be inducted into the USP Walk of Fame on October 3rd.
Carolyn Scharff played a leading role in USP’s 2011 production of “A Tinkerman Christmas Eve.” Scharff will be inducted into the USP Walk of Fame on October 3rd.

On Saturday evening of October 3rd USP will hold our annual Award’s Night at the Pella Opera House. This is the eighth straight year we have gathered for the event in which we celebrate the previous year’s productions and induct one of our members into the USP Walk of Fame.

This year we honor Carolyn Scharff who is one of USP’s founding members and has been involved in UPS for over a quarter century. Scharff’s first credited roles were as a costume seamstress in the iconic 1989 production of “Polky Dot and the Christmas Wish.” Since that time, Scharff has been active in USP both on stage and off. She co-directed the 1991 production of “The Murder Room.” Carolyn has a reputation among USP members for her ability to find props and has been credited for her work with props in at least seven different productions. She co-starred in the 2011 holiday musical “A Tinkerman Christmas Eve” and will be familiar to recent audience members for her role as the elderly matchmaker Yente in this past summer’s production of “Fiddler on the Roof.”

Along with the honoring Scharff, USP plans to unveil memorial plaques for four key members who have passed on in recent years: Mike Atkins, Dottie McGee, Sherman Van Zee and Tom Waechter. Incoming USP President, Cyndi Atkins, will open the evening and outgoing President Tom Vander Well will once again act as Master of Ceremonies.

The Award’s Night festivities are open to the public. USP welcomes all to join in the social gathering that will include heavy appetizers and a cash bar. A highlight of the evening is always the dessert table with cheesecakes provided by Wendy Vander Well. Entertainment for the evening will be the Heather MacLennan Trio from Des Moines. MacClennan is an award-winning jazz vocalist and the trio is a staple of Des Moines venues such as Chuck’s Restaurant and Sam and Gabe’s.

Cost for the evening is $25 for ages 16 and over and $15 for ages under 16. Tickets may be purchased by clicking HERE. DEADLINE is September 29th in order to get our numbers in for food.

00 News & Updates, 04 The USP Walk of Fame

2014 Awards Night; Don Graves to Walk of Fame

Don Graves rehearsing for his role as Jacob in USP's "Joseph"
Don Graves rehearsing for his role as Jacob in USP’s “Joseph”

Members, patrons, friends and fans of Union Street Players, Pella’s award-winning community theatre, are invited to a special evening of fun, celebration and entertainment. At this year’s Walk of Fame Award Event we will honor Don Graves. Don has been an instrumental part of USP since the beginning and has, quite literally, done everything in his service to USP over the years.

Don Graves has not only been on stage, but he has done just about everything back stage that there is to do. He has directed, designed set, been on stage crew, helped with lights, managed tickets, photography, videography and he also served several years as Treasurer of the USP Board of Directors. The current USP Board of Directors is excited to honor Don Graves as this year’s inductee to the USP Walk of Fame.

In addition, this year we will honor the memory of USP Walk of Fame member, Dottie McGee, those who have stepped up to manage the Costume Shop after Dottie’s untimely passing, and honor all who have volunteered their time, talents, and energy to make the Costume Shop a success through the years.

Everyone is invited to celebrate Don and another successful year of community theatre with Union Street Players!

We will honor late USP WoF Member, Dottie McGee
We will honor late USP WoF Member, Dottie McGee

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When: Saturday, October 4th
5:30 p.m. Walk of Fame Reception (Heavy Appetizers, Cash Bar)
6:30 p.m. Walk of Fame Award presentations
7:30 p.m. The Game’s Afoot (or Holmes for the Holidays) presented by Theatre Central
9:30 p.m. Post-Show Dessert & Social time (Cash Bar)

Where: Pella Opera House, 611 Franklin, Pella

Attire: Cocktail/Party/Business Casual

Cost:
Includes reception, show and post-show
$25.00 Adult (16 and over)
$20.00 Child (15 & younger)

Please purchase your tickets by September 26!

To purchase tickets by credit card, please visit Walk of Fame Tickets.
To purchase tickets by check or cash, please call the USP box office at
641-204-1094 or email info@unionstreetplayers.com.

00 News & Updates, 04 The USP Walk of Fame

USP Taking Nominations for 2014 Walk of Fame

 

USP Walk of Fame Members present at the 2013 Awards Night (L-R): Deb Linn, Pat Van Zante, Arvin Van Zante, Peggy Moriarity, Pat Moriarity, Dottie McGee, Lisa Witzenburg. Not Pictured: Bev Graves, Shelley Buhrow
USP Walk of Fame Members present at the 2013 Awards Night (L-R): Deb Linn, Pat Van Zante, Arvin Van Zante, Peggy Moriarity, Pat Moriarity, Dottie McGee, Lisa Witzenburg. Not Pictured: Bev Graves, Shelley Buhrow

It’s time for the Union Street Players Board of Directors to begin consideration of the 2014 Walk of Fame inductee. Started in 2008, the USP Walk of Fame honors individuals who have gone above and beyond in helping USP fulfill its mission. Since it began, USP has honored a total of nine individuals:

  • 2008: Dottie McGee, Pat Moriarity, Arvin Van Zante
  • 2009: Bev Graves, Peggy Moriarity
  • 2010: Shelley Buhrow
  • 2011: Deb Linn
  • 2012: USP’s 25th Anniversary (everyone was honored – no individual was inducted)
  • 2013: Pati Van Zante, Lisa Witzenburg

The USP Board is seeking the nomination of individuals who must meet the following criteria:

  1. He/She has been involved in USP for ten years or more.
  2. He/She has contributed in multiple ways (actor, director, stage manager, lighting, sound, set work, Board Member, etc.)
  3. He/She has tangibly helped USP further its on-going mission.

All individuals who have been nominated in the past, but were not inducted, will be automatically reconsidered each year! If you’re not sure if an individual has been nominated, please feel free to submit a nominations.

To nominate an individual, simply provide the following information in an email sent to info@unionstreetplayers.com or in a letter mailed to USP Walk of Fame, 712 Union St., Pella, IA 50219:

  • Your name
  • Your email
  • Your phone number
  • Name of person you are nominating
  • Explanation of why you think this person should be inducted into the USP Walk of Fame.

To help determining who is eligible, the following Microsoft Excel file contains a historical database of individuals and their roles in various productions and positions on the Board of Directors through 2005. Any name on this will have met the threshold of a minimum of ten year’s involvement. There is a drop down menu next to the heading of each field. You can filter your view using the drop down menus to view results by individual.

2014 USP_WOF Historical_Database

 

SAVE THE DATE!

2014 Union Street Players Award’s Night

Saturday, October 4th, 2014

Pella Opera House

(Once again, Theatre Central’s fall production will be our evening’s entertainment!)