2011 Tinkerman Christmas Eve

“Tinkerman” Delights Christmas Crowd

This past weekend was Christmas in Pella. The Pella Garden Club and the Convention and Visitors Bureau sponsored a fantastic Tour of Homes and our local chamber rolled out the red carpet for visitors. Union Street Players once again did our part with performances of “A Tinkerman Christmas Eve,” an original play by USP’s Beverly Graves.

Audiences were delighted with the four performances and word of mouth had audience members scrambling to snatch up available seats for the final two performances.

According to Producer Pat Moriarity, the estimated attendance figures for “A Tinkerman Christmas Eve” were:

Thur Dec 1: 157
Fri Dec 2: 123
Sat Dec 3: 239
Sun Dec 4: 202

Thanks to Producer Pat Moriarity, Director Beverly Graves, Cast and Crew for another great production!

2010 Annie

Blizzard of Activity as Final Performance of Annie Arrives

When you produce a show at Christmas time in Iowa, you take risks. We’ve been blessed with great weather the past two weekends, but it looks like that is about to change. A blizzard warning covers the state of Iowa as the cast and crew of  Annie prepare for our final performance.

The show will go on.

People are still calling asking for tickets. We have been keeping a waiting list and encourage those people to come to the Pella Community Center 15 minutes before curtain can wait on line for any unclaimed seats. If we have patrons who can’t make it because of weather, those seats may become available to purchase. On Friday night, there were several people who were able to get seats at the last minute.

Theatre is Like a Box of Chocolates

It was a lively and energetic crowd who packed the seats last night. The sold out crowd enjoyed themselves thoroughly.

I was sitting with Jim Emmert (who plays Cop/Foley Man) during “the half” last night. He was talking about the fact that someday actors in Hollywood will become obsolete as computer graphics will be able to create perfect looking people and can manipulate the pixels into perfect performances.

I thought about that as the evening wore on. There is something unique and special about live theatre. It is a “live” performance and almost anything can happen at any moment. The sheer possibility of the unexpected which happens when humans perform creates a healthy anticipation. You never know what you’re going to get. Every performance is different.

So it was last night. In the final climactic moment of the show, as the strains of “Getting a New Deal for Christmas” ring out, Annie (Rachel Peter) hugs her found stray dog and then runs into Daddy Warbucks’ (that would be me) arms. In that final moment of the show I pick Annie up and spin her around. I grabbed Rachel, picked her up and spun her around.

That’s when her wig flew off.

Fortunately, it held to the back of her head by a bobby pin. So as it flopped loosely behind her, I picked it up and put it back on top of her head. I felt awful that this was Rachel’s last moment on stage, but at least it was a very memorable one!

Live theatre is (to quote Forrest Gump) like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get!

Final performance today! Hannah Emmert will play Annie for the final curtain.

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2009 Little House Christmas

Tickets for “Little House Christmas” NOW ON SALE!



left to right – Laura Fank, Elyse Parisee, Tammy Bainbridge, Camille Henry, Jim Palmer, Beverly Graves, Frances DeArmond, Mark Moreland, and Tom Palmer


Come see the memories of Laura Ingalls Wilder brought to life on stage by the Union Street Players!  In the play, the Ingalls family is preparing for Christmas in the harsh Minnesota prairie.  It is cold and lonely with few people around except for the Norwegian family living nearby.  When Pa leaves for town and a blizzard bears down, the women must wait and pray that he is safe and will return in time for Christmas.  Based on LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE by Laura Ingalls Wilder and adapted for the stage by Lisa Cordes, the play will delight audiences of all ages. . 


Performances are scheduled for December 3, 4, and 5 at 7 PM with a matinee on Sunday, December 6 at 2 PM at the Joan Kuyper Farver Auditorium at the Pella Community Center.  Tickets are now available at the Pella Community Center Community Services office, 712 Union during regular business hours – 7:30 am to 4:30 pm.  All main floor seats are reserved.  Tickets are only $5!  Tickets may also be purchased by credit card by calling 641-620-9107 (Tom and Wendy Vander Well) to order over the phone. 


Cast Members include many USP veterans and newcomers such as: Laura Fank (Laura Ingalls Wilder – narrator). Elyse Parisee (Laura Ingalls), Camille Henry (Mary Ingalls), Tammy Bainbridge (Ma Ingalls) , Jim Palmer (Pa Ingalls), Mark Moreland (Mr. Nelson), Beverly Graves (Mrs. Nelson), Frances DeArmond (Anna Nelson), and Tom Palmer (Johnny Johnson).


Directing the show is Arvin Van Zante.  Assisting on the production so far is Cyndi Atkins, Sara Peterson, Deb Linn, Pat Van Zante, Peggy Moriarity, Mat Kelly, Nick Fank, and Pat Moriarity.


The Union Street Players are sponsored by the Pella Community Center.  Produced by special arrangement with the Little House Heritage Trust.  Additional information can be found on unionstreetplayers.com or by calling Pat Moriarity 641-628-1549.