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, 2017 Its a Wonderful LIfe

“It’s a Wonderful Life” closes.

IMG_4387aCast

Total attendance: 1187

 

Director Pati Van Zante and Producer Holly Long-DeWolf have announced the cast list for Union Street Players holiday musical, It’s a Wonderful Life. Questions? Contact Pati Van Zante at pvzante@hotmail.com or 641-780-3190.

Character Actor/Actress
George Bailey Lonnie Appleby
Clare Odbody (Angel 2ndClass) Deb Linn
Mary Hatch/Bailey Briana Heartsill
Henry F. Potter Arvin Van Zante
Janie Bailey Zoie Winward
Young George/

Pete Bailey

Patrick Bishara
Tommy Bailey Alex Bishara
Zuzu Bailey Annabelle Winward
Mother Bailey Denise Gregory
Harry Bailey Micah Heartsill
Uncle Billy Doug DeWolf
Aunt Tilly Sarah Purdy
Violet Peterson Gillian Howard
Mr. Gower Spence Ver Meer
Miss Carter Stephanie Lantz
Mrs. Hatch Holly Long-DeWolf
Sam Wainwright Aaron Smith
Mr. Potter’s Secretary Tianna Loftis
Bert Jim Palmer
Ernie Arlyn Stuart
Miss Andrews Jennifer Palmer
Mrs. Thompson Ann Forrester
Mr. Welch Simon Vos
Townsperson/Welch’s Daughter Hope Vos
Mr. Martini Daryl Gates
Mrs. Martini Amy Blanton
Townsperson/Zuzu Understudy/Martini Child Sophie Blanton
Newspaper Boy/Martini child Porter Haug
Townsperson/Newsboy Helper/Martini child Alise Haug
Townsperson/Martini child Olivia Marstall
Townsperson/Martini child Tatum Tierney
Townsperson/Martini child Elisabeth Pumphrey
Townsperson/Martini child Josephine McDonald
Townsperson Karin Koeper
Townsperson Jaydyn Koeper

 

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, 2017 Noises Off

Loud Laughter Characterizes “Noises Off!”

usp-noises-off-promo

The Joan Kuyper Farver Auditorium in the Pella Community Center was alive with laughter this past weekend as Union Street Players (USP) kicked off 2017’s season with the raucous British comedy Noises Off! It was a fitting tribute to the auditorium’s namesake and long time benefactor who passed away during the show’s production.

USP Director Denise Gregory (Bye Bye Birdie) made the most of a stellar cast that included USP’s newest inductee to the USP Walk-of-Fame, Spence Ver Meer. It also included Lonnie Appleby who earned outstanding actor honors from the Iowa Community Theatre Association (ICTA) in USP’s Charles Dickens Presents A Christmas Carol and Jana De Zwarte (aka Java DeZwante) who earned ICTA outstanding actress honors for her role as Miss Hannigan in Annie. The rest of the talented cast were all veterans of USP productions which helped with the incredibly difficult blocking, action, and timing required to pull off the show.

Audiences were equally impressed with the show’s complex set. The two-story set had to be designed so that it could be rotated during intermissions between acts. Designed by Jim Palmer and constructed by USP’s amazing set crew, the set allowed audiences to see the show-within-a-show from both audience and backstage perspectives.

Spring shows have historically been USP’s smaller productions. It is an opportunity for USP to try lesser known, original, or avant garde plays. These productions afford cast and crew the opportunity to stretch themselves, and the audiences get a chance to stretch their stage experience, as well. Attendance for spring shows averages between 350-400 audience members. Noises Off! enjoyed good word of mouth and above average attendance:

Thu Mar 30: 87
Fri Mar 31: 111
Sat Apr 1: 142
Sun Apr 2: 124
Total:  464
Average: 116

Next up for USP: The Wizard of Oz

For up-to-date information, subscribe to unionstreetplayers.com, “Like” us on Facebook, and/or follow us on Twitter (@UnionStPlayers). Auditions for Wizard of Oz will be held in May after Tulip Time.

00 News & Updates

Eight Ways to Get Involved in USP!

Union Street Players (USP) recently made two major changes to our organization. Both of these changes are intended to advance our stated mission of welcoming and embracing a larger number of individuals to participate in community theatre here in Pella.
The first change was to include everyone who donates financially to our group into our membership. The second was a change in our organization’s By-laws establishing eight standing committees to oversee various aspects of our organization and operations. No matter what your gifts, abilities, talents and interests, there is a role for everyone to play in USP. We’d like to invite you to get more involved with us!
Below you’ll find a list of standing committees and their general duties. At least one member of the Board of Directors is on every committee and committees are limited to no more than six members. If you are interested in volunteering some time and getting involved in our award-winning community theatre, please contact our current President, Tom Vander Well at usppresident@gmail.com and he’ll put you in touch with the appropriate person for that committee. You can also leave a message for Tom at the USP Box Office (641-204-1094) .
We’d love to have you get in on the act!

Costume Shop Committee – Chair, Costume Shop Manager
Rentals/Community Donations
Costume Reciprocal Relationships
Costume Shop Volunteers
Costume Shop Landlord relationship
Costume Shop Facebook/website presence
Past Production Gallery
Housing library of scripts and other relevant materials

Financial Committee – Chair, Treasurer
IRS/Investments
Capital Improvements
Vendor relationships (AR/AP)
Annual audit

Technical Committee
Computer hardware and software
Lights/sound/video equipment inventory, organization, maintenance, and storage
Training and oversight of technical volunteers

Production Committee
Play Selection
Director proposal assistance
Audition assistance
Production oversight and assistance
Ensure cast photo, show poster, video, photos are received/archived

Front of House Committee
Box Office
Ticket sales
Usher oversight for performances
Donor care at performances (i.e. Patron Lounge)
Front of house assistance to Directors/Production team
Pick-up of auditorium and gallery after performance

Set/Materials Management Committee
Set design/building
Materials/tools management
Storage units
Prop storage and organization

Events and Marketing
Drama Camp
Middle School Theater Experience
Annual Meeting Picnic
Walk of Fame/Award’s Night (nominations, event, plaques, and etc.)
Selling Program Ads
Advertising/Marketing USP Events
Display case in community center hallway

Back Stage, Green Room, and Room Manager
Organization, cleanup and management of community center rooms & back stage
Make up supplies and inventory
Cleaning supplies and inventory
Audition supplies and inventory
Post-show strike inventory, purge, and cleaning

00 News & Updates, 2016 The Christmas Post

“Christmas Post” Closes Holiday Run

 

Union Street Players (USP), Pella’s award-winning community theatre, ended its six show run on Saturday afternoon. It was Director Wendy Vander Well’s third time at the helm of the holiday musical. She first directed the show at Third Church in Pella in 2001. Five years later, in 2006, she was tapped to produce the show for Union Street Players. The heart-warming musical, based on two Norman Rockwell paintings, tells the story of a World War II widow trying desperately to make enough commission at the local department store to buy her children the “special gifts” that will fulfill their Christmas wishes. With the help of an angelic newsstand owner, and the support of friends and co-workers, the widow overcomes a greedy store owner and hard-hearted Sales Manager and develops the faith needed to believe it will happen.

Along with Vander Well, the cast and crew included a few members (Dirk Ryals, Karen Ryals, Cal Van Ee, Brian Vande Lune, Lisa Vande Lune) who had participated in all three local productions, along with a host of others who had been in two of the three. As with most USP productions, the cast included seasoned veterans as well as newcomers, such as lead actresses Mia Andringa (Katie) and Elise Pederson (Alice), who were in their first USP production.

Attendance for the six show run:

Fri Dec 2: 225
Sat Dec 3: 242
Sun Dec 4: 289
Tue Dec 6: 154
Fri Dec 9: 249
Sat Dec 10: 220
Total: 1379

For veterans of the 2006 production of The Christmas Post, this year’s show tugged extra hard on the heart-strings, and it wasn’t just the sentimental storyline that elicited emotion. In the past 10 years USP has memorialized three of the cast members of the 2006 production who have since passed away: Mike Atkins (Accompanist), Randy Icenbice (Caroler), and Sherm Van Zee (Brother Sam).

Next up for USP:
Noises Off by Michael Frayn; Directed by Denise Gregory
Auditions Jan 12-14

 

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.