00 News & Updates, 04 The USP Walk of Fame

“USPy” Winners Announced

Nearly 100 people gathered at the Pella Opera House last night for Union Street Players Awards Night. Doug DeWolf was inducted into the USP Walk of Fame, and winners were announced for the first annual “USPy” Awards for Outstanding Production and Performance.

The three shows of USP’s 2016-2017 season were adjudicated by five are theatre educators. Judges announced award nominees in early August and the winners were announced at last night’s presentations.

Winners were (in the order they were presented):

  • Technical Achievement: Jim Palmer (Set Design of Noises Off)
  • Outstanding Supporting Actress: Kim Beyer (Dixie Plunkett in The Christmas Post)
  • Outstanding Newcomer: Elise Pederson (Alice Garfield in The Christmas Post)
  • Outstanding Supporting Actor: Tom Vander Well (Eliott Herzog Jr. in The Christmas Post)
  • Outstanding Young Performer: Mia Andringa (Katie Garfield in The Christmas Post)
  • Outstanding Direction: Wendy Vander Well (The Christmas Post)
  • Outstanding Lead Actress: Lisa Witzenberg (Hattie McGee in The Christmas Post)
  • Outstanding Ensemble: The Three Crows (The Wizard of Oz)
  • Outstanding Lead Actor: Lonnie Appleby (Garry in Noises Off)
  • Outstanding Production: The Wizard of Oz

The big honor of the evening went to Doug DeWolf who was introduced by last year’s Walk of Fame inductee, Spence Ver Meer.

More details about the evening along with photographs from Lisa Morgan, who served as photographer for the event, will be posted when they become available.

00 News & Updates, 2017 Its a Wonderful LIfe

Cast List Announced for “It’s a Wonderful Life”!

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 Its a Wonderful LIfe

“It’s a Wonderful Life” Auditions

Wlife AUDweb

There are five perusal scripts available at the Pella Public Library for a two-day check out. There are 26 speaking parts and some small ensemble opportunities. The cut off age for walk in auditions is eight-years old.  Any actors younger than eight years old must be approved by the director to audition previous to the audition.

Director Pati Van Zante can be reached at 641-780-3190.

00 News & Updates, 04 The USP Walk of Fame

USP Awards Night September 23rd!

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It was ten years ago that Union Street Players (USP) instituted our Walk of Fame and began our annual autumnal Awards Night. For our Awards Night’s 10th Anniversary, USP is taking things to a whole new level!

We invite the public to join us for an evening of food, fun, and celebration as we remember another successful year as Pella’s award-winning community theatre. USP will be inducting Doug DeWolf into the USP Walk of Fame. We will also be instituting our first annual “USPy” awards. Professional, local theatre educators have adjudicated every show of our 2016-2017 season. They have nominated finalists for awards of outstanding performance and production in several categories. Winners will be announced at our Awards Night Celebration. We will also look back at our 2015-2016 productions includingThe Christmas PostNoises Off, and The Wizard of Oz.

purchase tickets button

If you would like to pay with a check, or have questions or need help purchasing tickets, please call the box office at 641-204-1094.

Here’s what you need to know:

When:  September 23, 2017, 6 PM – 11 PM
Where:  Pella Opera House
Cost:  $15 adult (17+), $10 child

Tickets must be purchased in advance online by September 18!!

Call the USP Box Office at 641-204-1094 for assistance or questions

6:00  Reception with heavy appetizer buffet and cash bar
7:00  Evening program with Induction of Doug DeWolf to Walk of Fame and 1st annual USPy Awards

Dessert, drinks, and conversation to follow award ceremony 

Attire: Cocktail/Party/Business Casual

2017 USPy Nomination Announcement Video 

Here are the 2017 Nominees for Outstanding Production and Performance (or, as we’re calling them, the “USPys”):

Outstanding Technical Achievement

  • Mat Kelly for Set Design, The Christmas Post
  • Karen Ryals and Brystal Hopkins for Choreography, The Christmas Post
  • Jim Palmer for Set Design, Noises Off
  • Kim Beyer for Make-up Design, The Wizard of Oz
  • Anne McCullough Kelly for Costume Design, The Wizard of Oz

Outstanding Ensemble

  • Newsies, The Christmas Post
  • Shoppers, The Christmas Post
  • Crows, The Wizard of Oz

Outstanding Young Performer

  • Mia Andringa as Katie Garfield, The Christmas Post
  • Garion Cutler as Nikko-Monkey Leader, The Wizard of Oz

Outstanding Newcomer

  • Mia Andringa as Katie Garfield, The Christmas Post
  • Elise Pederson as Alice, The Christmas Post
  • Becca Beyer as Toto, The Wizard of Oz
  • Cory Oltrogge as Zeke,  The Wizard of Oz

Outstanding Actor in a Supporting Role

  • Doug DeWolf as Brother Sam Gillespie, The Christmas Post
  • Tom VanderWell as Elliot Herzog Jr., The Christmas Post
  • Jessie Nieboer as Tim Algood, Noises Off
  • Dayrel Gates as Uncle Henry, The Wizard of Oz
  • Arvin VanZante as Professor/Wizard, The Wizard of Oz

Outstanding Actress in a Supporting Role

  • Kim Beyer as Dixie Plunkett, The Christmas Post
  • Jana DeZwarte as Poppy Norton-Taylor, Noises Off
  • Lynn Cutler as Almira Gulch, The Wizard of Oz
  • Jana DeZwarte as Glinda, The Wizard of Oz
  • Deb Linn as Aunt Em, The Wizard of Oz

Outstanding Actor in a Leading Role

  • Scott Burns as Maxwell Q. Seldon, The Christmas Post
  • Lonnie Appleby as Garry, Noises Off
  • Lonnie Appleby as Scarecrow, The Wizard of Oz
  • Spence Ver Meer as Cowardly Lion, The Wizard of Oz

Outstanding Actress in a Leading Role

  • Lisa Witzenburg as Hattie McGee, The Christmas Post
  • Elise Pederson as Alice Garfield, The Christmas Post
  • Stephanie Lantz as Dotty Otley, Noises Off
  • Sarah Davis as Brooke Ashton, Noises Off

Outstanding Direction

  • Wendy VanderWell for The Christmas Post
  • Denise Gregory for Noises Off
  • Anne McCullough Kelly for The Wizard of Oz

Outstanding Production

  • The Christmas Post
  • Noises Off
  • The Wizard of Oz

 

00 News & Updates

New Leadership for USP

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2017-2018 USP Board of Directors (L-R Pati Van Zante, Arvin Van Zante, Denise Gregory, Mat Kelly, Deb Linn, Jim Palmer, Kim Beyer, Doug De Wolf)

Union Street Players, Pella’s award-winning community theatre, held our annual elections on Monday evening, August 14th. For several years now, USP has held the August annual meeting at West Market Park and celebrated the finish of our fiscal year with a potluck picnic. Once again, a large crowd of members gathered to honor the year that was and look forward to the future.

After everyone filled themselves with a generous feast, USP President, Tom Vander Well, presided over elections for the 2017-2018 Board of Directors. The 2017-2018 Board of Directors bring years of experience to their posts, however the leadership of Pella’s community theatre will look different in the coming year.

The 2017-2018 USP Board of Directors will be:

President: Mat Kelly
Vice-President: Denise Gregory
Secretary: Deb Linn
Treasurer: Jim Palmer
At-Large: Kim Beyer
At-Large: Doug DeWolf
At-Large: Arvin Van Zante

In keeping with the USP Corporate By-Laws the USP Costume Shop Manager, Pati Van Zante, will also serve as an ex-officio Board Member. Past President, Tom Vander Well, will also serve an ex-officio role for one year to help with the transition, as prescribed by the organizational By-Laws.

With the exception of Jim Palmer, all of the 2017-2018 Board members have previously served on the USP Board. Palmer has been an active member and participant of USP, both on stage and off, for many years. Arvin Van Zante and Doug DeWolf will retain their positions on the Board. Deb Linn and Kim Beyer will continue to serve on the Board, though each will be in new positions in the coming year. Denise Gregory and Mat Kelly are returning to the Board, having served in different capacities in previous years.

Out-going President, Tom Vander Well, also gave an annual report during the meeting. USP has invested money in infrastructure improvements during the 2016-2017 year including:

  • Repairing and renovating the Pella Community Center audio system
  • Organizing and moving prop storage to a new storage facility
  • Repairing and rehanging USP show posters in the Community Center hallway
  • Adding additional storage in the Pella Community Center for audio and lighting equipment
  • Funding the cleaning of duct work in the Community Center auditorium HVAC system
  • Updating air conditioning in the USP meeting room and Green Room

Vander Well reported that the investment in infrastructure meant that USP would end the 2016-2017 fiscal year “in the red.” Nevertheless, USP celebrated strong support from local donors and advertisers. He also cited strong support from, and collaboration with, the City of Pella who sponsor USP and generously provide for USP’s stage home in the Pella Community Center.

The outgoing Board of Directors will finish their tenure by administrating the 2017 USP Awards Night. Doug DeWolf was announced as this year’s inductee to the USP Walk of Fame. Vander Well encouraged everyone to pay attention to the website and Facebook for upcoming announcements about the Awards Night and the first annual “USPy” awards.

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, 01 Auditions & Talent Calls, 2017 Wizard of Oz

Auditions Info USP’s “The Wizard of Oz”

Wiz audition posterFBLocation: Pella Community Center 712 Union Street, Pella IA  50219
Tuesday, May 9 from 6:30-9:30pm
Wednesday, May 10 from 6:30-9:30pm
Saturday, May 13 from 1-4pm

Performances Jul 21-22; 27-29

Monday, May 15 from 6:30-9:30pm THIS IS FOR CALLBACKS ONLY. IF YOU CAN ONLY AUDITION ON THIS DATE, PLEASE EMAIL THE DIRECTOR BY MAY 9 FOR AN APPOINMENT.

The audition process will consist of singing and movement auditions. Those auditioning for speaking roles will have time at the audition to prepare a selection from the script we will provide for you.

Please come prepared to sing your choice of the songs listed below for your age group. Wear comfortable clothing and secure shoes (no flip-flops, please) as we will teach you a short dance for the movement section of the audition.

Music Selections:

Adults (7th Grade and Older):
“Amazing Grace” in Key of C Major
“America, the Beautiful” in Key of C Major

Children (Kindergarten-6th Grade):
“Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” in Key of C Major
“Happy Birthday” in Key of C Major

Young ladies auditioning for the role of Dorothy, be prepared to sing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” in Key of Bb Major. Email director, Anne McCullough Kelly or producer, Denise Gregory, for the sheet music.

Parts Available:

*Denotes non-singing role, if desired. Aunt Em, Uncle Henry, Zeke, Hickory, and Hunk may be incorporated into the Adult Chorus as Ozians

Dorothy Gale – female, actor cast age 16 – early 20s (please note, due to the maturity needed for this role, we will only audition girls and young women in the specified age range).
*Aunt Em – female, actor cast age 40+
*Uncle Henry – male, actor cast age 40+
*Zeke (farmhand) – male, actor cast age late 20s+
*Hickory (farmhand) – male, actor cast age late 20s+
*Hunk (farmhand) – male, actor cast age late 20s+
*Miss Almira Gultch (may be double cast as Wicked Witch of the West) – female, actor cast age mid 30s+
*Professor Chester Marvel/The Wizard of Oz – male, actor cast, age 50s+
Glinda, the Good Witch of the North – female, actor cast mid 30s+
*The Wicked Witch of the West (may be double cast as Miss Almira Gulch) – female, actor cast age mid 30s+
Scarecrow – male, actor cast age late 20s+
Tin Man – male, actor cast age late 20s+
Cowardly Lion – male, actor cast age late 20s+
Emerald City Guard – male, actor cast age late 20s+

Adult Ensemble (may include Munchkins, Ozians, Winkies, Jitterbugs, Crows, Trees, Poppies, Snowmen – specific groups will be assigned once rehearsals commence) – Maximum of 20.

Child Ensemble (may include Munchkins, Trees, Rocks, Poppies, Snowmen, Monkeys – specific groups will be assigned once rehearsals commence) – Maximum of 25.

Questions? Please contact:

Anne McCullough Kelly, Director  amcculloughkelly@gmail.com

Denise Gregory, Producer  denise2352004@yahoo.com