2012 Night of January 16th

Purchase Tickets for USP’s “Night of January 16th” Online!


or call the USP Box Office 641-230-1172


Night of January 16th by Ayn Rand
Directed by Anne McCullough Kelly; Produced by Tom Vander Well

Dates & Times:
Thu Mar 29 @ 7:00 p.m.
Fri Mar 30 @ 7:00 p.m.
Sat Mar 31 @ 7:00 p.m.
Sun Apr 1 @ 2:00 p.m.


Joan Kuyper Farver Auditorium in the Pella Community Center, 712 Union St., Pella, Iowa


Main floor:
Adults $8.00 in advance; $10 at the door
Students (with ID) $6 in advance; $8.00 at the door

All balcony seats are $6.00 all the time

About the show:

(Set in the mid-1930s) Bjorn Faulkner has swindled millions of dollars from investors, investing cash he did not have in order to control the gold trade.  In the wake of a crash, he is facing bankruptcy despite borrowing money from Mr. John Graham Whitfield, a prominent banker whose daughter, Nancy Lee, married Faulkner shortly after the loan.  On the night of January 16th, Faulkner and Karen Andre, his secretary and lover, are in the penthouse at the top of the Faulkner Building in New York when Faulkner falls to his death.  Shortly thereafter Karen Andre is accused of murdering him and is put on trial.  But did she kill him?  Did he commit suicide rather than face his financial troubles?  Or did someone else have a motive for ending his life?  Only YOU, the jury selected from our audience, can decide the fate of Karen Andre!  Come witness (and maybe be a part of) the trial, shift through the evidence, and render a verdict – is Karen Andre guilty or not guilty?

USP rates this show PG (mild profanity, testimony regarding violence and sexual situations)


Karen Andre ……………………..Jana DeZwarte

District Attorney Flint…………. Doug DeWolf

Defense Attorney Stevens……… Denise Gregory

Judge Heath………… Marinus Spierenburg

Bailiff/Court Clerk………………. Vicki Hicks

Stenographer…………………….. Nancy Moreland

Dr. Kirkland……………………… Mark Moreland

Mrs. John Hutchins……………. Cyndi Atkins

Homer Van Fleet………………… Dayrel Gates

Elmer Sweeney…………………… Mark Schaefer

Jane Chandler……………………. Cammie Nelson

Magda Svenson………………….. Deb Linn

Nancy Lee Faulkner…………….. Ashly Kocher

John Graham Whitfield………… Arvin Van Zante

Siegurd Jungquist……………….. Karl Deakyne

Lawrence “Guts” Regan………… Tom Vander Well

Roberta Van Rensselaer……….. Wendy Vander Well

00 News & Updates, 04 The USP Walk of Fame

USP Honors Deb Linn at Oct 15 Awards Dinner

Deb Linn will be honored at Awards Dinner October 15, 2011
Deb Linn 2011 Walk of Fame Inductee

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.

2011 Vintage Hitchcock

“Hitchcock” Thrills; Now Heads to Newton

Union Street Players finished their run of Joe Landry’s “Vintage Hitchcock: A Live Radio Play” on Sunday afternoon. The show recreated what it was like to be in the live studio audience for the live broadcast of Alfred Hitchcock’s radio dramas. It was a completely new concept for many audience members, while those who grew up in the Golden Age of Radio found themselves taking a trip down memory lane.

“I just closed my eyes and I was back in childhood with my family huddled around the radio,” on audience member said after the show.

As with most spring productions, attendance was low. Though, with the show falling on spring break week, the numbers were unusually slim.

Thu Mar 10: 35
Fri Mar 11: 79
Sat Mar 12: 55
Sun Mar 13: 44

Total attendance: 213

While the curtain has dropped for the last time on this Pella production, several members of the cast and crew are taking a piece of the show to the Iowa Community Theatre Festival in Newton. The annual festival of the Iowa Community Theatre Association features productions from community theatres around the state. Productions at the festival are judged, with one show going on to regional competition. USP plans to produce one of the three Hitchcock pieces, “Sabotage,”  for the festival.

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2010 Annie

No More “Tomorrow” for Annie

Cast Photo of Union Street Players production of "Annie"

The stage is (almost) bare. The final curtain has dropped. This is the last installment of “Daddy’s Dailies.”

For the cast and crew of Union Street Players’ production of Annie, the week of post-production blues has likely set in. It is not unusual to experience a let down the first week after production. There’s the physical let down after a couple of weeks of long evenings of rehearsal/performance, short nights of sleep, and the intense adrenaline rushes that come from being on stage. There’s the emotional let down after the climactic actors high of performing gives way to the pile of things (like Christmas shopping, work projects, school assignments, etc.) that got shoved to the back burner for the past few weeks. There is also a social let down that comes when about 100 people spend hours a day together for weeks on end and it comes to an abrupt stop. Not that we aren’t all overdue for a little rest, relaxation and regular routine. Nevertheless, don’t be surprised if things feel a little out of whack for the next week or so. Post production blues are a normal part of the experience (as are “actor’s nightmares,” so watch out!).

Final attendance figures for Annie were:

Fri Dec 3: 277
Sat Dec 4: 285
Sun Dec 5: 327

Thu Dec 9: 300
Fri Dec 10: 319
Sat Dec 11: 300

Total: 1808
Average: 301

While record keeping USP shows through our 23 year history has been erratic, there is no doubt that Annie ranks among the biggest, best attended, and highest grossing productions of all time. Congratulations to everyone for making it such a spectacular show!

Next Up

Pat Moriarity moves from the Producer’s chair to the Director’s chair for Vintage Hitchcock. This is a great show for adults who may be intimidated by the thought of all those lines to memorize. Hitchcock is a live radio play produced like the live radio theater shows of the last century. Actors read the script and use their voices to create different characters and sound effects.

Auditions are set for mid-January. Stay tuned to www.unionstreetplayers.com or follow us on Twitter @unionstplayers for more information. You can also contact Pat directly by emailing him at mort@iowatelecom.net.

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2010 Annie

Waiting, Waiting

Producer Pat Moriarity Warms Up the Cast of Annie during "The Half"

One of the things I love about theatre are the moments behind the scenes that most theater-goers never experience. As audience members enter the auditorium and settle into their seats, the 78 cast members and additional production team members of Annie pack into a room on the top floor of the Pella Community Center. It is known among stage veterans as “the half,” the 30 minutes before curtain. It can seem an eternal wait.

For Union Street Players, “the half” generally begins with a quick pep talk from director or producer. With musicals like Annie, the Music Director will often lead the cast in a quick warm-up song. Often a physical exercise to get the blood pumping is also included along with vocal exercises and tongue twisters to prepare mouths, teeth, lips and tongue to project lines clearly.

Once that is done, the cast waits for the cue for “places.” Actors talk, laugh, and share stories. There are hugs and high-fives. Pictures are taken. Some read books, newspapers and magazines. At the bottom of this post I’ve posted some more pictures I took during “The Half” before last night’s performance.

Waiting List

Speaking of waiting, the final two performances of Annie are sold out. A waiting list has been started for those who would be interested in purchasing a seat should tickets be returned or if there is a confirmed “no show.” Those on the waiting list are asked to show up 15 minutes before curtain (7 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. Saturday) and, if seats are available, names will be called from the list in the order they were originally received.

Packed House for Thursday’s Show

A big pat on the back for cast and crew who kept the energy up and presented a great show on Thursday to a sold-out, packed house. Thursday performances are notorious for being “low energy” as people rush from busy jobs and lives to the show. After four days without performing, there’s always the increased threat of dropped lines, missed entrances or botched moments. That didn’t happen on Thursday as everyone performed up to the high standard set last weekend.

Closing Night for One

While tomorrow afternoon’s performance will be the closing performance for everyone, tonight’s performance will be Rachel Peter’s last performance in the lead role. Hannah Emmert will play Annie in the final performance on Saturday. Both girls have done an exceptional job in the role and have been exemplary in their selfless sharing of the starring duties. Well done, ladies.

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