Union Street Players, Pella’s award-winning community theatre, is working on the world premiere of a locally written play entitled Ham Buns and Potato Salad. Here are the answers to five questions we’ve been getting:
1. What’s the play about?
Ham Buns and Potato Salad is a full-length comedy in two acts set in the fictional Iowa town of Hebron (population 318). There has been a tragic accident and the town is preparing for the funeral of a beloved couple who were life-long members of the community. The couple’s son, Thomas, is coming home to Hebron for the funeral and it is the first time he’s been to Hebron since he left for college twelve years earlier. Traveling with Thomas is his agent, Gladys Iskowitch, a Jewish New York dame who is visiting Iowa for the first time.
When Thomas left, the town was embroiled in a scandal that involved both him and his next door neighbor and best friend, Marian. The scandal was never resolved and has become the fodder of endless speculative conversation for the farmers who gather at the cafe twice a day for coffee time. Now that Thomas is returning home for the funeral, the heat is turned up on the long-simmering scandal.
Add to the mix a Vietnam veteran whose flashbacks send the citizens of Hebron running for cover, a cantankerous old Dutchman, a former high school sports hero continually reliving his glory days, and you have the perfect recipe for an evening of laughter.
2. What does the title Ham Buns and Potato Salad mean?
If you attend funerals in central Iowa, you’ll find that the menu at the reception is always the same: ham buns, potato salad, chips, brownies, Jell-O cake, water, iced tea, and coffee. The title of the play points to the event which drives the action in the play (the funeral of Thomas’ parents). It also points to a theme of grief that is subtly present for most of the characters in one way or another.
3. Will I like it?
Yes. There is something in this play for everyone:
If you like comedy: You’ll enjoy a lot of laughs. (Guaranteed.)
If you like drama: You’ll enjoy the serious theme that emerges. (Yep, also guaranteed.)
If you like kids: We have one in the cast. (Her name is Lily. She’s adorable.)
If you like romance: You’ll enjoy the love story. (Stories, actually. There’s bonus romance at no extra charge.)
If you like action: You’ll enjoy the gun fire. (Not kidding. There really is gun fire. Blanks, of course.)
If you like thrillers: You’ll love the twist. (M. Night Shyamalan eat your heart out.)
4. Who is in it?
Cyndi Atkins, Karl Deakyne, Doug DeWolf, Jana DeZwarte, Denise Gregory, Griffin Hammel, Mark Moreland, Arvin Van Zante, Wendy Vander Well, and Lily Villalobos.
5. Is it appropriate for children or families?
Parental Guidance is suggested, so call it PG. The show is not intended for younger children, but teens and some pre-teens will enjoy it. There is very little swearing (one “hell” and a few “my god”s) but parents should know that adult themes are addressed. We can’t say more without giving things away.
6. (BONUS QUESTION!) How can I see it?
Ham Buns and Potato Salad will be performed in the Pella Community Center (712 Union Street, Pella, Iowa) April 10-12 at 7:00 p.m. and April 13 at 2:00 p.m. The show runs approximately 2 hours with an intermission. Tickets are $8 for adults in advance and $10 at the door; $6 for students in advance and $8 at the door. Tickets can be purchased on-line in advance by clicking HERE.
This from USP member, and Opera House Director, Kevin McQuade:
THE PELLA OPERA HOUSE
THE DINING ROOM
Monday, November 11, 6 to 9 p.m.
Tuesday, November 12, 6 to 9 p.m.
Saturday, November 16, 1 to 4 p.m.
Six Actors Needed
(three women, three men)
These are paid positions. Each actor will receive a $250 stipend.
Acting experience highly preferred.
Where: Pella Opera House, theatre (2nd floor)
What: please come prepared to tell a one-minute (maximum) joke. Cold readings from the script will also be conducted. One-page resumés and headshots are not required, but they are welcome.
When: this production will have two performances. Friday and Saturday, February 14-15, 2014 at 7 p.m.
Who: the ensemble consists of six actors who each play ~9 roles. Ideally, we need people who have the ability to play a wide range of ages and personalities. Any adult, as well as any high school junior or senior with access to transportation is welcome to audition.
Questions? Please contact the director, Kevin McQuade, at 641-628-8628, or at email@example.com
or call the USP Box Office 641-230-1172
WE ARE NO LONGER SELLING TICKETS THROUGH THE PELLA COMMUNITY CENTER OFFICE!
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
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
For actors on stage, there is nothing quite as unnerving and distracting as audience members who refused to turn off their phone or insist on talking, moving and squirming in their seats. During his recent acclaimed turn as Shakespeare’s Richard III, Kevin Spacey has taken matters into his own hands. While staying in character as the wretched monarch, Spacey has broken the fourth wall to chastise audience members and point them out for ridicule. Read the article from The Huffington Post.
Auditions are next week for the Union Street Players production of Vintage Hitchcock: A Live Radio Play. . Spies, murder, love, and other trademarks of Alfred Hitchcock come to life in the style of a 1940s live radio broadcast. Vintage Hitchcock: A Live Radio Play is a triple feature, complete with vintage commercials, that recreates a daring train chase, a serial killer’s ominous presence, and a devastating explosion through the magic of live sound effects and musical underscoring.
USP is looking for 5+ men, 5+ women, sound effects personnel, jingle singers, and a keyboardist. Auditions will be Monday January 10 at 7 PM, Wednesday January 12 at 7 PM and Saturday January 15 at 9:30 AM. at the Pella Community Center, 712 Union. No roles are pre-cast and all adults are encouraged to try-out! Directing the show is Pat Moriarity with assistance from Marty Feeney.
Written by Joe Landry, this spooky, exciting piece is a perfect evening’s entertainment! Performance dates are March 10 – 13, 2011. Produced by special arrangement with Playscripts, Inc. (www.playscripts.com)
The Union Street Players are sponsored by the Pella Community Center. For more information please call Pat Moriarity at 641-628-1549 or 641-780-0778 or go on-line unionstreetplayers.com.
Production dates: April 15-17 @ 7pm; April 18 @ 2pm
Tickets will be on sale starting March 15th at the Pella Community Center Community Services office (M-F from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) or can be ordered over the phone (Visa, MC, Discover) by calling Tom or Wendy Vander Well at 641-620-9107. [Sorry, no tickets will be held without payment].
Lars Knudsen: Tom Vander Well
Martha Bjorklund: Wendy Vander Well
Carl Norquist: Paul Scott
Lena Norquist: Lisa Witzenburg
Ole Swenson: Pat Moriarity
Donna Decasola: Susan Eggert
Sal Carducci: Marty Feeney
Walter Gisselson: Arvin Van Zante
Ruth Streeland: Jana DeZwarte
Sarah Knudsen: Megan Atkins
Sven Oxstrude: Larry Daft
Director: Ann Wilkinson
Asst Director: Brystal Hopkins
Producer: Pat Moriarity
Set Design: Mat Kelly
Set Construction: Mat Kelly, Jim Palmer, Mark Moreland, Pat Moriarity
Poster Design: Mat Kelly
Light Design: Jim Palmer, Arvin Van Zante, Mark Moreland
Light Board: Jim Palmer
Sound Design: Pat Moriarity, Bill White
Sound Board: Anne McCullough Kelly
Makeup Design: Peggy Moriarity
Audition assistant: Peggy Moriarity
Program: Anne McCullough Kelly