2014 Ham Buns and Potato Salad

Five Things You Want to Know About “Ham Buns & Potato Salad”

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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.


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01 Auditions & Talent Calls, 2011 Vintage Hitchcock

Audition Reminder for “Vintage Hitchcock”

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.

2010 K.O.L.D. Radio

Cast for K.O.L.D. Radio Announced

Kold_poster Director, Ann Wilkinson, and Producer, Pat Moriarity, announced the cast and production crew for Union Street Players' production of K.O.L.D. Radio, Whitefish Bay on Wednesday.

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].

Cast Members:
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
Production Crew
Director:  Ann Wilkinson 
Asst Director: Brystal Hopkins
Producer:  Pat Moriarity
Stage Manager:
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
Costume Design:
Makeup Design:  Peggy Moriarity
Audition assistant:  Peggy Moriarity
Prop Design:
Program: Anne McCullough Kelly