Union Street Players, Pella’s award-winning community theatre is working on their spring production, “Ham Buns and Potato Salad” a thoughtful comedy about small town Iowa. The show is being directed by Central College’s Ann Wilkinson, who recently won the “Innovative Teacher Award” from Region V of the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. The show is cast with a number of USP regulars who will be familiar to audiences along with two young actors making their debut on the stage of the Joan Kuyper Farver Auditorium.
“Ham Buns and Potato Salad” is an original, full-length play by Pella resident, Tom Vander Well. USP has produced several original works by local playwrights over the years. It can be a challenge to draw audiences to unfamiliar shows, but the local community theatre sees this as a unique opportunity for writers, directors and actors to stage new and original works. It is an opportunity that most community theatres do not experience. Vander Well recently took the time to respond to some of the frequently asked questions he has been asked as curiosity about the show has been growing.
Q: What is the show about?
A: The play is set in a fictional small Iowa town in the summer of 1991. There has been a tragic accident and the town is preparing for the funeral of an older couple who were well established members of the community. Their only son is returning home for the first time since he graduated from high school. When the son left for college he found himself embroiled in a town scandal involving a girl who was his next door neighbor and his best friend. Questions about the scandal were never resolved, which means it has always been a source of gossip and whispers in the community. The young man made a quite a name for himself, but he has never come home to deal with his past. Now, with the unexpected death of his parents, he is forced to return home. As you can imagine, the small town is buzzing with anticipation.