Pella Chronicle

Local News

August 27, 2012

USP's 25th Anniversary Gala set for Sept. 8

Pella — In 1988 America was still embroiled in a Cold War with the Soviet Union. Ronald Reagan finished his second presidential term. A gallon of gas cost 91 cents. The few cell phones which existed were the size of your average brick. Personal computers were available and growing in popularity, but more than a thousand dollars bought you a clunky monochrome screen and a large computer processing unit with 30 megabytes of memory. No one had heard of the internet.

In the summer of 1988, during Pella’s Thursday Nights on the Square, a small group of enterprising individuals entertained the crowds with short, staged theatrical productions. They were a hit. A year and a half later, in January 1989, the ambitious group would officially organize as a non-profit community theatre and name themselves after the street on which they found their stage home. Union Street Players was born and took up residence on the stage of the newly renovated Joan Kuyper Farver Auditorium in Pella’s Community Center.

This year Union Street Players (USP) celebrates their 25th Anniversary Season. A lot has changed over the years, but you’ll still find some of the same faces that were entertaining Thursday night crowds in the summer of 1987. They are certainly not alone. Over the years they have been joined by a host of fellow community members who have volunteered time, energy and talent both on stage and off. Together with the support of the City, local businesses and generous patrons, USP has become an award-winning community theatre of which Pella can truly be proud.

The show has gone on for 25 years. Over 80 productions representing stage classics, Broadway musicals, children’s programs and locally written originals. Thousands of individuals young and old have participated in one way or another, and no one is doing it professionally. USP has, however, contributed to launching the careers of young entertainers who have pursued a career in professional theatre.

In celebration of their 25th season, USP is hosting a gala evening at the Pella Opera House on September 8th. Advance tickets (purchased before September 1) are $20 for adults and $10 for children 16 years and younger. After August 31, ticket prices will be raised by $10. Tickets include an entire evening of entertainment which begins at 5:30 p.m. with a pre-show reception at the Opera House including heavy appetizers. At 7:00 p.m. there will be an entertaining revue show honoring everyone who has been part of the USP legacy in the past quarter century. At 8:30 p.m., everyone will be invited to stick around for desserts, dancing and general merriment. General Admission tickets are available at the Pella Opera House, Cammie’s Place or can be purchased on-line at Questions can be directed to the USP Box Office at 641-204-1094 or emailed to


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