Senior Spotlight – Kathrine OIenick

I met Kathrine Olenick before any of our other graduating high school seniors, when I coordinated the Showcase Show Off Talent Show at the North Theatre. She was passionate about singing, and her mom told me she loved musicals, so I encouraged her to try out for our Broadway Adventure program.

Eventually, Kathrine came out to audition for my production of Godspell, Jr.  I always incorrectly say that she was in High School Musical, because it truly seems like she has been with us as long as the other teens. She has participated in too many shows to count, including the first UST production, Willy Wonka. I’ve been pleased and impressed by Kathrine’s growth, as she went from solidly performing important ensemble roles to take the lead in Grease (Rizzo) and Once on This Island, Jr. (Storyteller). We were happy to have Kathrine’s strong voice and work ethic as she travelled with us to the Junior Theatre Festival, where she accepted the group award for Excellence in Acting.

Kathrine is not just a fantastic acting student — we are proud to say that she will be graduating as the Valedictorian of Dan River High School. We are proud of all of her accomplishments, and know she has a bright future!

This is what Kathrine has to say about her plans:

“As a senior in high school, plans for my future have been on my mind quite a bit. This fall, I will be attending James Madison University as an Honors student and soon, I will be deciding on a major. While considering all of this, I know that my experiences at Union Street Theatre will have a great impact. My experiences there, from ensemble roles to my favorite, Rizzo in Grease, have all convinced me to continue to be involved in theatre. As I begin to make important decisions regarding my future and as my life begins to take off, I am thankful that all of my Union Street Theatre experiences have helped me discover an aspect of my life that I hope to keep as I take on this new stage of life, as a college student.”

We are thankful for our time with you – BREAK A LEG, Kathrine!

Melissa & the UST/DMR Family




Senior Spotlight – Erica Dixon

I remember receiving a very professional an email from Erica Dixon, who was in 8th grade at the time, inquiring about the dates and ages of the first production I was directing in Danville, Alice in Wonderland.  She made a great impact with that first communication —  she had a very busy schedule but hoped to fit that show into her many other commitments.  I was sorry that it was not possible for that show, but I was lucky that she was able to audition for and participate in my second show, High School Musical!

Erica then went on to participate in many other shows with DMR and was one of the first in our youth leadership program at Union Street Theatre. She choreographed (along with Caleb Jackson) the student-produced show, Camp Rock, which was in our first Main Stage season. Erica has shown the utmost in professionalism as a performer, assistant, and choreographer and I will miss her many talents. I know so many who have considered her a role model and I thank her for her years of volunteering!

Erica Dixon will be graduating from Galileo Magnet High School as an IB Diploma student. She has been recognized as one of the Top 5 graduates of Danville Public Schools. Throughout high school, Erica has danced at Meredith Gravely School of Dance and she has participated in their new yet successful competition team for the past two years. Erica plans to attend Salem College to major in Biology/Pre-Med and minor in dance.

Break a leg, Erica! ImageImage


Senior Spotlight

I have worked with some amazing kids over the last 4 plus years, and I’ve cheered them on as they’ve danced, sung, and acted their way through all four years of high school.  There is a wonderful group of seniors who are graduating from high school and I wanted to showcase some of the amazing work they’ve done with Union Street Theatre and DMR Adventures, and what they’re planning for the future! I hope you enjoy.

-Melissa Charles

Union Street Theatre is on hiatus.

UST is currently on hiatus. There is no programming scheduled for Spring/Summer 2013. Please check back for more information.

Pancake Palooza #2 Scheduled for Friday, Jan. 11th!

pancake palooza screen shot

Pancake Palooza

Friday, Jan. 11
St. Lukes United Methodist Church
3090 North Main Street, Danville, Virginia 24540

$5 Donation gets you unlimited pancakes, 2 sausage patties & coffee, juice, or water. Family special $15 for 4 people, add $2 for each additional person. Eat-in or Take-out (Sorry, beverage not available with take out orders.) Order tickets by messaging Heather Fisher Vipperman or buy from a a member of the Junior Theatre Company. All proceeds provide much needed scholarships to the Junior Theater Festival in Atlanta, Georgia January 18 – 21, 2013.


Junior Theatre Company and the Pancake Palooza featured on WSET!

Thanks to Tola Adamson and WSET for covering the Pancake Palooza, to the many friends and family who flipped pancakes non stop, to our community for supporting and attending this fundraiser, and to Heather Vipperman for her leadership. We raised approximately $1,000! Save the date for Friday, Jan. 11th, when we’re hoping to repeat this success, more news to come!

Click this link for the video!


Special Guest announced for the Junior Theater Festival!

Special Guest announced for the Junior Theater Festival!

Just one of the unique things to look forward to on our trip to the Junior Theater Festival in just 13 days! Broadway dancer and author Tim Federle will be launching his debut novel, Better Nate Than Ever, at JTF! The book will be on sale at the festival and Tim will be on hand to autograph copies. As described by the author, “Better Nate Than Ever” is for “anyone who knows that the fastest way to star in your own life story is to dream big, no matter how small you are.” Check out this playbill article to read more!