Over the next few months, Macy’s is spreading more than just holiday cheer; it’s also bringing the gift of musical theater to schools nationwide.
In honor of the fifth anniversary of Macy’s “Believe” campaign, which supports the Make a Wish Foundation, the department store’s creative team has crafted a stage musical called “Yes, Virginia The Musical”—an adaptation of Macy’s 2009 animated special “Yes, Virginia.” The musical, which is an hour long, contains 12 songs, and calls for around 20 actors, has music by Wesley Whatley and lyrics and book by William Schermerhorn. Macy’s is freely providing the script, musical scores, vocal tracks, character summaries, and a $1,000 grant to all schools wishing to stage the production.
“Yes, Virginia The Musical” and its animated predecessor are both based on 8-year-old Virginia O’Hanlon’s famous letter to the editor of the New York Sun newspaper in 1897. In it, O’Hanlon asked if there really was a Santa Claus.
Editor Frank P. Church’s famous response—“Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist…”—inspired not just the production’s title, but its messages of hope and love.
More than 50 schools showed interest in staging the musical during the application process, which ended Sept. 13. The schools participating in the program will begin rehearsing their versions of “Yes, Virginia The Musical” in late September.