Due to some famous alumni (Natalie Portman, Lea Michele, Michael Ian Black) and a documentary, you might already be familiar with the upstate New York performance training program Stagedoor Manor. This Thanksgiving, however, you’ll have the chance to become better acquainted with the program’s multi-talented adolescents by tuning in to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. As part of the parade’s finale, a group of 137 Stagedoor Manor students will perform “Santa By the Book” from “Yes, Virginia The Musical,” based on the animated television special Macy’s has sponsored since 2009 on CBS. The musical version first premiered at Stagedoor Manor earlier this year.
While the Stagedoor Manor program is known to be competitive, there is also rigorous competition to appear in the parade. Every year, about 400 students apply to participate in the festivities. These young performers, ranging in ages from 10 to 13, will represent 27 states as well as Canada and Saudi Arabia. This marks the fourth year Stagedoor Manor students have participated in the parade. The group will travel with Santa and Mrs. Claus on a float for the entire length of the parade, before they end up in Herald Square to end the parade.
Every year, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade attracts roughly 50 million viewers. Broadcast on NBC, the parade will air from 9 am to noon (EST) this Thursday, Nov. 22.