WINSTON-SALEM — Twin City Stage will present Macy’s Yes, Virginia The Musical, Dec. 18-20 at the Arts Council Theatre, 610 Coliseum Drive in Winston-Salem. Friday and Saturday night performances are at 7 p.m.; the Sunday matinee is at 2 p.m. Tickets are $15 for general admission and group rates are available. Tickets can be purchased online at www.twincitystage.org or at the box office window, one hour prior to each performance.
Based on a true story, Macy’s “Yes, Virginia The Musical,” introduces 8-year-old Virginia O’Hanlon, who has always loved Christmas. When an older classmate brings up the age-old question: “Is there a Santa Claus?” Virginia ventures into the city to find out for herself. A scraggly Santa, an excitable librarian, and even Virginia’s quirky doctor father can’t give her a satisfactory answer. So, Virginia writes to Francis Church, the editor of The New York Sun. The answer she receives is one that will become the most famous newspaper editorial of all time.
Church’s poignant essay response served as the inspiration for Macy’s annual holiday “Believe” campaign. Through the campaign, which supports Make-A-Wish, Macy’s collects letters to Santa at Believe stations in stores and online at macys.com/believe, and for each letter Macy’s receives, the retailer donates $1, up to $1 million, to help grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions.
Macy’s “Yes, Virginia The Musical, “with music by Wesley Whatley and book and lyrics by William Schermerhorn, is a part of the “Believe” campaign. As testimony to Macy’s commitment to arts education, Macy’s Yes, Virginia The Musical has been offered royalty-free to schools for the past four years, inspiring elementary and middle schools nationwide to perform the original production in their local communities. Last year, the playwright and composer worked with Twin City Stage to create an extended “main stage” version of the musical. The theatre company performed the new version in December 2014, receiving praise from both its audiences and reviewers.
Since then, further revisions have been made, including new characters and songs, and the newly updated Macy’s Yes, Virginia The Musical will be performed by Twin City Stage this December. “Based on constructive, creative feedback and our own notes, the Macy’s team is thrilled to build on last year’s heartwarming production,” commented Mr. Schermerhorn.
“This full-length version of Macy’s Yes, Virginia The Musical continues to be developed at Twin City Stage before being made available to both professional and amateur community theatre groups across the country. Through this season’s introduction of new characters, songs and expanded scenes, we hope to fully realize the potential this show has to offer with its optimistic holiday message of hope and love. Not only do we believe in Santa Claus, we believe in the ‘can-do’ spirit of everyone at Twin City Stage who graciously encourage and inspire us with each new page of dialogue and every musical note. And we get to share the result of our efforts with the public on December 18th!”
Justin Bulla will direct Macy’s Yes, Virginia The Musical and Daniel Dodson will serve as music director. Angela Daulton will choreograph. Scott Gaudin will design the set and Justin Hall will design costumes. Kevin Hampton will stage manage the production, assisted by Becky Proie. The cast is as follows:
Alex Dodson – Ollie
Asher Ellis – Mr. Church
Isabella Ellis – Virginia
Mark Flora – Mr. Sneed
Tara Flury – Gladys
Charity Hampton – Miriam
Shannon Lashley – Mrs. O’Hanlon
Jed Macosko – Scraggly Santa
Emerson McKie – Gertrude
Katie Pelikan – Charlotte
Stephen Robinson – Doc O’Hanlon
Jean-Marie Buckley, Matthew Davidson, Tyler Lashley, Katie Muhlencamp, Garrett Wilson – Herald Square Quintet
Kim Bell, Michael Gendy, Hannah Hair, Morgan Harrison, Katie Hines, Kelly June Hutcheson, Kassady McGreevy – Adult Ensemble
Elizabeth Googe, Sienna Lambert, Caroline Lindsay, Slate Marion, Della Sharpe, Maddison Sparks– Youth Ensemble
David Aiken, Joseph Beckwith, Anya Hiatt Benfield, Asher Dodson, Maurice Graham, Ella Howell, Anna Kummer, Caleb Lumpkin, Karina Macosko, Madison McKie – Dancers
A letter writing station will be set up in the lobby for the run of the show, giving children who are attending the production a chance to write their letters to Santa. These letters will be forwarded to Santa via a Macy’s Santa Mail letter box in order to benefit Make-A-Wish®.
On Friday, December 18, carolers from St. John’s Lutheran School will sing in the lobby before the show (6:15-6:45 pm). Following the performance that evening, the theatre will have an Opening Night Celebration Party during which cast and crew will join the audience in the lobby for refreshments and music. For further information about the production, visit www.twincitystage.org.
Macy’s “Yes, Virginia The Musical” was adapted from the animated special “Yes, Virginia,”written by Chris Plehal, and created and produced by Macy’s and JWT in conjunction with The Ebeling Group and MEC Entertainment, a division of Mediaedge:cia. Yes, Virginia The Musical was written by Wesley Whatley (music) and William Schermerhorn (book and lyrics), the Emmy® Award-winning creative team behind the original song “Yes, Virginia (There is a Santa Claus).”