St. Johns County Center for the Arts at Murray Middle School will perform â€˜Yes, Virginia The Musicalâ€™ with the help of Macyâ€™s and St. Augustine Amphitheatre
From Murray Middle School
St. Augustine, FL â€“This holiday season, The Murray Players will stage a performance of â€œYes, Virginia The Musical,â€ an original production based on a true story of 8-year-old Virginia Oâ€™Hanlon, who wrote a letter to the New York Sun newspaper in 1897, inquiring about the existence of Santa Claus.
The musical debuted last year as part of Macyâ€™s holiday â€œBelieveâ€ campaign and was performed by schools nationwide.
The St. Augustine Amphitheatre will welcome the holiday season with â€œYes, Virginia The Musicalâ€ at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 12 as part of A December to Remember.
The cast of students includes Marley Albright as the librarian; Kyler Unsworth as Virginia; Alexander Lawless as Ollie; Kyle Worrel as Scraggly Santa; Ethan Verzon as Mr. Church; Maggie Styles as Charlotte; and guest artist Andy Nance as The Jolly Gentleman; the chorus of city dwellers are Chris Oâ€™Connor, Isaiah Balzer, Savannah Lawless, Katarina Knippenberg, Mia Hammond, Alexis Skipper, Macy Dykes, Elena Barrera, Colleen Reed, Eva Connor, Giana Rivera, Pandora Layne, Julia Evans, Isabella Revel, and Alexis Rines; city dweller dancers include Rose Gonzales, Sydney Solms, Sophie Ognjenovic, Haley Midgett, Bella Kenna, Tai Tilley, Emily Meide, Ryleigh Spencer, Lydia Osgood, Gemy Meyers, Ella Romaine, Bryce McClure, Bailey McCafferty, Alex Mowery, Presley Novak, Simone Glomboski, Lillian Baker, Sophia Boutros, KellyAnn Cernese, Olivia Bradshaw, and Genevieve Bress. Murray Drama Instructor JoAnn Kirby-Nance directs the show, along with a crew of students helping backstage.
Admission is free, but donations to the school will be accepted. The Amphitheatre will be open to the public and fully decorated with lights, festive dÃ©cor, a holiday tree, an Elf Village and festive music. Families are invited to enjoy free train rides, visits with Santa, face-painting and a bounce house during the free holiday event.
During a time of financial setbacks for many educational arts programs, Macyâ€™s offers the script and score for â€œYes, Virginia The Musicalâ€ royalty free to all participating schools, helping the SJCCA to stage its production. One hundred schools, including Murray, also received grants from Macyâ€™s as part of this â€œYes, Virginia The Musicalâ€ is part of Macyâ€™s beloved â€œBelieveâ€ campaign, which supports Make-A-WishÂ®.
The â€œBelieveâ€ program encourages children of all ages to drop their stamped letter to Santa at the red Santa Mail letterbox at their local Macyâ€™s. For every letter received, Macyâ€™s will donate $1, up to $1 million, to Make-A-Wish, helping to grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions.
â€œYes, Virginiaâ€ was created and produced by Macy’s and JWT in conjunction with The Ebeling Group and MEC Entertainment, a division of Mediaedge:cia. â€œYes, Virginia The Musicalâ€ was adapted from the animated special and storybook by Chris Plehal, by Wesley Whatley (music) and William Schermerhorn (book and lyrics), the EmmyÂ® Award-winning creative team behind the original song â€œYes, Virginia (There is a Santa Claus).â€