NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Macy’s (NYSE:M) today announces the return of “Yes, Virginia The Musical,” which will hit local stages throughout the holiday season. Now in its fourth year as part of Macy’s annual holiday “Believe” campaign, the play’s script and score will be available royalty free, in addition to $1,000 grants awarded to the first 100 eligible schools and organizations that apply, now through September 18. For the first time ever, the grant program will be open to high school groups and non-profit community organizations, as well as past grant recipients who have put on the show in previous years. A comprehensive digital toolkit will be available to all interested schools at yesvirginiamusical.com, complete with helpful videos, an interactive script and production reference materials to help groups stage their magical performances.
“We have heard incredible feedback from participating schools across the country over the past three seasons,” said Martine Reardon, Macy’s chief marketing officer. “This year, we look forward to extending the grant program to include high schools and non-profit community organizations, which will continue to bring the uplifting story of Virginia O’Hanlon to life.”
The original musical is based on the true story of 8-year-old Virginia, whose curiosity about the existence of Santa Claus inspired her to write a letter to the “New York Sun” newspaper in 1897. The response became one of the most famous newspaper editorials of all time and served as the driving force for Macy’s annual “Believe” campaign. For the 2015 holiday season, Macy’s will collect letters to Santa at Believe stations in store and online, donating $1 for each letter received, up to $1 million, to benefit Make-A-Wish®, which helps grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions.
Since the launch of the program in 2012, the story of “Yes, Virginia” has swept the nation – inspiring students, teachers and families through heartfelt holiday performances. The free toolkit has been downloaded by schools around the country and the grants have allowed school groups to purchase everything from costumes and set materials to sound and lighting equipment.
To meet the needs of schools with a smaller student population or limited musical resources, Macy’s has created a new Abridged Version of the musical. While retaining the heartwarming charm of the original musical script, the Abridged Version features a shorter running time and smaller cast, allowing Virginia’s story to reach new audiences in a way that may have not been possible before.
To learn more about the program, apply for a grant and download the free toolkit, visit yesvirginiamusical.com.
“Yes, Virginia The Musical” was adapted from the animated special “Yes, Virginia,” written by Chris Plehal, created and produced by Macy's and J. Walter Thompson 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's A Santa Claus).”
Macy's, the largest retail brand of Macy's, Inc., delivers fashion and affordable luxury to customers at approximately 775 locations in 45 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam, as well as to customers in the U.S. and more than 100 international destinations through its leading online store at macys.com. Via its stores, e-commerce site, mobile and social platforms, Macy's offers distinctive assortments including the most desired family of exclusive and fashion brands for him, her and home. Macy's is known for such epic events as Macy's 4th of July Fireworks® and the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade®, as well as spectacular fashion shows, culinary events, flower shows and celebrity appearances. Macy's flagship stores -- including Herald Square in New York City, Union Square in San Francisco, State Street in Chicago, and Dadeland in Miami and South Coast Plaza in southern California -- are known internationally and are leading destinations for visitors. Building on a more than 150-year tradition, and with the collective support of customers and employees, Macy's helps strengthen communities by supporting local and national charities giving more than $69 million each year to help make a difference in the lives of our customers.
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