The famed department store will also offer $1,000 grants to the first 100 eligible schools and organizations that apply, now through Sept. 18. For the first time, the grant program will be open to high school groups and non-profit community organizations, as well as past grant recipients who have previously put on the show.
"We have heard incredible feedback from participating schools across the country over the past three seasons," said Martine Reardon, Macy’s chief marketing officer, in a statement. "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, according to press notes, 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."
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).
To meet the needs of schools with a smaller student population or limited musical resources, Macy’s has created an abridged version of the musical. To learn more about the program, apply for a grant and download the free toolkit, visit yesvirginiamusical.com.
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.