'Yes Virginia the Musical' coming to Connellsville
Does Santa Claus really exist? Children have been asking that question for generations.
In 1897, one little girl named Virginia O'Hanlon was determined to find out and wrote a letter to The New York Sun. The editor's response to her letter became one of the most famous newspaper editorials ever and inspired future generations to believe in the holiday spirit.
“Yes Virginia the Musical” shares this classic real-life Christmas story. The show will be presented Dec. 13 at 7 p.m. and Dec. 14 at 4 and 7 p.m. at the Edwin S. Porter Theater in Connellsville by Stage Right's Home School student group.
“I've always loved the story of ‘Yes Virginia,' ” said director and choreographer Renata Marino. “When we were thinking about doing the show, I went back and read the editor's response to Virginia. I cry every time I read it because it really just epitomizes Christmas in every way.”
The musical was adapted specifically for Macy's by William Schermerhorn from the animated special and storybook based on O'Hanlon's story by Chris Plehal. The holiday classic has been adapted into a heartwarming stage show written specifically for children.
As part of its commitment to arts education, Macy's makes “Yes, Virginia The Musical” available to teachers royalty-free.
“This is a brand-new show only offered this year or last year. It was written by Macy's and they provide you with everything, even performance tracks, so you don't have to have a full orchestra,” Marino said.
The show features 16 all new songs written specifically for the musical by Macy's Emmy Award-winning songwriters Wesley Whatley and Schermerhorn.
“The songs are short, sweet and they are kid-friendly but have wonderful themes and messages,” Moreno said.
The show will feature students from both the preteen and teen home school classes at Stage Right. Marino said the leads will be different in each of the three shows with teen leads in the Friday and Saturday night shows and preteen leads in the afternoon show.
“There are not a large number of cast leads but a large number of talented kids. We usually have the teens play the adults when we have a combined show but we have so many talented preteens we were able to give them the leads themselves and when they are not leads they are part of the ensemble so are vital to all performances,” Marino said.
One of the preteens is Conor McQueen, 11, of Kecksburg who will portray Mr. Church, editor of The New York Sun newspaper on Saturday at 4 p.m.
This will be McQueen's ninth show with Stage Right. He said this is his biggest role so far and is a little nervous about playing such a big role but is having fun doing it.
“He's a grumpy old man but I like how he comes through in the end by doing a good deed for Virginia,” he said.
Carolyn Jerz may be only 11 but is already a veteran stage performer having appeared in more than 20 shows with Stage Right — most recently as one of the Young Fiona with Stage Right's Professional Theater Company's production of “Shrek the Musical” last month.
Jerz will play Virginia in the Saturday afternoon show.
“I'm very excited to play a historical character and to show children how much one can believe in Santa Claus,” Jerz said. “I like her because she is such an energetic young girl and it's going to be a challenge to be a believable 8-year- old.”
Tickets are $5 for adults and students in advance and can be purchased by calling Stage Right at 724-832-7464. Tickets will also be sold at the door for $7 each. Seating for this event is festival style.
Linda Harkcom is a contributing writer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Longtime Connellsville area business closes its doors
- Fayette jail foes want county to be stricken as intervenor in case
- Man held for trial in dragging of Redstone cop
- Connellsville Health Board airs ordinance issues
- Phony physician wanted in Fayette also sought in Nebraska
- Fayette Friends of Animals volunteer uses talent to help get her shelter animals adopted
- Litigants against Fayette jail look to join forces
- Breakneck Church to hold flea market, bake sale
- Security tightened at Fayette courthouse; Westmoreland says its procedures are sufficient
- Contest seeks Fayette student entries to name road to jail
- Old water treatment plant in Dunbar Township destroyed by fire