Yes, Virginia — your school does support the arts.
That’s the message Macy’s wants to send to theater programs across the United States this holiday season. The company’s giving schools the chance to put on their own musical adaptations of the CGI-animated Christmas special, “Yes, Virginia”–and many schools will get grants for it.
It’s part of the department store’s “Believe” campaign, which ushers in its fifth Yuletide this year, and teams Macy’s with the Make-A-Wish Foundation. In 2009, Macy’s and agency JWT New York developed the “Yes, Virginia” TV special, which has since become an annual event on CBS. It tells the (fictionalized) story of Virginia, a real girl who wrote to a New York newspaper around 115 years ago, asking if Santa Claus was real.
Now, budding dramatists have the opportunity to act out the Virginia-based CBS story in school auditoriums nationwide. The first 100 eligible schools who apply will receive a $1000 grant from Macy’s to help with production costs.
The official website will give teachers and organizers everything a stage manager could need: downloadable scripts, outlines for costume and set design, character descriptions and vocal ranges, and more. (Schools will be able to put on the shows royalty-free.) The site also gives kids video advice from showbiz pros like Florence Henderson. Schools can apply for the grants on the website.