Members decided on “Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus," which they will perform this weekend and next weekend.
According to a news release from the guild, the play is not only about Virginia, who wrote her famous letter to the New York Sun, explaining that her father had said, “If you see it in the Sun, it’s so."
The play is also about newspaper editor, Ed Mitchell giving the assignment to Frank Church, a reporter on the verge of self-destruction, who struggles to answer her question and find his own answers as he creates "one of the world’s most quoted and beloved editorials," the release also said.
"I think we looked at a couple of plays and we said , 'This is the one,'" Judy Miller, stage manager, said. "A lot of our cast members going out of state for Thanksgiving. With a radio play, they would not have to memorize the lines. And so this was something that would allow us to do a Christmas show and not have the heavy rehearsals."
In the same release, Christine Johnson, director, said she selected this play because it tells not just the story of the girl and her letter, but her family and the reporter who wrote the editorial to answer her letter.
"Lots of us have seen the letter, 'Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus,' but they don't know the story behind it," Miller said. "You learn about the O'Hanlon family and the dad's out of work and they're kind of in desperate straits."
"And fate, as it were, so that the editor knows one of his reporters was dealing with the death of his wife and having a hard time. As you learn the story around the letter, it makes more of an impact. It truly gives you a holiday feeling. It's a very happy ending."
How is this story especially engaging for the audience as a radio play?
(Above, Cast members Stephanie Maldonado, Dawn, Noah and Maddie Brunker pretend to be the O’Hanlon family in the radio play “Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus)."