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Holiday stage productions - Willmar

The O'Hanlon family and friends gather to hear the editorial answering Virginia's question read from The Sun newspaper by the little girl's father. (Tribune photo by Gary Miller)

WILLMAR -- The Barn Theatre presents "Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus" at 7:30 p.m. today through Saturday and Dec. 8-11, with 2:30 p.m. matinees on Sunday and Dec. 12.

Tickets are $15 for adults and $8 for students 18 and under. They are on sale at the box office 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays.

The play is based on an editorial in The Sun, a prominent New York City newspaper, in 1897.

A father was asked by his then 8-year-old daughter, Virginia, whether Santa Claus really existed. Virginia O'Hanlon, played by Elizabeth Carlson, had begun to doubt there was a Santa Claus, because her friends had told her that he did not exist. Her father suggested she write to The Sun, assuring her that "If you see it in The Sun, it's so." While he may have been buck passing, he unwittingly gave one of the paper's editors, Francis Church (Richard Carlson) an opportunity to rise above the simple question, and address the philosophical issues behind it.

Other cast members are John Beck, Merica Overcash, Christopher Hinton, Nick Suchy, Lance Sharkey, Stacey O'Brien, Kyle Quinn, Jay Ellingson, Peg Karsten, Molly Tengwall, Claire Richter, Brianna Grannes, Brenda Talbot, Jack Kuppich, Jeff Rohner, Sheila Quinn, Mike Dockman, Brent Peterson and John Heath.

Paul Schoenack is the director, Quincy Roers is the technical director and Becky Sorenson is the stage manager. Costumes are by Joanne Meierhofer with hats and wigs by Cathy Pregler. Deb Klinghagen and Mary Merlin handled props.

Call or visit The Barn box office at 320-235-9500, 321 Fourth St. S.W., in downtown Willmar.