Auditions upcoming for W.H.A.T.’s rendition of ‘Yes, Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus’

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West Hudson Arts & Theater Co. will host auditions for its holiday production, “Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus,” on Nov. 3 & 4 from 7 to 9 p.m., at the East Newark Recreation Center, 44 Central Ave. The show dates are Dec. 10, 11, 17 and 18.

Actors ages 7 to 80+ are invited to read from the provided sides.

Playwright Jamie Gorski’s adaptation of “Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus,” to be directed by Alyssa Schirm, is a story inspired by a simple, poignant letter written over 100 years ago by 8-year-old Virginia O’Hanlon to the editor of the New York Sun — and by the timeless editorial response printed on the front page of The Sun.

Virginia wondered and wrote: “Dear Editor, I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says if you see it in The Sun, it’s so. Please tell me the truth. Is there a Santa Claus?”

Ed Mitchell, The Sun’s editor, gives the assignment of answering Virginia’s letter to Frank Church who, until his wife and baby died last Christmas Eve, was The Sun’s best and most dependable reporter.

Visit for more details and audition materials.


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Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, an organization he has served since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on social media channels such as YouTube, Facebook, and X, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to Kearny to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.