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Georgetown students to put on first Texas performance of 'Harry Potter and the Cursed Child'

(L-R) Imani Jade Powers as Delphi Diggory, Erik C. Peterson as Scorpius Malfoy and Joel Meyers as Albus Potter in the Cursed Child.
Matthew Murphy
Courtesy of Broadway Licensing Global
(L-R) Imani Jade Powers as Delphi Diggory, Erik C. Peterson as Scorpius Malfoy and Joel Meyers as Albus Potter in the Cursed Child.

Wands at the ready, all of you wizards and witches! Come this fall, Central Texans will have the opportunity to experience some magic that until now has been restricted to Broadway. Theater students at East View High School in Georgetown will put on the first Texas performance of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

The school's theater program was one of only 31 nationwide to win Broadway Licensing Global’s "Wands at the Ready" contest.

The contest required high school students "to make the case for why their school is the most 'magical' place to perform the award-winning play," according to a press release from the school district.

To do this, students and staff created a TikTok video highlighting the school's commitment to fine arts, student inclusion and diversity.


A magical opportunity

East View Theater Director Jon DeMitchell said he was "over the moon" when he learned his students had been selected to perform the play.

He surprised them by revealing the news in a special video on the closing night of their winter musical production of Mean Girls.

"Everyone was yelling and screaming and clapping," said Abigail, a senior at East View.

Dani, also a senior, said she's been a Harry Potter fan ever since she began reading the books in third grade. She said she's already decided to make a trip back home from Texas State in the fall to watch her classmates perform the play.

"I think that it’ll be a really good experience all around for our underclassmen," she said. "It will help them grow. They’re gonna find things they relate to in it."

Ellie, a junior, has never read or seen any of the Harry Potter books or movies, but that doesn't mean she's not eager to perform the play.

"I’m really excited to work on this and find out what other people have been raving about," she said.

Imagination is key

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is set 19 years after the Battle of Hogwarts and when audiences last saw the titular protagonist Harry Potter at the school in the seventh book of the beloved series. Author J.K. Rowling calls Cursed Child the eighth story in the Harry Potter series, and its release marked the first official time a Harry Potter story was presented on stage.

The play made its world premiere in London's West End on July 30, 2016, and was published as a book the following day. It made its debut on Broadway in April 2018.

Originally, the play was split into two separate two-and-a-half-hour shows. Audiences would typically see the two shows on the same day or two nights in a row.

In 2021, however, the Broadway play was revised into a one-night theatrical experience with a three-and-half-hour run time.

The high school edition has been trimmed further to accommodate its performers, but that doesn't mean the play is still without its own set of unique challenges.

Most notably, one question remains: How do you create magic on stage?

DeMitchell said it all comes down to imagination.

"That’s the cool part about theater. … [It] requires that willing suspension of disbelief," he said. "So a lot of it’s going to be imagination or shadow play. We’ve already started talking about how we’re going to do some of that magic with some cool technology."

DeMitchell said he's also excited to see what lessons his students learn from playing the magical characters.

"That’s what’s so cool about this show. … While Harry Potter is wildly extravagant, this play is actually just about two best friends, and a son and his dad trying to figure out who each other are and how they navigate the changing relationship," he said. "I don’t know that there’s anything more universal than that right there."

DeMitchell said he expects tickets for the play to go on sale sometime this summer. East View must present its productions of the show between Oct. 15 and Nov. 10.

Kailey Hunt is KUT's Williamson County reporter. Got a tip? Email her at Follow her on Twitter @KaileyEHunt.
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