The piece, Harry Potter and the Cursed Childwill soon be available for licensing for school productions.
Producers Sonia Friedman Productions, Colin Callender and Harry Potter Theatrical Productions are teaming up with Broadway Licensing Group to develop a version of the Broadway and West End show for high schools and high schools starting in 2024. The producers are working with the creative team to create an abbreviated version of the play, which currently plays over three hours on Broadway, and to create new special effects realistically achievable by the schools.
“We are thrilled to be working with Broadway Licensing Group to enable schools around the world to stage their own productions Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. We are very proud that more than half of the play’s audience worldwide is going to the theater for the first time. With this school version, we hope to broaden that audience even further by introducing younger generations to the magic of live theatre. We can’t wait to see students embrace their creativity and bring the magic of the wizarding world to life on their school stages. It is extremely exciting for all of us,” Calendar and Friedman said in a statement The Hollywood reporter.
The West End version of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child opened in 2016, while the Broadway version opened in 2018 – both are still running. There are also productions in Hamburg and Tokyo and previous runs in Melbourne, Toronto and San Francisco.
The play, written by Jack Thorne, based on an original story by J.K. Rowling, Thorne, and the play’s director, John Tiffany, began on Broadway as a two-part show, taking place in two separate performances and running a run. of more than five hours. After the pandemic, the play came back to Broadway and the other North American productions, as one show with a running time of three hours and 30 minutes.
The show won six Tony Awards, including Best Play, and nine Olivier Awards, including Best New Play. The story takes place 19 years later Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and follows Harry Potter’s son, Albus, and his friendship with Draco Malfoy’s son Scorpius. The school version, which will have a “new, shortened runtime,” will be developed by Broadway Licensing Group, Thorne, Tiffany, Friedman and Callender, with Rowling’s approval.
“More than twenty-five years ago, the Harry Potter book series inspired a generation of new readers,” said producer Neil Blair, Rowling’s agent. “To make Harry Potter and the cursed child, the eighth story in the Harry Potter series, available for school productions around the world, will inspire that same creativity, imagination, play and storytelling through the medium of theatre, and we couldn’t be more excited.”
The professional versions of the play also contain a lot of highly technical illusions and stage magic to showcase some of the familiar magical elements of the Harry Potter world. The Broadway production alone was capitalized for up to $35.5 million, a record for any play on Broadway, in addition to the $33.3 million the production spent cleaning up and redoing the Lyric Theater into a Harry Potter theme. The production, which regularly grosses more than $1 million a week on Broadway, will have recouped its capitalization costs by the end of 2022.
However, Tiffany said the illusions will be adapted for schools, in line with the storytelling techniques envisioned when the play was first developed.
“When I was developing Harry Potter and the Cursed Child with the creative team, one of our guiding principles was that the magic, illusions and special effects should be rooted in storytelling techniques that could be achieved when playing at home or at school. This could mean borrowing your teacher’s winter coat to recreate the effects of taking Polyjuice Potion, or searching the attic for trunks to create the Hogwarts Express,” Tiffany said. “So opening up the world of it Harry Potter and the Cursed Child going to school is exciting and feels like the natural next step on our journey.”
Pilot productions of the school edition will take place in the UK and US in Spring 2024, with a worldwide release to schools shortly thereafter. Amateur productions are expected to appear at a later date.