A partnership deal to perform “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” at schools has been made between Broadway Licensing Group and producers Sonia Friedman Productions, Colin Callender and Harry Potter Theatrical Productions. As part of the agreement, high school and secondary school theater programs worldwide will be able to mount productions of the Tony Award-winning play starting in 2024.
“We are delighted to be working with Broadway Licensing Group so that schools around the world can stage their own productions of ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,’” said Friedman and Callender in a statement. “We’re very proud that over half of the play’s audiences worldwide have been first-time theatergoers. With this schools version, we hope to broaden that audience even further by introducing younger generations to the magic of live theater. We can’t wait to see how students embrace their creativity and bring the magic of the wizarding world to life on their school stages. It’s extremely exciting for us all.”
Broadway Licensing Group is collaborating with the show’s original creative team, including playwright Jack Thorne, director John Tiffany and producers Friedman and Callender and, with signoff by J.K. Rowling, will adapt the script for high school and secondary school theaters. The adapted version will include a shorter runtime as well as new creative techniques to convert the highly technical wizardry of the original production into magic and spells that schools can achieve no matter their budget size and socioeconomic backgrounds.
“Over 25 years ago, the ‘Harry Potter’ book series inspired a generation of new readers,” said producer Neil Blair, Rowling’s agent and founding partner of the Blair Partnership. “Making ‘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 theater, and we couldn’t be more thrilled.”
Written as a sequel to the “Harry Potter” book series, the play began Broadway previews on Mar. 16, 2018 and officially opened on Apr. 22, 2018, at the Lyric Theatre. The play took home six 2018 Tony Awards, including Best Play.
Based on an original story by Rowling, Thorne and Tiffany, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” is penned by Thorne. The play centers on Harry Potter’s son, Albus, who befriends Scorpius, the son of his fiercest rival, Draco Malfoy. It sparks a new journey for them all — with the power to change the past and future forever.
“When I was developing ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ with the creative team, one of our founding principles was that the magic, illusions and special effects should have their roots in storytelling techniques that could be achieved when playing at home or in school. This might involve borrowing your teacher’s winter coat to act out the effects of taking Polyjuice Potion, or raiding the loft for suitcases to create the Hogwarts Express,” said director Tiffany in a statement. “So opening the world of ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ up to schools is thrilling and feels like the natural next step in our journey.”
“We are honored to be the worldwide amateur licensing home of ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ and prioritizing the release of the title to the educational theater market,” said Sean Cercone, founder and CEO of Broadway Licensing Group, in a statement. “We hope the impact of bringing this beloved world to life on school stages will drive a renewed commitment to nurturing the arts in our schools ensuring every student has the opportunity to experience the transformative power of theater — providing students with the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to not only see characters like Harry and his son, Albus, but to be them.”
Pilot productions of the play’s school edition will be performed in the U.K. and U.S. in spring 2024, with worldwide release for schools shortly after; amateur productions will roll out later. Theater educators can get more details and express interest in staging a production by visiting LicenseCursedChild.com.