From Film to Broadway: Harry Potter

Produced by Warner Bros. Pictures, Harry Potter is a hugely popular movie franchise that started in 2001. The franchise was adapted from J.K. Rowling’s beloved series of seven novels which was originally published between 1997 and 2007. They included Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001), Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (1998), Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (1999), Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2000), Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2003), Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2005), and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (2007) – all of which made it onto the big screen. 

For the duration of the franchise, the movie has had a number of talented directors including Alfonso Cuarón, David Yates, Mike Newell, and Chris Columbus, alongside a devoted fanbase. In less than a decade, Harry Potter became the highest-grossing motion picture series in the history of film! And we’re not surprised with J.K Rowling’s far-reaching imagination filled with lovable characters, mythical creatures, and whimsical sets. 

The story follows the life of a young wizard, Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe), and his friends Hermione Granger (Emma Watson) and Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint), all of which are students at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The main arc revolves around Harry’s conflict with Lord Voldemort, a dark wizard who is determined to become immortal, take over the wizard governing body (the Ministry of Magic), and control all of the wizards and Muggles (non-magical people).

The Transition to the Stage

The success of the Harry Potter movies left fans hungry for more! The fantasy hit went from the silver screen to the dazzling lights of Broadway in 2018 with Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Co-written by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne, this is a two-part stage play which is set nineteen years after the adventure of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. It follows the adventures of Harry Potter, now an overworked Ministry of Magic employee, and his son Albus Severus Potter as they live in the shadow of Harry’s past.

Throughout their adventure, characters from the original series, including Hermione Granger, Ron Weasley, and Draco Malfoy, make appearances, adding a sense of nostalgia while new characters are introduced to give audiences some excitement. 

The transition from screen to stage wasn’t an easy task. The play had to recreate the magic of the book and films without the help of CGI. Instead, it relied on creative set design, expertly choreographed movements, and a skilled cast. Jamie Parker took on the role of Harry Potter, Noma Dumezweni as Hermione Granger, and Paul Thornley as Ron Weasley. 

harry potter and cursed child

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at the Lyric Theatre

In 2018, Harry Potter arrived at the Lyric Theatre in New York City. The Broadway production kept the creative team and much of the original cast from London, making sure that the magic remained intact. Cast members include Steve Haggard as Harry Potter, Erik C. Peterson as Scorpius Malfoy, Joel Meyers as Albus Potter, David Abeles as Ron Weasley, Jenny Jules as Hermoine Granger, Angela Reed as Ginny, Maya Thomas as Rose Granger-Wesley, Aaron Bartz as Draco Malfoy, and Imani Jade Powers as Delphi Diggory. 

To make audiences feel like they’re stepping into a wizarding world, the Lyric Theatre has transformed its venue with an elaborate set and special effects. The interior has been redesigned to mimic the interior of Hogwarts itself, complete with moving staircases, enchanted portraits, and hidden passageways. 

The incomparable stagecraft includes a full-scale Quidditch match. This unforgettable scene combines acrobatics, choreography, and special effects, replicating the high-flying sport.

The immersive experience of the wizarding world has been created by an amazing creative team including Set Designer Christine Jones, Costume Designer Katrina Lindsay, Composer and Arranger Imogen Heap, Lighting Designer Neil Austin, Sound Designer Gareth Fry, and Illusions and Magic Jamie Harrison. 

Broadway’s Harry Potter and the Cursed Child has received critical acclaim with 11 nominations, and as many six Tony awards, including best direction, costume design, lighting design, sound design and scenic design. WOW!!

lyric theatre harry potter

“You’ll be wondering ‘how’d they do that?’ for days to come” – People Magazine

“It’s a marvel of imagination, as magical as any spell or potion” – The New York Times

Prepare to be on the edge of your seat at this Tony Award®-winning spectacle that “leaves you gasping in wonder at the magic of it all” – TIME Magazine