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WA Ghostwriter

The student news site of Westford Academy

WA Ghostwriter

The student news site of Westford Academy

WA Ghostwriter

WATA selected as one of 29 programs in the US to perform ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’

Penelope Zambrana
WATA sits for an interview with the Boston Globe as they are recognized for their achievement.

On February 12th, WA Theatre Arts (WATA) was selected out of a large pool of schools through a rigorous and competitive application process, to put on and perform Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in the WA Performing Arts Center (PAC) in the fall of 2024.

This opportunity was brought to WATA’s attention by Maggie Sulka, a former WA student and current Theater Educating Director at WA. Sulka heard about this opportunity through an email blast and Instagram post from Broadway Licensing posted in November. She immediately took advantage of the opportunity and brought it to the attention of WATA’s Artistic Director, Michael Towers.

“My initial thoughts were this would be such a cool production for our students, particularly our technical students, and Mr. Towers agreed,” Sulka said.

The first step was putting the school’s name down on a list that let the creators of this play know that WATA was interested in the opportunity. From there, the directions were simple. According to Mr. Towers, the students needed to create a 30 second to two minute video showcasing why WATA’s community is the most magical place to stage.

After finding out about this possibility, a group of eager students from WATA put together a video to submit. This video highlighted the specialty of WA compared to other competing schools.

The students involved in the making of this video, which is available to everyone for view on the WATA Instagram, consisted of a group of seniors, juniors, and a few sophomores who took interest in the production.

After the video submission, WATA members patiently waited for news of their acceptance or rejection. According to Towers, the video was submitted in mid December, and they did not hear back until February 12th, although they had to keep it quiet until Playbill made the official announcement the next day.

“We kind of whispered it in some kids ears Monday night but I don’t think they really got it, I don’t think it felt real,” Towers said. “But then when the big blast came out on Tuesday and we made a big blast yesterday, then they really kind of got excited.” 

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is a play that premiered back in 2016. It takes place 19 years after the original Harry Potter saga written by J.K. Rowling, where the main character, Harry Potter, attends Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

Nineteen years later, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child follows the children of characters in the original book, Albus Potter and Scorpius Malfoy. Together the two boys travel back in time to attempt to right some wrongs, but instead throw the wizarding world into complete disarray.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child was a success in the theater world and became a large broadway hit winning many awards such as the Olivier Award for Best New Play, and six Tony Awards including Best Play. 

Originally, it came out as a seven hour play that would involve audience members arriving at the theater early afternoon, watching the first part, then leaving for a few hours and returning for the last part at 7pm. 

It has since been compacted into a shorter three hour play. This is the script WA has received and has the duty of performing on the stage in fall 2024. 

The students’, as well as Towers’ and Sulka’s reactions to winning with their video submission and being mentioned in a Playbill article can only be described as ecstatic. The news also created a large buzz throughout WATA as well as WA in general. 

“Obviously all of us were ecstatic when we found out that we were given the opportunity to put on this amazing play,” junior Maeve O’Toole said. “As excited as I am there is always the pressure of getting to put on this play since it is so well known and respected but I’m confident that we will be able to live up to the expectations of this show because of the talent WATA possesses.”

Towers was also incredibly proud of the students for many reasons but specifically because they utilized the WATA Mission Statement, titled “When We Make Theatre”, in their video submission to incorporate WATA’s core values of inclusivity and creativity.

Although all WATA students are thrilled, there are still the many seniors who put in the work, but won’t be able to participate due to already being graduated when the production will be put on. 

“Being in WATA for three years, you learn so much about the people around you […], honestly it feels like working with family because that’s just how close you get with these people,” junior Carissa Wong said. “I look up to a lot of my senior friends, so not working with them is really bittersweet because you wanna see them accomplish great things but at the same time you want them to stay with you.”

According to seniors such as Joshua Lawrence, despite not being able to perform, seniors will try to return to see this important moment in WATA history unfold. It is a very sentimental feeling that spreads throughout WATA, but everyone shares a common excitement for the show.

“I knew going into the process of getting the rights for the show that I wouldn’t be eligible to be in it, since the performance dates were limited to fall of 2024,” senior Aamir Kapasi said. “I was still super hype for getting the rights though because I’m excited to have left a lasting mark on my community and also to provide opportunities for all the juniors and underclassmen that will get the chance to be part of a cool and exciting new show like this.”

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About the Contributor
Penelope Zambrana
Penelope Zambrana, Staff Writer
Hi, my name is Penelope Zambrana and I’m a sophomore at Westford Academy, as well as a staff writer on the Ghostwriter. In my free time I like to read, listen to music, and I enjoy traveling as well. In the summer I also love going to the beach, and in the winter I like to ski. This is my first year in journalism so I’m very excited to discover what it’s like and learn about it.

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