Whip out your cloaks and get ready for butter beer and cauldron cakes from Eclectic Etceteras Coffee House and Flip Café because Edinboro’s 5th Potterfest is coming to town. The Empty Keg (Leaky Cauldron in this case) will also have Fireball Whiskey and Magic Hat Beer for legal muggles.
Beginning the week will be “Potter 5.0,” written and directed by Mary Beth McCarthy, EU alumni and longtime community theatre performer. The play is based on the original musical parody “I Potter.”
Dr. Corbin Fowler, Potterfest Coordinator and “Headmaster,” will be performing in the play as Dumbledore and will begin the play by lighting his deluminator. The cast is made up of all ages, from young children to adults. There is a pianist that accompanies the play and will consist of different show tunes with words changed to be Harry Potter themed.
During past Potterfests, EU performed “I Potter,” but they ran into complications.
“The play was so popular and spread so quickly over the Internet that Warner Brothers cracked down and said they would not give permission for performances. So, Mary Beth has wrote a one act, loving parody based on that original musical,” said Fowler.
Performances will take place in the Diebold Center for Performing Arts and shows are free. Shows will be Monday and Tuesday Sept. 21 and 22 at 7:30 p.m.
“I think that anyone who likes Harry Potter or knows a little bit about Harry Potter will think it’s a really cool play,” said Fowler.
The Potterbowl Trivia Contest will take place in the Pogue Center Multipurpose room Wednesday. Registration for the event begins at 7 p.m. and it is $5 to enter the contest. An individual or group of up to three people may enter. Real Magic Steve will be making “Balloon Magic” for the children from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Wednesday at Goodell Gardens for free.
A Herbology Tour based on real plants featured in Harry Potter will take place Thursday at 4:30 p.m. in Goodell Garden lead by Tracy Scott, Goodell Educational Programs Coordinator.
“All the plants from the Harry Potter universe are real, potted mandrakes are real, JK Rowling did not just make it up,” said Fowler.
The cost will be free for EU students and Goodell Garden members, but $3 for the public. Pre-registration is required.
Also, on Thursday will be the “Owl and Raptor Lecture” at Goodell Gardens at 6 p.m. There will be representatives of the Tamarack Wildlife Center who will talk about owls and prehistoric raptors.
Singing Harry Potter movie music will be the EU student choir and the symphonic wind ensemble Thursday at 7:30 p.m. in the Cole Auditorium. This is a free event.
“When you’re listening to ‘Double Double Toil and Trouble’ or ‘In Noctem’ from the ‘Half Blood Prince’ with scenes from the movie muted, it creates a real special evening for people,” Fowler said.
On Friday the “Ravenclaw Educators Workshop” will take place in the afternoon in Butterfield Hall. The workshop will teach literacy and moral development through fantasy novels like Harry Potter.
This event is available to parents, teachers and students. Contact Dr. Mary Jo Melvin for times or details, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (814) 732-2154.
Finally, last but not least, on Saturday there will be “A Day at the Castle Simulation.” The Pogue student lounge will be transformed into a Hogwarts castle. Students will be sorted into houses and will spend the day taking different Harry Potter themed classes. Students will also take O.W.L. exams.
Morning session registration begins at 9 a.m. and classes take place from 9:30 a.m. until 12 p.m. Afternoon session registration begins at 1 p.m. and classes are from 1:30 p.m. until 4 p.m. This is a free event, which will take place in the Pogue Student Center lounge on the third floor. For more details contact Lindsey Finlan, at email@example.com or Melvin.
Fowler talked about the freshman first year experience Harry Potter class he is teaching. It centers on the ethical and cultural issues in Harry Potter.
“There is no assigned textbook, I assume they have all read some or all [of the Harry Potter books]; it is done through lecture and there are also three movies we will watch during the semester, which will require them to write a paper afterward,” Fowler said.
“You can learn about the real world based on your interest in the fantasy world.”
The annual Quidditch match will be held Saturday from 12-1 p.m. in the area between Centenial Hall and Meadville Street, depending on weather. Fowler’s freshman first year experience class has learned how to play Quidditch and will receive “House Points” for participating.
There are also Harry Potter classes such as philosophy available for any students. During the week long festivities, Wooden Nickel Buffalo Farm will be open featuring a haunted path and a corn maze.
Edinboro Branch Public Library will be holding Harry Potter story time Monday at 10 a.m.
There will be a special Potterfest raffle held courtesy of girls from participating Edinboro merchants. Some businesses will be having special discounts on purchases. Contact Shannon Hokaj at Earthshine for more info, at (814) 734-5858.
Anna Ashcraft is editor of The Arts for The Spectator. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.