Flying brooms, flourishing wands and conjuring of various spells were seen throughout Benedict Hall this past weekend as more than 60 students participated in the 16th annual “Hogwarts at Hamilton” performances on Oct. 21 and Oct. 22. These shows, featuring both family-friendly and adult versions, functioned as fundraisers for the Kirkland Library as well as a way for youngsters, students and the Hamilton community to enjoy the October spirit.
The first Hogwarts performance was founded in 2000 when some students wanted to create a haunted house related to the popular Harry Potter franchise created by author J.K. Rowling, whose first movie had just been released. Since then, while the purpose of putting on a humorous and lively show has remained the same, the number of participants and its popularity has grown.
Preparations for the shows begin from the first week as soon as students arrive on campus. They are led by directors Emily Granoff ’18 and Jennie Wilber ’17 who begin discussing plans even before the school year starts. Interested students meet every week after to come up with scripts, rehearse lines, and practice their performances.
Interested viewers had the option of seeing two types of shows: a family-friendly version with clean, mature, yet amusing puns and jokes suitable for children, as well as an adult version with storylines and language much more suitable for an older crowd.
Granoff played Professor McGonagall, the headmistresses in the Harry Potter series, and was cast alongside several other popular characters within the books. After three years of participating, she loves “meeting with the cast every week and getting to come up with so many jokes,” but her favorite part is “seeing the kids at the shows and seeing how excited they are about Harry Potter.” President David Wippman also got into the Hogwarts spirit, making a guest appearance as Professor Quirrell.
The cast hopes that the shows will only improve in the years that follow and that the magical spirit of Hogwarts will remain on the Hamilton campus.