Ahead of the October opening of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at The Curran in San Francisco, director John Tiffany, playwright Jack Thorne, and author J.K. Rowling sat down for an interview about adapting the show for the SF theater.
Tiffany talks about making the show "bespoke" for each space and audience, after producing it already in London, New York City, and Melbourne, Australia. And he describes the city itself, with its moody and unique weather, as "magic."
And in the clip below, Rowling reveals something that may not be widely known: She says that Azkaban, the prison fortress on an island in the north sea, was directly inspired by Alcatraz. To create the name, she mashed up the name Alcatraz with "Abaddon," an ancient Hebrew word for "hell."
The Curran is now being run by the UK-based Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG), which operates 50 other theaters worldwide, including two Broadway houses, the Hudson Theatre and the Lyric Theatre, the latter of which is where Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is currently playing. The new management and lease by ATG comes after owner Carole Shorenstein Hays lost an appeal brought by the local theater group she co-founded, SHN (Shorenstein Hays Nederlander), which sued her last year for breach of a non-compete agreement concerning Broadway tours.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, which plays in two separate parts, won the Tony Award for Best Play in 2018 along with five other awards. The story, conceived by Rowling along with Tiffany and Thorne, picks up where the epilogue for the last Potter book leaves off, following Harry on a journey through fatherhood.
The play opens at the Curran on October 23, and will be playing indefinitely. Find tickets here.