I have been meaning to write about this for a month, but busy is the life I lead. J. K. Rowling recently announced that she would be making a continuation (not a prequel) of the Harry Potter story through a stage play.
My first reaction was one of joy and anger. Joy because I grew up with this series. And I do mean grew up. Not to give away my age or anything, but the first book published when I was in the 4th grade, the last one when I was in 12th, and the last film the year of my college graduation in 2007. Harry Potter book ended my childhood.
But here’s the thing: I was a child living in poverty. We didn’t have money to go to plays. We barely had the money to cover food. But when those books came out, my mom made sure I had one. To me, Harry Potter was a escape from my world. And it would surprise me one bit to learn that my situation was true for a lot for kids. So it really angered me to see this development. Movies, books, tangible mediums are easily accessible and pay for themselves over time as you use them. A West End stage play can only be experienced once. The price is fixed. SO how will millions of readers, who may not have the money to see the play, or fly to England, enjoy the continuing story of Harry?
Harry Potter doesn’t belong just to Rowling anymore; he belongs to us all, and using theater as her story medium really excludes people from that shared collective story.