AMES, Iowa -- A musical co-written, produced and directed by an Iowa State University student premieres Friday, July 16, at Infinitus 2010, the conference for Harry Potter scholars and fans. Mallory Vance, a senior in economics from Morning Sun, has worked since spring on the musical, which was cast and rehearsed entirely online. The 45 cast members, 14 orchestra musicians and 13 crew members meet in person for the first time this week at the conference in Orlando.
"The Final Battle" is based on the last 200 pages of J.K. Rowling's book, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows." Vance co-wrote the play with Lena Gabrielle, a music major at Ithaca College in New York. It will be streamed live online at 5 p.m. (central) at http://www.livestream.com/potterteevee.
"Our cast, orchestra and crew come from all over the country and even out of the country," Vance said. "It's completely unique in that all casting, callbacks and rehearsals happened online through a mixture of email, YouTube and Skype."
Vance has read Harry Potter since the first day it was released. She minors in English, loves writing and "does it a lot."
"I took playwriting a couple years ago. Last year, I took acting classes and went to a lot of shows, which made me want to do theater again," Vance said. "This was a way I could while still taking evening classes."
Vance previously wrote a full-length screenplay parody of Star Wars called "Solar Battles." Her dream is to see it produced. And she may be writing another musical soon.
"Lena and I are actually already brainstorming up another musical," Vance said. "Nothing concrete, since we both graduate this year. But we absolutely want to do this again."
Vance is attending her third fandom conference, the seventh produced by HP Education Fanon Inc. Sessions during the three-day event range from "Skin Deep: Harry Potter Tattoo Art" to "The Sociology of Harry Potter: Gender Issues in Early Childhood Socialization."
"The Final Battle" will be available on YouTube in August or September. When that happens, Vance plans on posting it "all over Twitter and YouTube and Facebook."