The Magic of “Cursed Child”: From Theater Ushers to Cast Members
When Harry Potter and the Cursed Child opened on Broadway, Sarita Amani Nash and Jon Steiger were ushers at the Lyric Theatre. Now, they both have roles in the most magical production on the stage, with Nash in the ensemble and swing for Rose Granger-Weasley on Broadway and Steiger taking on the role of Scorpius Malfoy at the Curran Theatre in San Francisco.
While working at the Lyric Theatre, both Nash and Steiger realized that they wanted to be part of the show. In an interview with TheaterMania, Steiger stated that after seeing Cursed Child in full, he knew that he wanted to be a part of the play:
Once I had seen the show in its entirety, I was hooked. I knew that in some form or fashion, I was going to be in this show.
For Nash, it was the approach to casting that got her interested in auditioning:
Seeing how they were casting it was really exciting. There were opportunities that I didn’t expect. I realized I could do it.
Auditioning for a part in a show you’re ushering can be a strange experience, so neither Nash nor Steiger revealed they were ushers right away. In fact, Steiger didn’t reveal to the Cursed Child creative team that he was an usher at the Lyric Theatre until after he was cast as Scorpius. Nash also didn’t tell any of her coworkers, just in case she didn’t get the part:
I didn’t want to broadcast that I was auditioning because then I would have been really sad if I didn’t get it and everyone would know.
Of course, once they found out they got their parts, the secrecy surrounding Cursed Child meant they weren’t able to tell anyone until an official cast announcement.
I had to Irish exit out of work because we were going to start rehearsals and I wasn’t allowed to announce it until the whole cast was announced. On the day of our first performance, my coworkers all took a little video congratulating me and I started crying immediately.
They may have left the world of theater ushers behind, but both Steiger and Nash have kept objects to remind them of their previous jobs. Steiger has kept his usher name tag, and Nash was gifted an incredible piece of theater itself:
There’s a props guy named Joe, and when we had our first performance, he gave me a broken armrest that was engraved, saying ‘From the aisle to center stage,’ with my name on it. Again, I started crying.
After being ushers for Cursed Child and now taking to the stage, Steiger and Nash have had a chance to reflect on their experience. Despite knowing the show inside out from his days handing out programs, Steiger isn’t tired of Cursed Child. In fact, once cast as Scorpius, he realized there was a lot he didn’t know:
I thought I knew what it was going to be and was quick to learn that I didn’t know. It was like coming in with a clean slate.
As a swing, Nash has to know the roles in Cursed Child like the back of her hand, a challenge she finds exciting:
Two parts, so many capes, lots of running around. I especially have fun because I’m a swing. I get to dip my toe in a lot of different parts in the show, which is really exciting.
MuggleNet spoke to Jon Steiger shortly after his casting announcement at San Diego Comic-Con. You can check out the video below: