The story of Harry Potter enthralled readers around the world. Then, the movies came out and the fascination with his world and story knew no bounds!
What a great escape! Wouldn't it be incredible to go to school HERE:
Wouldn't it be amazing to be able to step into the story and be able to be part of it?
Unfortunately, we can't all live close enough to Hogwarts Academy to attend.
Fortunately... there were some witches and wizards who created a sister academy to Hogwarts, right here in America.
Avistrum began humbly (as all things do); it started as a fan table at a convention in Denver.
It has since grown to epic proportions.
What Avistrum really is:
Avistrum is a very dedicated non-profit interactive theatre group that has created a way for people of almost every age to use their imagination and step into the world of Harry Potter to play for a bit. It begins with the Avistrum website. This is a forum where the school exists online and where one can create a student and interact with professors and other students within the school, online, and follow various storylines.
...but then the magic happens!
What Avistrum becomes at showtime!:
Twice a year, the school materializes for real and the whole thing comes to life. There are 4 houses; replicated after Hogwarts in the same colors you knew from those stories. Parador (Gryffindor), Enigmus (Ravenclaw), Lobostro (Hufflepuff) and Colubrae (Slytherin). Each of the 4 houses has a House Ghost and a Head of House. There are several Professors, a nurse, a groundskeeper & keeper of keys, a Quidditch Coach for the 4 house Quidditch teams, a librarian, 4 house prefects, 2 Head Boys, there is a Deputy Headmistress, and of course, the Headmaster of Avistrum Academy.
The spring show at Starfest in April, is a small sampling of what is to come in the fall. There are classes to attend, crafts to make, all the staff is on hand, faces can be painted and photo ops are taken on the Quidditch pitch with real Quidditch equipment. This is also where the Tri-Wizard Tournament is held every year for claim to the coveted cup!
It is a glimpse into the real deal that comes 6 months later...
The school semester is held at MileHiCon (lasting one weekend in October) and Opening Ceremony begins on Friday night with a sorting ceremony, and all the new students are sorted. There are always many returning students who flock to the opening ceremonies as there is always a new part of the actively running storyline that happens in real time in real life for the students to be part of... and it unfolds!
All weekend there are classes, some of which have been: Potions, Care of Magical Creatures, Herbology, Charms, Divination, History of Magic, Muggle Studies, Defense Against the Dark Arts and in the last couple of semesters; Dueling (which is enormously popular). During the weekend and during the classes, the students learn valuable lessons - while simultaneously the Villain(s) are skulking around the school causing trouble and making mayhem of all sorts... but the students are wary!
Moments of (scripted) drama that are played out by the faculty and staff, keep the students participating in the ongoing and unknown story - until (after the final Quidditch match on Sunday) the Villain tries to do their dastardly deed and is foiled and defeated by the students! Everything they've learned all weekend is something that enables them to win the battle!
The current storyline has actually been put into video with quiet a bit of excitement coming this weekend at Starfest when some unprecedented secrets will be uncovered and chaos will ensue!
Headmaster Dowling is defending Professor Kraven Bloodthorne in a trial before the Wizengamot (wizard judges) who are charging him with several crimes that he does not remember committing. Students will be able to watch this trial live on the Wizarding News Network (TV) in between classes this weekend. Their classes will focus on proving Professor Bloodthorne innocent.
In this video, we see Professor Kraven Bloodthorne, who has been locked up in Alcatraz Wizards Prison, being interrogated by Wizarding Senator Oswald Kensington; who is no stranger to the halls of Avistrum Academy. Kensington has caused all kinds of trouble at the school. Headmaster Dowling comes to rescue Professor Bloodthorne just in time... the trial this weekend will definitely be something to watch!
It is an incredibly fun way for children (and their adults) to pretend and use their imaginations. It is an opportunity for new friends to be made, for old friends to play together, for some to escape into a world they would rather be in and for others to expand their skills at acting.
In a few days, Viaggiatore and I will give you a photo sampling of the staff, students, classes and some of the exciting drama that has unfolded over the last few years. It's been quite an adventure, and the truly exciting depths of the Tales of Avistrum are yet to unfold!