Kids have a chance to live Harry Potter

Local performers will play characters in the series.
YOUNGSTOWN -- The Children's Museum of the Valley is hosting "Hogwarts at the Museum," an activity designed to let children live Harry Potter and experience the museum.
"Hogwarts" began Monday and will continue through Wednesday. About 40 children have registered to attend throughout the week.
"We originally had only two days planned but decided to add another. The response was overwhelming," director Liz Nohra said. "Since registration closed in June, we have received at least another 100 phone calls."
Local actors portrayed characters in the Harry Potter series, taking children through the museum as if they were attending Hogwarts Academy. Actors re-created experiences from the book while teaching children concepts behind them.
"This is a great chance for children to get to live the book," said Sue Brown, Hogwarts at the Museum committee member.
The experience began for the participating children when they received a letter to attend "Hogwarts at the Museum," similar to the invitation Harry Potter received to attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in the popular book series.
Carol Weakland is writer and director of the program, which takes children to different stations throughout the museum.
Who plays who
Actors were local theater veterans who have worked with Weakland. Local adult actors included Margaret Williams as Madam Hooch, Anne Finnerty-James as Professor Sybill Trelawney, Larry Latsko as Headmaster Albus Dumbledore, Brent Whetstone as Professor Severus Snape, Chris Ferenchek as Professor Lupin and Bev Italiano as Professor Sprout.
The production also included performances from area children. These included Jason Ensor as Harry Potter, Vincent Dangerfield as Ron Weasley, Marissa DeFrancesco as Hermione Granger, Adam LaBenne as Peeves the Poltergeist, Amy Fetchko as the Sphinx. Joseph George, Adriana Caruso and Mike McBrail also performed in "Hogwarts."
"Hopefully we will do more with Harry Potter," Nohra said. "It seems like the craze has swept everywhere."
While the museum is closed today and Wednesday for "Hogwarts at the Museum," it will re-open to the public Thursday.
For more information, visit The Children's Museum of the Valley online at or call (330) 744-5914.

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