In 2013, the Denver Center for the Performing Arts (DCPA) launched The Bobby G High School Musical Theatre Awards to celebrate achievements in Colorado high school theatre. Modeled after the Tony Awards, the ceremony includes performances from nominees and award presentations.
Nearly all award winners are high school students or faculty, but in its inaugural year, the Bobby G’s presented Erik C. Peterson, a 7th-grader at the time, with a Special Achievement Award for his performance as Gavroche in Chaparral High School’s production of Les Misérables.
Peterson is not a stranger to being the youngest actor in the rehearsal room. As a first grader, he played Chip in Chaparral’s performance of Beauty and the Beast and, in middle school, joined Grandview High School as Edgar in its production of Ragtime, which was then performed at the Colorado State Thespian Festival. Now, he’s at it again, preparing for his Broadway debut as Scorpius in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, opening November 15.
“I’m once again the baby of the group,” Peterson joked. “I think there’s something really wonderful about getting to be a sponge, learning from people who have more experience than me, and having strong role models to look up to.”
Peterson’s involvement in theatre from a young age is partly due to his father, David Peterson, Chaparral High School’s Director of Theater and Technical Theatre who also won a Bobby G Award for Best Direction of Les Misérables in 2013. “It’s been a wonderful journey to share the gift of theater with my kids.” Mr. Peterson shared. “It’s every parent’s dream to see their kid lay out their dreams and then go for them.”
After graduating from Webster Conservatory with a BFA in acting in May 2022, Peterson jumped into auditioning. He spent the summer working on several shows in Arizona with the Flagstaff Shakespeare Festival and recently signed with Hell’s Kitchen Agency.
When Peterson heard Harry Potter and the Cursed Child was casting, specifically looking for a new Malfoy, he knew this audition would be special, and added an extra dose of magic to his submission.
“From the first time I read for Scorpius, I identified with him. We are both highly investigative people with big hearts,” Peterson explained. “I brought a lot of passion and love into the audition room that I’ve now been privileged to continue bringing into the rehearsal room and, next week, get to bring to the stage.”
Inspired by J.K. Rowling’s book series, the Tony and Olivier award-winning show, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, brings the wizarding world to the stage in a new story taking place 20 years after the events of the books.
Sixteen new actors will join the Broadway cast for the show’s fourth year, two of whom — Joel Meyers, playing Albus Potter, and Imani Jade Powers, playing Delphi Diggory — will share their Broadway debuts alongside Peterson. “It’s been a whirlwind,” Peterson shared. “Having the two of them to go on this adventure with has been wonderful.”
After a little over a month of rehearsals, Peterson is ready to bring his craft to the stage and share the magic with New York audiences.
“It’s quite cliche, but it really is a dream come true,” Peterson said. “Not only do I get to be a Broadway actor, but I also get to be a wizard.”