NEW PARIS — “Did you know that we’re wizards?”
National Trail High School and Middle School Drama Club students have been secretly studying at a specific school of magic over the past few months to hone their skills to defeat that-one-guy-whose-name-we-try-not-to-say. Students can’t wait to show off their new skills on the stage at National Trail.
The groups will present the play “Puffs” March 18, at 7 p.m., and March 19, at 2 p.m., at National Trail Local Schools Cafetorium, 6940 Oxford Gettysburg Road, New Paris.
Tickets can be purchased online at https://our.show/ntpa/puffs. Presale tickets are $8, $10 at the door.
Originally produced Off-Broadway by Tilted Windmills Theatricals (John Arthur Pinckard/David Carpenter), Puffs, written by Matt Cox, was developed in part during a residency with the University of Florida School of Theatre and Dance; Jerry Dickey, School Director and originally produced Off-Off-Broadway by Stephen Stout and Colin Waitt.
“For seven years, a certain boy wizard went to a certain Wizard School and conquered evil. This, however, is not his story. This is the story of the Puffs… who just happened to be there too. A tale for anyone who has never been destined to save the world.”
The New York Times proclaims ‘Puffs,’ “a fast-paced rompthrough the ‘Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic and Magic.’ For Potterphiliacs who grew up alongside Potter and are eager to revisit that world, ‘Puffs’ exudes a jovial, winking fondness for all things Harry!”
“This clever and inventive play “never goes more than a minute without a laugh” (Nerdist) gives you a new look at a familiar adventure from the perspective of three potential heroes just trying to make it through a magic school that proves to be very dangerous for children. Alongside them are the Puffs, a group of well-meaning, loyal outsiders with a thing for badgers “who are so lovable and relatable, you’ll leave the theater wishing they were in the stories all along” (Hollywood Life). Their ‘hilariously heartfelt!’ (Metro) and epic journey takes the classic story to new places and reimagines what a boy wizard hero can be.”
“Puffs is a true underdog story that revolves around the heart of finding friendships, growing up, and facing adversity; our students have shown that being brave, being loyal, being smart, and being yourself is what life is about,” says NTHS director Chad Stebbins, “as we have progressed through rehearsals, it has been an absolute pleasure to watch these students, our Puffs, come out of their shells and grow as a family.”
In choosing what shows to bring to National Trail and the growing drama program, Stebbins and Co-Director Shannon Toothman (NTMS) look for productions that highlight several students, offer humor, teach a lesson, and bring fun to the stage.
“Knowing that several of the students are Harry Potter fans, this show was the perfect fit for our program this year. Just like our students, the Puffs are a wide assortment of magically gifted — but often overlooked — youths not necessarily known for being the braves, the smarts, the snakes, but are just everyday people, Puffs, or ‘everyone else.’”
While knowing the Harry Potter series is beneficial to audience members, everyone will find a moment to laugh, cry, and empathize with the Puffs as they navigate through all seven years of magical learning.
Company: Hailey Byerly, 12, (Hannah/Uncle Dave); River Davis, 12, (Sally Perlks/Xavia Jones); Alex (Alexis) Helsley, 12, (Susie Bones); Garland Weaver, 11, (Wayne Hopkins/Not Headed Nick); Riley Horn, 11, (Cedric/Mr. Voldy); Leah Jonas, 11, (Megan Jones); Jay Sturgill, 11, (A Certain Potions Master); Nick Berry, 10, (Zach Smith/DJ/Crew); Evan Porter, 10, (Oliver Rivers); Jasmine Sturgill, 9, (Crew); Ali Brown, 8, (Crew); Raegen Holland, 8, (Prof. McG/Others/Crew); Grace Osswald, 8, (Headmaster/Hermeeonie/Others); A.J. Phillips, 8, (J.Finch Fletchley); Kori Snyder, 8, (Helga/Blondo?Puff/Others); Hunter Webber, 8, (Stage Manger/Others); Luke Bowers, 7, (Prof. Turban/Real Mr. Moody/Ric/Others); MJ Canan, 7, (Prof. Lanny/Others); Jenna Deaton, 7, (Narrator); Molli Deaton, 7, (Prof. Sprouty/Others); Chloe Graves, 7, (Puff/Head Death Buddy); Olivia Lee, 7, (Death Buddy/Crew); Madysin Mann, 7, (Sal/Student/Bippy/Death Buddy); Tobi Miracle, 7, (Harry Potter/Others); Aaron Nugent, 7, (Viktor/Crew); Maya Palmer, 7, (Rowena/Puff/Others); Ella Porter, 7, (Puff/Death Buddy); Scarlet Rutan, 7, (Leanne); Jamie Salyers, 7, (Crew);Alana Welz, 7, (Crew); Westin Marker, 7, (Crew); Evan Gierzak, 7, (Crew); Charlie Cummings, 7, (Crew); Oliver Garner, 7, (The Sorting Hat/Crew)/ Directed by Chad Stebbins, (Co-Director-HS) and Shannon Toothman, (Co-Director-MS)
Written by Matt Cox, “Puffs (Two-Act Edition)” is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals, on behalf of Samuel French Inc. www.concordtheatricals.com.