NEW PARIS — “Did you know we are wizards?”
National Trail High School and Middle School Drama Club students have been secretly studying at a specific magic school for the past few months to hone their skills to defeat this-a-guy-we-are-trying-not-to – say the name. The students can’t wait to show off their new skills on the National Trail stage.
The groups will perform the play “Puffs” on March 18 at 7 p.m. and March 19 at 2 p.m. at the National Trail Local Schools Cafetorium, 6940 Oxford Gettysburg Road, New Paris.
Tickets can be purchased online at https://our.show/ntpa/puffs. Advance 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 at the University of Florida School of Theater and Dance; Jerry Dickey, school principal and originally produced Off-Off-Broadway by Stephen Stout and Colin Waitt.
“For seven years a certain boy wizard went to a certain school of wizards and conquered evil. This, however, is not his story. This is the story of the Puffs… who were there too. A tale for anyone who was never destined to save the world.
The New York Times proclaims “Puffs,” “a fast-paced adventure through the “seven increasingly hectic years at a certain school of magic and magic.” For Potterphiliacs who grew up alongside Potter and can’t wait to revisit this world, ‘Puffs’ exudes a jovial, winking fondness for all things Harry!”
“This clever and inventive piece “never goes more than a minute without a laugh” (Nerdist) gives you a new look at a familiar adventure from the perspective of three would-be heroes just trying to get through a school of magic that turns out to be very dangerous for children. Alongside them are the Puffs, a group of well-meaning and loyal strangers who have a soft spot for badgers “who are so adorable and relatable you’ll leave the theater wishing they were in the stories from the start’ (Hollywood Life). Their ‘hilariously heartfelt!’ (Metro) and an epic journey take the classic story to new places and reimagine what a boy wizard hero can be.
“Puffs is a true underdog story that revolves around the heart of finding friendships, growing up, and dealing with adversity; our students have shown that being brave, loyal, smart and being yourself is what life is all about,” says NTHS Principal Chad Stebbins, “as we progress through rehearsals, it was an absolute pleasure to watch these students, our Puffs, come out of their shells and grow up as a family.
In choosing which shows to bring to National Trail and the growing drama program, Stebbins and co-director Shannon Toothman (NTMS) look for productions that showcase multiple students, offer humor, teach a lesson and bring fun on stage.
“Knowing that many of the students are Harry Potter fans, this show was a perfect fit for our program this year. Like our students, the Puffs are a wide assortment of magically gifted – but often overlooked – youngsters not necessarily known to be the brave, the smart, the snakes, but they’re just ordinary people, Puffs or “everybody”.
Knowing that the Harry Potter series benefits members of the public, everyone will find a moment to laugh, cry and empathize with the Puffs as they navigate seven years of magical learning.
Company: Hailey Byerly, 12 (Hannah/Uncle Dave); River Davis, 12 (Sally Perlks/Xavia Jones); 12-year-old Alex (Alexis) Helsley (Susie Bones); Garland Weaver, 11 (Wayne Hopkins/Not Headed Nick); Riley Horn, 11 (Cedric/Mr. Voldy); Léa Jonas, 11 years old (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 (director/Hermeeonie/Others); AJ Phillips, 8 (J. Finch Fletchley); Kori Snyder, 8 (Helga/Blondo? Puff/Others); Hunter Webber, 8 (manager/others); Luke Bowers, 7 (Prof. Turban/Real Mr. Moody/Ric/Others); MJ Canan, 7 years old (Prof. Lanny/Others); Jenna Deaton, 7 (narrator); Molli Deaton, 7 (prof. Sprouty/others); Chloe Graves, 7 (Puff/Head Death Buddy); Olivia Lee, 7 (friend of death/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.