Stevenson’s fall play, Puffs, or Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic and Magic, invites its audience to suspend disbelief and spend some time in a magical realm. Puffs is a trope and spoof of the well-known “wizarding movies.”
Kim Schmittgens, Director of Theater, says, “There are really famous books about a wizarding world and movies based on that, and our play, Puffs, is a takeoff on that. This is a fun show.” Schmittgens thinks people crave a fun experience of the magical: “Why I chose this piece is that a lot of people can relate to these characters. There is a two-part play in New York, The Cursed Child, where the magic and the technical side of it is incredible. Puffs is not that. Instead, it is really silly. It's meant for you, the audience, to laugh at.”
Katie Cardinalli, Director of Technical Theater, oversees all the after-school tech and tech classes that the school offers. Cardinalli finds the pranks in Puffs a fun challenge: “It's really fun types of little pranks because you can be really inventive with it. It’s, luckily, one of those shows where stage magic is a broad term.” She also explains the relationship between different members collaborating on the show: “We really try to strive for that integration of the tech group because we’re all one company. Usually, we will have certain days where the actors and the technicians are working in the space together. It is both of our spaces.”
Schmittgens explained that the play is meant to be satire and a fun escape from reality. She shared that if something in the play is meant to fly, instead of actually trying to simulate some form of impressive magic, it will be funnier and more dramatic if an actor self-mockingly schleps the object around the stage.
Ninth grader Karlita Harris says that despite some edits to make the story more appropriate for a high school audience, it is still a hoot: “It’s really funny, it is a really good show. There are a lot of parts we had to cut out because it wasn’t appropriate. But I think we’re all in high school. I think we’d all be fine with what it says.”
Rehearsals for Puffs are well underway, sets are being painted, and costumes are being sewn. The show will be presented on November 3, 4, and 5 at 7 PM in Keck Auditorium.