Patriot Players prepare for premiere of fall play, Puffs, their first live performance since return to schools

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Photo by Ellie Cowen

Puffs will run Nov. 11,12, and 13 at 7 p.m and Nov. 13 and 14 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $7 and available for purchase on the school’s Patrons of the Arts website.

Theatre students are eagerly awaiting the premiere of Puffs, a parody of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter as told from the perspective of Hufflepuffs. Puffs will run live Nov. 11, 12 and 13 at 7 p.m and Nov. 13 and 14 at 2 p.m.. Tickets are $7 and available for purchase now on the school’s Patrons of the Arts website. 

We’re basically making fun of how focused the whole movie franchise and the books are on the Gryffindor perspective, so we’re just showing the Hufflepuffs.”

— Neha Dheen

Puffs, or Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic and Magic is the story of a young student of wizardry, Wayne Hopkins, written by Matt Cox. No mentions of the Harry Potter franchise are allowed, due to copyright issues. So instead of the familiar Hufflepuffs, Gryffindors, and Slytherins, look out for the Puffs, Smarts and Braves. “We’re basically making fun of how focused the whole movie franchise and the books are on the Gryffindor perspective, so we’re just showing the Hufflepuffs,” senior Neha Dheen, who plays the narrator for act two, said. 

Lead Wayne Hopkins will be played by freshman Miles Sklar. The main character is an orphan who finds himself invited to attend a recognizable school of witchcraft, but is sorted into the ‘Puffs’ house upon his arrival. It is not Sklar’s first time acting, but it is his first time with a lead role. “I feel like [Wayne Hopkins] is exactly like me. We both like comic books and we’re loud,” Sklar said.  

Students of theatre were eager to return to school after being unable to perform live all year. Drama did continue during the pandemic, but on a smaller scale that was completely online. “I did the show [last year, titled Lead Rings on the Merry-Go-Round] but we had to record everything, like it wasn’t live. We had to record our dances and songs,” Dheen said. 

Puffs will be the first live show in months and the drama students’ first live show with their new theatre teacher as well, Dr. Julian Lazarus. This is Lazarus’s second year teaching drama here, but his first time directing the live performance. “Dr. Lazarus is an incredibly knowledgeable director, and he’s absolutely dedicated to rebuilding theatre to make it the best it can be. With that comes a lot of change and work for students, but we’re really grateful to have someone who cares so much,” senior and student director Alex Mockensturm said.

Seniors said they are excited to return to the stage, or backstage, to get in one last year of theatre before graduation. “I’m excited to be back because we [the seniors] have a lot of traditions,” senior and Co-Costume Head Humnah Ibrahim said. 

The play is expected to be a bright, comical return to the stage. The cast and crew encourage everyone to attend. “It’s going to be a good play. It’s going to be a lot of fun,” English teacher and Co-Tech Director Chloe Felterman said.