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BWW Previews: PUFFS at the Anacapa School Of Witchcraft And Wizardry

BWW Previews: PUFFS at the Anacapa School Of Witchcraft And Wizardry Everyone who is acquainted with the magical world of Harry Potter knows the tales of heroism of "the boy who lived." But what of the hundreds of other students that attended magic school with Harry and his friends? Puffs, or Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic and Magic (by Matt Cox and presented this week by the students of the Anacapa School of Witchcraft and Wizardry), seeks to tell the stories of one of the less visible houses at a "certain school of magic": the "puffs."

Director Samantha Eve was visiting New York when the off-Broadway production of Puffs was on stage, and she became intrigued by the hype. "I wasn't able to see it while I was there," she says, "but I heard later that a performance had been recorded and was available to view through Amazon and iTunes. I made a point to watch it and immediately fell in love with this loving, tongue-in-cheek parody."

Puffs is the story of Wayne Hopkins, a young boy from New Mexico who discovers he is a wizard when he's accepted into magic school. The play follows Wayne through seven years at school: the same seven years chronicled in the novels by J.K. Rowling. That means that Wayne and his friends are faced with the same giant snakes, escaped convicts, dangerous tournaments for lasting glory, and threat of war from dark wizards that fans of the Harry Potter books are familiar with. "Wayne feels like it may just be his life's mission to save the world," says Eve. "Maybe he's been selected, like so many heroes before him, to do something remarkable! If only one particular boy named Harry didn't keep beating him to the punch..."

BWW Previews: PUFFS at the Anacapa School Of Witchcraft And Wizardry With a small cast of student actors and a long list of characters, the challenges of this particular production involve the theatre magic of props and costumes. "Oh my gosh, the props," says Eve. "This is by far the most prop-heavy show I have ever worked on in my entire life. I have been making golden dragon eggs and goblets of fire since last summer. As for the actors, many students are tasked with playing multiple roles (with multiple dialects and voices) and need to switch from role to role in a matter of seconds, sometimes without even leaving the stage. It requires a lot of focus and energy, but it's so much fun to watch. With the flip of a collar or just by pulling out a pair of glasses from their pocket, they transform before your eyes!"

BWW Previews: PUFFS at the Anacapa School Of Witchcraft And Wizardry As a parody, Puffs doesn't take itself too seriously, and there are jokes at every turn. But there are real lessons that come from being not-quite-a-hero. "Sometimes you may feel like a minor player, a "bit part" in the story of your life," says Eve, "especially when you compare yourself to others, who may seem more important, luckier, or more popular. But to the people whose lives you touch--the people you love, the people who love you--you may very well be the most important person in the world."

Puffs runs at Center Stage Theater May 13-15, 2022.

For more information on how to reserve tickets, please email Samantha at samantha@anacapaschool.org.

Featuring Leah Burdette, India Darling, Marco DiPadova, Arlo Ebbink, Hailey Hardt, Hudson James, Isabelle Linares, Julia Minor, Aidan Murray, Paris Rodriguez, Eli Shelton, Alejandra Torres, Daniel Torres, Emma Wildfeuer, and Quinn Williams.



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