La Salle’s Theater Department Brings the Production of “Puffs” to the Stage

Hannah Whiteside

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  • Actors Nathaniel Broudy, Esa Overturf, and Chloe Beck look into a weird mirror.

  • Puffs shortly after finding out Cedric died in the Triwizard Tournament.

  • Sophomore Mateo Madrigal, playing a potions teacher, gives a brief sex ed demonstration to the audience.

  • Narrator Avery Marks continues the story of Wayne Hopkins.

  • Sophomore Esa Overturf and senior Chloe Beck mid-performance.

  • The scene is set on stage, made possible by the lighting and student-made set.

  • Students line up, ready to try out for the school’s sports teams.

  • Voldy, played by sophomore Jaedza Marsh, makes an appearance on stage.

  • Leanne, played by senior Isabella Simonutti, captivates the audience alone on stage.

  • Senior Marieka Kaufman and junior Nathaniel Broudy.

  • Junior Bruce Juarez, playing Cedric, fights a dragon, played by Jadzia Marsh, in the Triwizard Tournament.

  • Actors Nathaniel Broudy, Esa Overturf, and Chloe Beck look into a weird mirror.

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On Friday, Nov. 4, La Salle’s theater department held its opening night for the fall play “Puffs.” The show then concluded on Sunday, Nov. 13 after five more performances.

“Puffs” puts a unique twist on the famous story of “Harry Potter,” but in this recreation, Potter is not the main character. Instead, new characters named Wayne Hopkins, Megan Jones, and Olive Rivers are the lead roles that the audience watches navigate through the crazy experiences that happen at a Certain School of Magic and Magic.

The theater department worked since mid-September during and after school to get everything prepared for opening night. 

Senior Chloe Beck, who played the role of Olive Rivers, said that although the worst part of performing was the improvisation added in cases when actors messed up a line, the best part for her was “really getting my lines down and celebrating afterward with everyone.”

Isabella Simonutti, also a senior, played the role of Leanne. She specifically named the monologue at the end of the production as her favorite part of playing her role. “I feel like that’s a really big turning point for my character,” Simonutti said. “And also a really big turning point in the show.”

Approximately 42 students worked to put together the “Puffs” production to have it ready by opening night. Despite the audience only seeing the actors who were on the stage during the show, there were also many roles backstage. 

Starting her first year as stage manager, junior Ashley Nelson had many responsibilities while the play was in progress. “[I] help with all the cues that go on,” Nelson said “I make sure all the actors know when they’re going on and off stage, I help with quick changes, [and] I help with set changes.” 

To avoid any mistakes, Nelson did what she could to be prepared weeks before the show began. “I take notes of all of our rehearsals,” Nelson said. “And I have all the cues for every actor and every light and sound cues written down in my personal script.” 

While preparations were being made to get the show running, junior Rachel Yaskovic, who was head of makeup and wigs, personally had to make the Voldy mask, which proved to be very difficult. Additionally, Yaskovic said that another challenge of her job was “preparing for last-minute mistakes and how to fix them.”

Mr. Shelton felt good about the technical pieces in the production. “We have roughly 900 sound effects [and] 500 writing cues,” he said. He was also “really, really happy with the actors finally pulling it all together and just making magic.”