Members of the cast of the Paris Junior College Drama Department production of “Puffs, or Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic and Magic,” entertained library patrons young and old Tuesday evening with a sneak preview of the show as they rehearsed scenes from the play on the library’s outdoor deck.
“Tonight, we bring you the first year for this class of magic students,” Robyn Huizinga, PJC drama instructor, told a small but avid audience of parents and ’tweens. “We hope you enjoy it.”
The youngsters — including one young lady who showed up with her own magic wand and robes — and other onlookers enjoyed popcorn compliments of library staff as the scenes unfurled before them.
“Puffs” is written by Matt Cox, and fans of the “Harry Potter” books and films will be familiar with many of the names and situations that make up the play. The Puffs are a group of well-meaning, loyal outsiders with a thing for badgers, who belong to one of the lesser-regarded “houses” at the school of magic. The play is not authorized, sanctioned, licensed or endorsed by J.K Rowling, Warner Bros., or any person or company associated with the Harry Potter books, films or play.
With minimal costuming, and with scripts in hand, cast members including Chaston Tomblin, Lisa Martin, Annabelle Doss, Ollivia Stiles, Carlton Bell, Nate Sipe, Sommer Lee, Connor Kirkley, Adam Doss, Isaiah Fowler, Brenna Mills, Hunter Anderson and Ann-Marie Sokol, rehearsed scenes related to the Puffs’ first year of classes at a certain school of magic.
Many of the production’s cast have previous experience on stage, and most of them said they were well familiar with the world of magic referred to in the play. All agreed they are eagerly looking forward to going before a full audience with “Puffs.”
“I am ready to interact with the audience,” said Tomblin, a graduate of Paris High School. “As the narrator of the show, that is what I do.”
After the rehearsal, the cast visited with the audience and answered questions about their characters, the play and the process of acting on stage, such as memorizing lines.
Earlier this week, the drama department was forced to change the dates of the production.
“New management at the play’s licensing company in New York informed us of the need to reschedule to avoid copyright issues,” Huizinga said. “Play dates were originally announced for Oct. 7-10, but the show has now been rescheduled to Oct. 21 to 24. Evening performances will still begin at 7:30 p.m., and the Sunday afternoon show is at 2:30 p.m.”
Ticket prices for all of PJC’s drama department productions will be: General admission, $15; seniors and high school students with ID, $10; with donation of a children’s book or teen novel, $5; and PJC students, faculty and staff with ID get in free.