Arts and Entertainment

Up Next: Theatre Orangeville’s Drama Young Company to perform PUFFS

August 17, 2023   ·   0 Comments

By Constance Scrafield

During the early days of rehearsals of PUFFS, Drama Young Company’s production this year, the Citizen had the opportunity to interview the cast via FaceTime, and a good time it was too. PUFFS is on at Theatre Orangeville over the weekend of Aug. 25 to 27.

Researching PUFFS, American critics promised “a laugh a minute.” The 15 Drama Young Company actors were quick to confirm this in their praise of the script.

“It’s really funny,” said one of them. “We have to learn how not to laugh while we’re playing it.”

In brief, this is a play about several young wizards entering a famous magic school and finding themselves quite overshadowed by other more well-known, more powerful student wizards. 

Kevin May, playing the sole role of Wayne, told us, “Wayne [the hero of PUFFS] at first look makes this a bit more than another parody of the main hero, the one chosen boy, but what’s the story of the side characters, the smaller perspective?”

Answering his own question, he said, “It’s its own story that happens around the more famous boy living his own story.”

PUFFS’s story is essentially about Wayne getting accepted and getting into magic at this school but finding himself put to one side in the shadow of other, more widely known student wizards, who are considered more powerful and exciting. 

The way this is handled came from Viviana, “You just meet a bunch of friendly people who don’t understand that they are less. They’re told they are nothing but they do their bit.”

While the “other kid” takes the attention all the time, we see another perspective. They are still people who are going to this school, Izzy told us, “trying to live our own lives, enjoy where we are but it’s hard to be overshadowed all the time.”

Jack Stewart, as the narrator, expressed, “All this time, the Evil Wizard is influencing their lives, they are getting better and better in this big shadow. Then, along comes a massive battle.”

Lucas added, “Growing from the worst to much better than expected – this boy is super talented.”

Many of the cast play more than one character, Ava is acting in eight roles. Asked how one separates the roles effectively, she noted, “The trick about multiple characters is to pick out their differences and build on the traits of each character.

Sarah commented, “Hats and costumes make a difference too.”

From Roman, “Sort of you need to walk, speak differently.”

Two of the characters are a world apart, and it is important to make sure their difference shows.

“You need to just push those narratives hard,” Gabrielle said.

Yet, they are the underdogs and the only reason they’re underdogs, as Sophie noted, “is because they’re not given the opportunities. They’re viewed as someone with no abilities and they show that isn’t true.”

The answers came randomly. “Maybe for someone who hasn’t seen this,” Liam began, “We are – a lot of us – are socially inept.”

“We know about this,” Adeline said. “This makes us have new a new perspective.”

Logan, assistant stage manager, remarked that within the first two weeks of rehearsal, they were almost done blocking the entire show, then to go on checking details and nuances with the following two weeks. 

He said, “We’ll put together a show in a month. The pace is so good, we’re impressive. It is important to block so they can concentrate on the details.” 

Of the company, there are three first-timers. The rest have been in TOV shows or productions elsewhere.

Kayla commented, “You wouldn’t even know this is the first time acting for those three kids.”

There is so much laughter and friendship in PUFFS; “also it is really funny – hilarious!” came the assurance. They agreed this sort of theatre experience is so much fun.

“Maybe this show is perfect for our cast. People on stage are having a lot of fun,” Kevin said. “Infectious energy – you can’t get that from going to movies.”

The entire family can enjoy it; come with your family and see a live theatre production.

Variously, they said, “All the parts become one big family; it’s relatable too and very fun.”

“You’ll see yourself on the stage.”

“You’ll leave feeling these are amazing kids.”

“Tickets are available!”

There was a moment to talk about the director, Chandra Pepper, and they told us that she kept the energy going and the momentum, building on characters.

“She has been really focused how is this line going, and how our character will deliver it, what we’re going to do with our delivery.”

Putting this show together is lots of fun in the process, and Ms. Pepper dives right in but gives them the option of whether they want to keep going – how they feel by the end of rehearsal.

With so many characters and so many actors playing multiple roles, there are a lot of character choices, and she gives ideas.

Most of all, their praise for how she has cast this production, “a great job placing us as actors – who could you be the best at if you go beyond what you are?”

“Flexing your muscles as an actor,” said Maddie.

This is the first time on stage for everyone performing PUFFS.

PUFFS is playing at Theatre Orangeville over the weekend of Aug. 25 to 27. For details and tickets, go to or call the Box Office at 519-942-3423. It is located at 87 Broadway to purchase tickets as well.

Don’t miss this exhilarating show.

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