Francis Scott Key High School students will explore the beloved story told in the “Harry Potter” books and movies, but from a different perspective – the perspective of House Hufflepuff.
FSK teacher and director Roberta Gore said the show “Puffs,” also titled “Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic and Magic,” is true to life and will wow audiences with its humor and profound message.
“The whole humor of this play is that the ‘puffs are not brave, they’re not strong, they’re not smart and they’re not sneaky,” Gore said. “Hufflepuff is the house of the nice kids, they’re the forgotten house, and so to do a whole show from the point of view of the ‘puffs is sweet.”
Performances of “Puffs” are 7 p.m. Friday,and on Nov. 17 and 18, at the high school, 3825 Bark Hill Road in Union Bridge. On Nov. 18, there also will be a 1 p.m. performance.
Tickets cost $8 and can be purchased at the door, or online at https://www.onthestage.tickets/show/fsk-choral-drama-boosters/64efec0c82ccaa0e3d67d929/tickets.
The show is recommended for ages 11 and older, according to the ticket sale website.
“Puffs” has the same scope as “Harry Potter,” condensing all seven years of events at Hogwarts into a two-hour play. Just like the material it was inspired by, the play offers a bit of everything, Gore said, and the dramatic conclusion of the final battle posits that love is the most important magic that can be learned.
“It’s constantly stimulating,” Gore said, “and at the same time it’s funny and it’s important. It has a really important message. I think it’s one of those shows where you’re leaning in and listening for the whole two hours. Some shows you can lean back and fall asleep; it’s never that. It’s exciting from beginning to end.”
About 60 students contributed to “Puffs,” 32 of whom are members of the cast. Gore said students involved in technical aspects of the show have risen to the challenge of coordinating about 250 sound cues, 200 props, 150 lighting cues and 60 slideshow slides.
“It’s like a well-executed machine backstage in order for onstage to work,” Gore said.
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There are no real scene changes in the show, Gore added, which means that an actor’s costume and makeup must sometimes be changed quickly, and the lighting team never gets the breather that a full blackout provides.
“There really isn’t a member of the whole company that is not essential,” Gore said. “I think that’s an important lesson.”
“Puffs” hits a sweet spot for a high school dramatic production, Gore said. References in the show will be familiar to most students and audience members, a large cast size lets more students act in significant roles, and its relative newness means more attendees can experience the show’s rapid-fire humor or emotionally evocative ending for the first time.
“The kids are having a really good time,” Gore said. “It’s an incredibly fun show to act in.”
Gore said she learned about the show through a performance at last year’s Maryland Thespian Festival, and looks forward to seeing it again every day the drama company rehearses.
“It’s really an unforgettable show,” Gore said.