West Ranch Theatre is set to whisk viewers into an enchanted world in “Puffs, or Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic and Magic.”
For seven years a certain boy wizard went to a certain Wizard School and conquered evil. This, however, is not his story. This is the story of the Puffs … who just happened to be there, too. Puffs is a tale for anyone who has never been destined to save the world.
A parody of a certain English series, the play’s title comes from the name of one of the four “houses” in the wizarding school, the group that encompasses the main characters, Wayne, Megan and Oliver.
“There’s so many hints and homages to the original series and there’s some overdramatized characters who, especially if you kind of know the storyline, are really fun,” Haileigh Frame, who plays Wayne, said in a West Ranch Theatre news release.
Audience members less familiar with the original wizardry can also enjoy the play, the release said. “The Puffs are all their own original characters, and they’re the focus in this version of the story,” Frame added. “There are so many things that are fun about this show – it’s just a fun time overall.”
Wayne is a nerdy kid who is excited to learn about being a wizard, and desperately wants to make a positive impact, but is stymied at every turn. He befriends Megan – a goth-like girl who hates being a Puff and is sure she should be with the Snakes – and Oliver, a sweet, brainy math geek. Together, they face typical teen situations like tough teachers and school dances, along with much darker forces that threaten their very lives.
Jarod Spradling, theater director at West Ranch High School, took over the program this fall and chose the play when he realized many West Ranch teachers were big fans of the popular wizarding series.
Starting off a new season at a new school, a comedy seemed to be the right move, according to Spradling. He loves the genre, and said he is a big fan of Monty Python, Key and Peele, and theater company StarKid Productions.
“This is kind of a mix of all of that together,” he said in the release. “What I love about it from an acting standpoint is, comedy forces you to go big or go home, because if you can’t go big, it falls flat.”
He added: “It’s been great for these students to recognize how far they can push themselves. … They’re having a blast. The beautiful thing about this show is, although its spirit is truly rooted in comedy and improv, you will leave the theater believing in humanity. It has a great message in the end.”
Puffs runs Nov. 2-4 at 7 p.m., and Nov. 4 at 2 p.m. in the West Ranch Auditorium, 26255 Valencia Blvd., Stevenson Ranch. Tickets are $8 for West Ranch students, $10 for seniors/veterans and $12 general admission. Tickets available at the door or online in advance at www.gofan.co, putting “West Ranch” in the search bar.