Puffs square larger logo“A baby. His parents: dead. But he lives. He is the boy who lives. He has a scar. On his forehead. Shaped like…you know. You get it? You are familiar with this boy? Well. Forget about him. This story isn’t about him,” the narrator begins in the opening of Puffs or Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic and Magic. You all know the story of Harry Potter and the house of Gryffindor, but do you know the story of Wayne and the Puffs?

Puffs, written by Matt Cox, is a comical spoof about children attempting to survive seven years of magic school at Hogwarts. It draws from both the books and movies and the Puffs, inspired by the under-appreciated house Hufflepuff, are a group of kind-hearted, devoted misfits who harbor a fondness for badgers. This brilliant and innovative play never fails to provide a moment of laughter, offering a fresh perspective on a well-known journey.

New Fire Theatre is scheduled to showcase the One Act Edition of Young Wizards of Puffs on March 21, 22 and 23. New Fire Theatre is a part of the Capitol Encore Academy High School. The high school of The Capitol Encore Academy opened in August 2022, located at 200 Mason Street. Brian Adam Kline, also the high school’s theater teacher, serves as the artistic director of the theater company.

Kline started out at the Capitol Encore Academy Elementary School as the theater teacher and founded the Chameleon Children’s Theatre before moving to the high school. He has also done children's theater with Cape Fear Regional Theatre, Sweet Tea Shakespeare and co-founded the Glee and Gate education programs at the Gilbert Theater.

New Fire Theatre Company started doing shows last year and is now in its second season. This year the theater has already performed She Kills Monsters and Peter Pan. Kline shares his hopes for the theater and the kids involved.

“All of my actors and backstage artists are very intelligent, talented and shaping to be really good people. I want the theater to be a place for them to continue to be really great artists in their craft, school and community. The community should keep an eye on the boldness coming out of our space; think black box teen theater.”

Puffs is an ideal choice for a teenage theater company that operates in a black box setting. The number of actors in the cast can be adjusted. This production features a versatile ensemble cast, with a small group of main characters and the remaining actors taking on multiple roles. New Fire Theatre has a cast of eleven, all of whom attend the Capitol Encore High School.

This performance will require all participants to utilize a considerable amount of imagination in devising various technical elements, such as a bird that appears out of nowhere, a floating feather, and seemingly self-opening doors. Puffs will truly test the creativity of any technician and present an enjoyable yet challenging task. The crew for the production also consists of high school students, including the stage manager, assistant stage manager, and tech.

Kline, up until now, has directed all the plays performed by New Fire Theatre. For Puffs, he decided to collaborate with Marc de la Concha. When asked why he decided to bring someone else in to direct, Kline said, “I have wanted to work with Cape Fear Regional Theatre’s Marc de la Concha for years and when we talked about Puffs, it was a perfect fit for Marc to be our first guest artist. He's a great director, actor and friend.”

Concha has been the Director of Education at CFRT for almost five years. He can also be found on the stage acting in many of CRFT's mainstage productions, The Addams Family, The Musical being the most recent. He also shares Kline’s enthusiasm for working on Puffs together.

“Mr. Kline and I have wanted to collaborate on a project for quite some time. When he announced Puffs in the season, we both knew this was that project.”

Concha seems to be the perfect guest director for Puffs being a big Harry Potter fan himself.

“I love the rich and immersive world and all of its magical elements and compelling characters, each with their own strengths, flaws, and personal struggles. Additionally, the themes of friendship, loyalty, the battle between good and evil, the impact of choices, and the importance of standing up for what is right have always rang true with me.”

But he also believes that Puffs is a great play and story all on its own as well.

“Puffs is not just a hilarious parody of all things Harry Potter. It is a play that is full of heart. The characters are all fully realized and go through difficult journeys. They deal with death, personal identity, relationships, and what it means to feel insignificant in the world at large. Something any of us can relate to, no matter what house we are sorted into.”

New Fire Theatre has plans for the rest of their second season that will include James and the Giant Peach and the Dragon Film Festival, both in May. For more details on those two events be sure to follow them on facebook at: http://tinyurl.com/mu9p8yzc

Don’t miss Puffs on March 21, 22 & 23 at 6 p.m. at The Capitol Encore High School located at 200 Mason Street. Tickets can be purchased at: http://tinyurl.com/yrhjds24

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