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Montezuma-Cortez to present spoof play of wizardry ‘Puffs’

The play follows the forgotten house in the wizarding world. L to R: Amita Crowley, Jonathan Sandner, Adisyn Todacheeny, Dimitri Webber, Carter Tanner, Lexyn Neighbors, Zarren Clappe. (Nicholaus Sandner/Courtesy Photo)
Play follows the ‘underdog house’ in the wizarding world, Hufflepuff House

Montezuma-Cortez High School’s theater program will present a wizarding world show that will whisk audiences into the world of Harry Potter and all things magic in an exciting spoof where Hufflepuffs, the forgotten house in Hogwarts, are the stars of the show.

The show will be presented to audiences on Nov. 10-11 and Nov. 17-18 at 7 p.m. On Nov. 11 and 18, there will be an additional 2 p.m. showtime, and the play will take place at the M-CHS Ralph Vavak Auditorium.

The “Puffs” story spotlights the “underdog house” in the wizarding world, Hufflepuff House in this nonlicensed production narrated by Lily Sandner. The story follows Wayne Hopkins (played by Tamryn Ashton), a boy from New Mexico who is whisked away to the magic school with dreams of becoming a legendary wizard.

Tamryn Ashton plays Wayne Hopkins in his first MCHS Theatre leading role. (Nicholaus Sandner/Courtesy photo)

His dreams are dashed, however, after being chosen to join Hufflepuff House, a house filled with kind and loyal individuals with the worst luck and notoriety for their mediocre wizard skills. Wayne is joined by his friends Oliver Rivers (played by Jonathan Sandner), a mediocre wizard trying to find his place in the magic school, and Megan Jones (played by Keira Meeks), the daughter of an evil wizard being held in prison for his dealings with the Dark Lord.

Together, the friends go on an adventure that Director Nicholaus Sandner said will bring laughs and entertainment to those who attend.

Keira Meeks, Jonathan Sandner and Tamryn Ashton play the three unlikely Hufflepuff friends. (Nicholaus Sandner/Courtesy Photo)

“There are a bunch of other characters that are really fun, and the run of the play is very high energy, lots and lots of quick transitions from one scene to the next,” Sandner said.

Though the play references the world of Harry Potter, the famous books and movies written by J.K. Rowling, the play is not licensed, as it only refers to and indirectly makes jokes referencing the books and movies without actually using Harry Potter’s or other main characters’ names.

For instance, some of the professors are renamed in the play, with a nod to the Harry Potter character they represent.

The First Headmaster (Dumbledore) is played by Michael Hebberd, Professor McG (McGonagle) is played by Emmie Beckler, A Very Tall Man (Hagrid) is played by Wyatt Snyder and A Certain Potions Teacher (Snape) is played by Romeo Renna.

“This play is great for anyone, whether or not they’ve seen the Harry Potter movies or are into the wizarding world,” he said.

He also noted that the play’s crew would be providing audiences with exciting additions to the actors’ performances with props, lighting and sound.

“It’s a pretty complicated show in terms of technology,” Director Sandner said. “Lots of props, lots of sound cues, lots of light cues. I think we have over 200 sound cues and over 200 light cues.”

The show’s auditions took place in August, and about 70 students are part of the cast and crew. They have been rehearsing for over 10 weeks now, working around the schedules of students who are in band and other activities.

Sandner said he hopes that the play will be a fun experience for all who attend.

“Our goal for this year is to bring some lighthearted, fun comedy and entertainment to our community. And this is a great fantasy and adventure comedy story that everyone will enjoy,” Sandner said.

“Harry Potter fans can look for lots of little Easter eggs and references, and people who don’t know anything about Harry Potter will still find a really fun and engaging story,” he added. “There will be lots of special effects on stage and sound effects and lots of really silly characters. It’s just a really fun, funny show.”

Tickets to “Puffs” can be purchased online at mchsdrama.org.