Packer's Middle School students offered a stellar performance of "Puffs" this spring. Puffs Director Patricia Runcie-Rice reflected on the production:
This is a new style of show for the Middle School and we are excited to share this madcap adventure with all of you. The fourth wall in this production is hazy at best; our Wizard Storyteller is consistently interacting with the audience, actors knowingly wink their way through the variety of inside jokes that nod wildly to the inspiration material...even the stage crew isn’t safe from the actors bringing them into the world of the play! Puffs was developed improvisationally over time and is written in that spirit, so each performance may even be a little different. Right from the beginning of this experience with our improvisational Busker-Ushers, we are inviting the audience to play with us, welcoming you into our world of magic. We were initially drawn to the script not only for its comedic & irreverent style, but also for its heart. Just when you are giggling at a silly gag, something profound is said, or we find ourselves in a touching, softer moment. Students enjoyed working on a show that turned a familiar story on its side, that also met the students right where they are. Most of the cast play people their age or very close to it. The language the characters use, the circumstances the characters find themselves in...are where these young actors truly are in their lives...minus some of the more fantastical elements. Adolescence can sometimes feel like a magical battle of sorts, for better or worse, and we are all the heroes of our own story, on the lookout for our storyline. In theatre class we talk about a character’s point of view, and how each character on stage should be able to tell the story of the piece as if they are the central figure of the action. So it stands to reason that Wayne, a young child growing up in the 1990s watching epic movies where young children prevail against all odds, over and over again, believes that he is a special character destined for greatness. Why wouldn’t he be? And this determination and belief, sustains him throughout the ups and downs of adolescence. And friends...friends always help! Through friendship, determination, hope and yes, love, we all find ways to fight our way through to the end. Cedric says, ‘Failure is just another form of practice’. The Puffs know that we may make mistakes on our journey, but it’s just rehearsal. That’s how we learn; which we all think is an important Puff platitude to hold onto. Everyone identified with the hardworking, loyal,‘friends to the end’ mentality of The Puffs and within the entire company, no matter what role you played, we all came together to embrace our Puffy-nature.
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