Kennedy’s Production

Last weekend, Kennedy High School’s Drama Department kicked off its school year with a fantastic production of Puffs. Directed by former student Cael Jones and Kennedy teacher Steven Tolly, Kennedy’s rendition of Puffs was nothing but magical.

The play follows the Puffs through all seven years at a certain magical school that the script chooses not to name. Puffs are relentlessly known for their kindness. The play covers their struggles of earning house points and overall just trying to stay alive. The debut of Puffs brought lots of laughter and tears to the Kennedy stage.

Junior Sam Larson says he was hesitant about the play after auditions but by the first run-through he was all in. 

Lead characters Oliver Rivers and Wayne Hopkins played by Sam Larson (left) and Jordan Harvey (right) respectively. See more photos here: Kennedy’s Drama Departments Debuts Puffs as Their Fall Play. (Emma Beachner)

“I thought we were going to hit a plateau with the script,” said Larson. “But with Cael and Tolly, they continued to keep it going and gave us the freedom we needed.”

Kennedy’s cast did an amazing job of committing to their roles and conveying emotions. As an audience member, you are truly immersed in the production and will feel the same joy and sadness as the actors. 

Many roles in the show were played by just one actor, and while difficult for some high school actors, Kennedy students gave it their all and pulled it off fantastically. With mastered costume changes and flawless line delivery, the actors in Puffs portrayed each character differently making it feel like every character had its own actor.

The play is written to be undercast, making it difficult to direct. Jones says it was hard at first but eventually he got the hang of it. 

“Initially it was difficult to keep track of all the parts and who was playing who,” said Jones. “I think we had three or four different cast scripts.”

Additionally, Kennedy students in the Stagecraft and Design class taught by Tolly along with the stage crew put together a fantastic set that added to the professional feel and truly transported the audience into the play. 

“Rickmansempra! Locomotor legs! Tarantula Jelly!” Actors walk through the double doors on the Puffs set. (Emma Beachner)

“We did a great job with our set, line delivery and pacing. There’s always room for improvement, but with what we had I think we did really good,” said Larson. 

Kennedy managed to stay within the expected time limit of the play, something Washington’s show struggled with. While the show didn’t drag on, they were forced to cut many beloved characters and scenes which may have lowered the overall comedic value of the show.

“We constantly tried to cut it [time] down,” said Jones “I had no problem with cutting out characters to fit the time limit.”

The second night’s performance faced a few trials. From a wig falling off to messed up sound systems, there were many instances where the play could’ve gone downhill but the actors were able to push through to make it a memorable night through improved lines and self-aware humor at those few slip-ups. 

“There are always things to fix and there are always things to tweek. There are always things to make better,” said Jones. “There are endless things we could have changed but I’m satisfied with where we ended up.”