PUFFS efficiency gives a lot wanted dwell leisure | Limelighter

There has perhaps never been a more appropriate time to use the classic “The Show Must Go On” cliché than for the recurring performance of PUFFS, which will surely take place on Friday night at the Ross Ragland Theater.

PUFFS culminates in months of work for a dedicated collective of teenagers who have been participating in Ross Ragland’s Teen Theater program since October. This play takes place in the magical world of the legendary Harry Potter books and film series and has no direct reference to these classic fantasy stories. PUFFS follows the fellow travelers, the background characters, and outsiders at Hogwarts; A light-hearted and uplifting nostalgic look at 90s teenagers who are the social outcasts but band together to overcome them. . Oh, and who are wizards too?

Originally scheduled for performances in early January, the play has been postponed to February in the hopes that the COVID-19 theater restrictions will be lifted in time. While an audience with a maximum capacity of 100 people is permitted, on three days only one public performance is shown on Friday at 6 p.m. for an audience with a maximum of 100 people. Instead of calculating ticket prices, attendees are asked to simply donate what they can.

“It was mostly fun, I had a lot of fun getting to know these teenagers, and it was an amazing experience to learn about the next generation of talent in this city,” said Heidi Neill, the first-time director of a youth theater performance experienced director at the Linkville Playhouse. “Some of the challenges are mainly related to COVID. When they first started, they had been out of school for months, at home a lot, and had very limited social time; So the poor kids packed three hours of social time that should be worth a week or a whole summer. We found it difficult to get them to pay attention. “

The play is a familiar adventure for those immersed in the story of Harry Potter and taking a different perspective after three potential heroes tried to make it through school easily. Next to them are the brothels, a group of well-meaning, loyal, and lovable outsiders who are the main target of ridicule from fellow students.

Neill had originally intended to bring PUFFS to the Linkville stage with an adult cast, but when the opportunity arose to direct the teen theater program that season the play was an obvious choice.

“I’m a nerdy Harry Potter fan and it makes me incredibly proud as these kids have worked hard to make the show a reality and keep it fun – they make a sold out amount on every show they do,” added Neill. “We’re lucky enough to have the limited audience we get.”

Until last week’s revised COVID restrictions were announced, it was not certain that there would be a performance at all. Alternative means of presenting the show were investigated without an internal audience while rehearsals continued. Ultimately, however, the recently reduced restrictions were announced in good time to welcome a limited audience for at least one public performance.

There are, of course, subtle tributes to the performance to acknowledge the difficulty of being able to put on just one show during COVID-19 restrictions, from custom PUFFS masks created for each performer to some not-as-subtle nods as that Presence. Daily storytellers guide you through the nineties’ story in a far simpler pre-pandemic age.

The cast of PUFFS includes Cyrus Hamilton as “Wayne Hopkins”, Cara Dodson as “Megan Jones”, Elijah Loew as “Oliver Rivers”, Emily Pace as narrator, Mikaela Villegas as “Cedric”, Shelby Huggins as “Hannah”, Rebecca Zeleny as “Leanne”, Robyn McFarlan as “J. Finch”, Samara Loew as “Ernie Mac”, Lindsay Pace as “Susie Bones” and Amelya Villegas as “Sally Perks”. Alex Burris is the stage manager, Logan Neill is responsible for the Props and Grayson Neill take care of the sound effects. Kadence Pimley, Aricadia Dupuis, Dakota Age and Tom Age act as stage crew. Jessie James Royse takes care of the middle of the curtain. The cast and crew consists of almost every high school in the greater Klamath Falls area .

“It was great to be part of because I’m an extrovert and I need time to be with people in my life. It was just a good experience,” said Cyrus Hamilton, 14, who stars as Wayne. “There was stress from learning clues, but getting energy from everyone just lifts me up.”

“Most of the people I consider my best friends are here and don’t go to my school. So I look forward to being here every Monday, ”added Cara Dodson, 16, a sophomore student in the youth program, with an ambition to pursue theater as a career. “I think it’s great that we’ve been performing since 2020. It’ll be a nice little pick-me-up to see a fun show where current teenagers in their 90s pretend they’re teenagers. “

In addition to a limited audience of only 100 people, the Ross Ragland is taking additional precautions to refurbish the current security protocols and to distance them socially. Each participant must wear a mask.

The play is the latest addition to the Teen Theater Program, a high school-based arts program that teaches teenagers the fundamentals of theater production and acting. In its fourth year, the program offers each student a small scholarship with no time required up to two weeks before the performances. The program is funded through grants.

“Just the fact that they had to do everything in 2020 was fun. It was something to look forward to every week, even if they didn’t know if they were going to perform or not,” said Neill. “But they never made less effort – they always brought everything to their character.”

For more information, visit www.rrtheater.org.