TUPELO • Tupelo Community Theatre will perform a play next week about a boy who attends a school of wizardry and magic in the Scottish Highlands.
No, it’s not who you’re thinking of.
Instead of that popular character, this story is about Wayne – a budding wizard from America. Wayne and his classmates spend seven years at the school learning wizardry and building friendships, and they have fun doing it.
Their humorous experiences will be presented in TCT’s production of “Puffs, Or: Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic and Magic” on its Off Broadway stage. Performances at the East Franklin Street theater are Thursday, Friday and Saturday, with a 7:30 p.m. start each day.
“Puffs,” written by playwright Matt Cox, is a parody of the aforementioned popular character and the novels and movies that include his name. It doesn’t have the endorsement of the novels’ author nor the studio that released the movies.
On Cox’s website, “Puffs” is described as “a comedy for anyone who has ever felt like a secondary character in someone else’s story.”
“I saw it over a year ago, and I loved it,” said “Puffs” director Marley Maharrey. “It’s hilarious. It’s very fast paced. It goes, goes and goes.”
The Puffs are a group of loyal friends who attend the school of wizardry the same time as you-know-who.
Coley Bryant plays Wayne Hopkins, the young man from New Mexico who attends the school. Wayne’s closest friends are Megan Jones (played by Rachel Davis) and Oliver Rivers (played by Chase Michael). The remaining members of the 11-person cast play individual characters as well as “Others.”
Maharrey, who describes herself as a Puff, said the play is especially appealing to people in the age 25-to-35 range.
“That’s the age group that grew up with the other story. That’s who we’re targeting, but really any age can enjoy it,” she said. “I felt very connected to it. The storyline is about friendship and how important it is, especially when you’re growing up.”
Bryant, a local film maker who also grew up interested in the magical and fantasy worlds inspired by the other story, is making his stage debut.
“It wasn’t planned, but (play narrator Casey Dillard) asked if I would come in and audition,” he said. “I thought by doing some acting, it would help me better my craft. It’s a whole different ball game for me being on the stage.”
Maharrey said the play’s cast includes TCT newcomers plus those who haven’t been in a production in years. “They’re having so much fun,” she said.
Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for students, and may be reserved by calling (662) 844-1935. The play contains language some may find offensive and is recommended for audience members age 14 and older.
“This is not for the young wizards,” Maharrey said.