Review: PHS Puffs Show

PHS Drama Club entertains Harry Potter Fans


PHS Drama Club

A scene from Puffs.

For the first time, after Piscataway High School Broadway was put on hiatus, due to the Covid Pandemic, the Drama Club exceeded expectations of how a high school drama program should perform in their latest Broadway show, Puffs.

Puffs, inspired from the Harry Potter series, follows the main protagonist Wayne, who trains how to be a wizard in the Wizard School of Magic with all the other trainees. Over the course of seven years, Wayne accustoms himself with the [Huffle]Puffs, but his environment becomes dangerous as he learns how to use magic.

Before the 2 ½ hour performance, all of the performers were organized and energetic. Students like Lathan Gil, a sophomore at PHS felt poised about performing for the first time after the Covid lockdown.

“Everyone was confident and excited,” Lathan described. “We had a full day rehearsal from 7:15am to 1:45pm just to go over lighting. We made sure everything was perfect for opening night.”

Speaking of the lighting, all of the performers were easily identified by the lighting crew during the show. For example, when Najm Muhammad, the narrator of the play was narrating the upcoming scene, the lighting crew illuminated Najim’s shadow to try to illustrate the dark environment in the Wizard School. The crew really mastered the skill of helping the audience focus on the main subject

Furthermore, all of the performances felt professional, as all of the performers had their script perfectly memorized, and they conveyed powerful emotion through their performances. For example, Jacob Hall, a sophomore, who played J. Finch Fletchley during the play made the audience crack up with several funny jokes.

All of the protagonists gradually matured during their time in Wizard School, and the actors did an incredible job showing this transformation. For instance, when the new wizard students were introduced to Wizard School for the first time they were particularly fearful of each other. There was not a whole lot of character dialogue in the beginning as the wizard students distanced themselves from each other, but as the wizard students became accustomed to wizard school, the amount of dialogue increased.

When I asked Mr. Yoson, the director of Puffs, about his main takeaways from the show, he had some positive comments for the performers and crew members.

“I think the kids worked really hard,” noted Mr. Yoson. “They memorized pretty quickly and they stayed organized for the most part. I would say they were a fairly responsible and creative group.”

The props were also beautifully designed. For example, the portraits, flags, and bookshelves were vivid. One of the hidden props, like the circular portrait on the left side of the stage, was a removable window. To add on, the big sliding door at the center of the stage and the 4 mini doors on both the left and right side of the stages were vital for introducing the protagonists and antagonists. The audience really felt like they were in a movie scene as everything was fluid. While judging the props may be easy, the back end of designing the props was a challenge.

“The props were really difficult for the play,” said Mr. Yoson. “There were like 3 tables of props. A total of 5 students and Mr. Hall all worked really hard on the props.”

More importantly, a show cannot go on without music, and the sound crew perfectly organized all the beats. For example, when one wizard starts fighting a dragon you can hear the intense music in the background. In addition, the suspension music gradually gets louder as all the wizards fight the witches. On top of the climax, when a wizard died the audience was overwhelmed by the gloomy music. Everything felt fluid as the narrator and music helped the audience stay engaged, and not one scene felt dull or repetitive.

Conversely, while playing multiple roles in Drama Club can be stressful, Savannah Weaver, a sophomore at PHS found that playing the roles can be pretty exciting.

“Being able to play multiple characters while also being able to help backstage was so much fun,” said Savannah.

After 2 and ½ months of rehearsal and planning, both the acting and story were flawless. The audience could really feel the spirit every performer and crew member had for their role. Every role felt vital to making the performance successful. For $8 to spectate the show as a student and $10 for adults, I greatly enjoyed the show, and I can’t wait for what the Drama Club has next!