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The Student-Run News Site of Westside High School in Omaha, Nebraska. Keeping you WIRED in to all things Westside.

Westside Wired

The Student-Run News Site of Westside High School in Omaha, Nebraska. Keeping you WIRED in to all things Westside.

Westside Wired

The Student-Run News Site of Westside High School in Omaha, Nebraska. Keeping you WIRED in to all things Westside.

Westside Wired

“Puffs” production transports audience to the wizarding world

Tanatswa Chivero
Image curtesy of Jeremy Stoll. Senior Ted Twit (second from right) leads his peers in completing a spell.

The Westside Theater department’s latest production, “Puffs”, premiered last night. 

The play is based on the popular “Harry Potter” series and focuses on the Hufflepuff house, known for their excessive friendliness, hard work, and overall ‘othered’ position at the fictional school of Hogwarts. Students in the production worked hard to ensure the best show possible. 

Junior Miranda Gregory played a major role in the production, portraying Megan Jones,  though she had no background on the “Harry Potter” series. 

“I auditioned for ‘Puffs’ not reading any of the books and not seeing any of the movies,” Gregory said. “I have never seen ‘Harry Potter’ and I’m sure a lot of people still haven’t because, you know, it’s kind of nerdy. I got to learn all the jokes and everything. Even if I didn’t understand some of the jokes and connections of the movies and the books by the end, I thought it was still super hilarious.”

Gregory noted challenges the cast faced due to a revised rehearsal schedule. 

“We had a one-act schedule for a two-act play,” Gregory said. “We did a full two [act] length play, but with one month [to prepare] instead of two months, and it was cramped. We went right in the blocking and worked work worked. That was also fun, because we had this new director that some people didn’t know, and he’s incredible.”

Freshman Oriani Knaub, who portrayed Oliver Rivers, said that the show is incredibly special, and utilizes comedy to reach a point of connection to the audience. 

The show itself is ridiculous, it’s bonkers, yet everyone was committing to every bit 100%.

— Ted Twit

“The show is kind of rooted in emotion… yes, there’s the humor aspect of it, but there also has to be that deep connection that you feel with the audience by the end,” Knaub said. “I spent a lot of time taking personal elements and adding that to the character, and I feel like everyone kind of brought who they are into the character.”

As a freshman in a lead role, Knaub is thankful for the experience. 

“Seeing your name after those dots is just the most special thing ever,” Knaub said. “I just remember jumping around like freaking out and screaming and crying… there’s a lot of work to get to this moment.” 

Earning a spot in the cast was especially exhilarating for Knaub because the process leading up to the audition was not entirely smooth.

“There were definitely a lot of bumps in the road,” Knaub said. “There were a lot of people telling [me], ‘you can’t be an honors student and an athlete and in theater’ and all those different layers. It’s just really really special and I’m just so happy to be part of this… I am so happy that I get to work with these people.”

Senior Ted Twit, who portrayed Cedric, chose to join the production regardless of his busy schedule, and enjoyed time spent with castmates. 

“I didn’t want to not [participate] before I graduated,” Twit said. “I liked theater all through middle school and elementary school, and when I got to high school I just didn’t have time. I decided that it would be one of my last opportunities to do it, so I did it.”

Twit did not regret his decision to commit time to the production, and cited cast enthusiasm as a highlight of his experience. 

“The show itself is ridiculous,” Twit said. “It’s bonkers, yet everyone was committing to every bit 100% and that [was] really fun. Sometimes there’s a hurdle to get over to get into [the role] and actually going for every choice, but this cast, since day one… everyone is ready to go because of the commitment they make.”

Knaub said that the range of emotions in the show will create a great experience for the final production. 

“This show is so much fun, just because it’s so silly,” Knaub said. “It’s a very human show… you’re gonna laugh, you’re gonna cry, you’re gonna be angry, and there’s so much emotion to it. Everyone in this cast, they’re such good people, and they really reflect the message of the show.”

Having the opportunity to become part of the wizarding world of Harry Potter, even if peripherally, is a moment that is not lost on the cast.

“It’s one of those shows that just feels really special,” Knaub said. “It’s one of those things where it’s such a tight knit show. Most people are familiar with Harry Potter, but at the same time, [this is] something that they haven’t seen before. I think that they will really enjoy it; There’s a lot of audience involvement.”

“Puffs” will have showtimes at 7pm. on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 1-2, and a matinee show on Sunday, Dec. 3 at 2pm. Tickets are $10 for adults and $6 for students and seniors, and can be purchased online at https://whswt.booktix.net/.

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About the Contributor
Tanatswa Chivero, Co-Editor in Chief
Hi! My name is Tanatswa Chivero, and I am a Co-Editor in Chief for Wired. I am currently a senior, and this is my fourth year in journalism. If you have any questions or comments, please contact me at [email protected]!
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