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Throughout the 2000s (and before that with the book series) there were several films about a certain young, male, orphaned wizard and his group of friends — and enemies — who attended a Certain School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. He has a scar on his forehead in a certain shape. The students use wands and spells. Sounding familiar?
Well, for all of you who miss that wizarding world, there is an opportunity this summer to experience it up close and personal, right here in Wilson.
The Singers Studio in Wilson is presenting the play “Puffs,” which is described as a production set during the seven years when young Harry Potter attended the wizarding school, but is not about him.
It is instead about the “Puffs,” the students who went to school with Harry and lived in the same boarding house.
The play runs from July 10-14 at The Singers Studio, 134 Tarboro St. W. Opening night is Wednesday, July 10, at 7:30 p.m. Shows also run that Thursday and Friday at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., and Sunday at 3 p.m.
“This play is set right alongside the story that everyone knows during the same seven years,” said David Winstead, the show’s director. “But this play was written to tell the ‘Puffs’ story.”
Fair rights usage laws allow productions to use the concept and ideas surrounding the Potter series, but specifics, like actual character names from the books and movies can’t be used.
Winstead said the “Puffs” project began in 2015 when a group of improvisational performers began working with Potter-themed material.
“Two of my friends from college were part of the original production in New York,” Winstead said. “A.J. Diddy and Matty Bundy were involved, as was Matt Cox, who was leading the improv group, and then he started writing it. It slowly developed into this full-length play. Last November I saw that they were publishing the script and the rights were coming out.”
“Puffs” ran off-Broadway and is now running on world stages, but it has never been performed in our state.
“We are the first ‘Puffs’ production in North Carolina and, as far as we know, the first production in the region,” Winstead said. “It’s exciting to be right on the cutting edge.”
The Singers Studio production of “Puffs” includes cast from seventh grade all the way through college and also uses three adult actors. This particular version of the play is considered the “Young Wizards Edition,” so there is no foul language or adult content, meaning any age audience member can enjoy it.
The studio is small, and a limited number of tickets can be sold for each performance.
“We are glad to be a small space,” Winstead said.
“It’s a different type of environment, but we also don’t want to be charging what a larger theater would charge for a ticket. This is what we are. And we want people to see this show because it’s high-energy, fun and it’s funny.”
Tickets are sold at The Singers Studio with 60 seats available for each show. Studio hours are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets are $10 general admission and $8 for students. For more information, email the studio at firstname.lastname@example.org.