Meet the Director Behind the Magic of PUFFS
Ayden Kuo ’26
The Middle School just completed their very successful run of PUFFS, or Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic and Magic directed by Ms. Kate Pagett.
The play, written by Matt Cox, tells the heartwarming tale of a young boy who learns he is different and is invited to attend a certain school of magic and magic to develop his talents.
What's the story behind PUFFS?
PUFFS or Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a School of Magic and Magic tells the tale of Wayne Hopkins' exploits as he learns he is a wizard and attends a school intended to develop his skills and talents. While striving for glory and importance during his time there, Wayne develops friendships with a group of similarly skilled students who often find themselves on the losing end, or at least regularly in third place, of winning the House Cup. Another boy who many of us know, also attends the school and Wayne often finds himself feeling like a side note in this boy's heroic story. Eventually, Wayne learns that he too is important, to his own story, like all of us, and that love is the most powerful magic of all.
Why did you choose PUFFS?
I'm always looking for shows with the potential to accommodate large casts so that everyone who wants to participate, and can commit to rehearsals, can be involved. Even if a show is intended for a smaller ensemble—in the case of PUFFS, 11 actors traditionally perform all the roles—I look for ways it can be expanded. PUFFS certainly fit that bill. It's also a really fun story that everyone is familiar with and that teaches a terrific life lesson. I want shows that are timeless and that will create lasting memories for our performers and our audience.
What was your favourite part?
There are so many parts to the show that I love. There are lines that I still giggle at after all this time. Picking just one is really difficult. It's also difficult to separate the written text from how our group of actors brought life to different characters and their situations. I love the first time the audience realizes how the playwright has dealt with the story we all know. For example, when Professor McG calls up Hermione and the pronunciation is literally how we were all reading that in our heads when THE books first came out is wonderful. I also really love all the times that Oliver Rivers screams in fright in the show. Those moments crack me up.
What were some of the challenges that you came across?
It's always a challenge to create moments in every Middle School show that give the large group meaningful ways to contribute so that they feel valued and allow them to develop their acting skills. These aren't generally written into a script. It's a rewarding challenge, especially when you see all the patience and hard work they put into rehearsals result in a smooth scene of chaos, for example, on the stage. You would have seen this during the many times all 45 actors were on stage and they all had to scream and run off. The fight scene at the end was also a challenge because it was intricate. We wanted to show aggression and speed but keep everything organized and safe. This show also required far more sound and light cues than anything we've done in the Middle School before and that took a lot of coordination and problem solving both on the stage and in the booth.
Everybody who went to the performances enjoyed the show, all thanks to Ms. Pagett and the amazing Middle School cast. With her skill in Drama and performing, we are sure that next year’s MS production will also be magical!.
We wish to acknowledge and respect the Lekwungen-Speaking Peoples on whose traditional territory we stand, and the Songhees, Esquimalt and Wsáneć Peoples whose historical relationships with the land, where we live, work, play and learn, continue to this day.