By Kathy Carpenter
Fenix Theatre Collaborative Presents – “PUFFS.” Written by Matt Cox, Directed by Rhiannon Mcafee, produced by Justin Allen Slagle, this is “A wild Bizarre Ride” and a perfect fit for the intended audience.
Yes, I read all the Harry Potter books and saw all the movies which I completely enjoyed but this story transcends Potter. It is the story of three friends at the same wizard school as Harry Potter. They have the same seven years of magical training, but a different point of view. It was easy to follow the Potter timeline and theme, and the separate plot line of these students. What trips me up is when Harry Potter makes appearances with these students. A girl in the Puffs, also plays Harry, and that is confusing. Where the twix meet.
This is a whimsical Universe of magic and dreams The story works. For seven years a certain wizard attended a school of magic beating evil and insurmountable odds. These unlikely friends have their own demons to conquer. While this story pays homage to Potter, it’s also stands alone.
As with Harry Potter we start off with the sorting hat, sorting kids into four groups. The Brave, The Smarts, Puffs, and Snakes. This is the story about the kids sorted into The Puffs. None of them want to be Puffs. Puffs is the house of loyal, well-meaning, socially awkward students, treated like dirt by the staff. But basically, they are the same types who are happy and cheery, greeting each other and hiding behind their fears. As they grow, we are introduced to the Puff hug. A hug beyond words. Instantaneously, it makes you feel safe, loved and secure.It is the hug we all need at times.
Puffs, is ” a universe that reminds us no matter how hard things get, there is a place for you; there is a community for you; that you are welcome and loved for being exactly who you are; that your story is important . . . no, not just important . . . your story is crucial; that there exists a place where it’s okay to sit for a minute with your back to the door; and that, as long as you keep trying, you never really fail.” Fenix theatre.
Julia Giotzerri, is our narrator, guiding us through the seven year journey, and doing an awesome job, storytelling, blending with the over-the-top -cast and interacting with the audience. Wayne, played by Michael Miller, wants to be a hero. Oliver, is played by Kyler Watley, a mathematician trying to embrace his wizard side. The third friend is Megan, played by Kylie Young, who wants nothing more than to escape the school and join her mother the infamous evil helper of the Man whose name can’t be said. This is a talented cast of diverse, colorful characters.
Fenix Theatre collaborative is excited to bring Puffs back to their San Diego audience, once again, and to continue to grow our #SDPuffs family. They hope to establish this San Diego tradition as a celebration of all things PUFFS each and every summer during Comic-Con.
The Fenix Theater Collaborative exists to provide artists with a space to collaborate, create and grow. They are an inclusive theatre welcoming everyone who gives of themselves, labeled or not. Everyone is Welcome and Everyone Matters.
Juyl 14 thru August 13, 2022
Tenth Avenue Arts Center
930 Tenth Avenue Downtown San Diego