Holt High School play provides magic and laughs for all ages

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The seats at Margaret Livensparger Theater in Holt High School begin to fill up as attendees await the opening performance of Puffs Thursday night.

HOLT, Mich.  – The Holt High School theater program saw the opening night of its version of Matt Cox’s play, Puffs, or Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic and Magic.  

Puffs is a parody of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series told from the perspective of the “Puffs,” one of the four houses of the wizarding school. 

As the play is not affiliated with any individuals or companies associated with the Harry Potter series, the play uses allusions and wordplay to tell the story of the Puffs while staying within the bounds of fair use laws.

“It’s a lot of fun for people who both like and dislike Harry Potter,” said senior Simon Menold, who plays a multitude of characters including the potions professor and Lord Voldy.

“The Harry Potter nerds will really enjoy the jokes and innuendos that are taken from the books and movies,” said sophomore Mace Betts, “but even if you don’t know it, it’s still hilarious.” Betts plays protagonist Wayne Hopkins in the play.

The play came after months of casting, planning, and rehearsing for the final product. 

“We go after school every day from three to five, until this week, when we went from three to ten,” Betts said. “It did not feel like two months, our show came together really fast.”

“It went by very quickly,” Menold added.

Betts spoke of their excitement for the opening night after all of the preparation work that’s been put in.

 “This is my first lead ever, and as a sophomore that’s just a lot more pressure,” Betts said. “So just knowing that we’ve made it to opening night and this is actually happening is crazy.”

Menold felt relaxed about the results of opening night. “We all know our parts very well,” Menold said. “We’ve got our scene changes down, our costume changes down, we’re all ready.”

Holt Theater Director Spencer Sullivan explained that the students take the lead not only on the stage, but behind the scenes as well.

 “During a show, it should be one hundred percent students in charge,” Sullivan said. “It’s the students running the tech, it’s the students pulling the show, it’s the students acting on stage.”

The play was one of two shows that the theater program will put on during the 2022-23 school year. In the spring, the students will be performing a musical, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

“It’s about a group of middle schoolers at a spelling bee, and they’re all fighting to see who’s the best speller in their county,” Betts said. “It’s an audience interactive piece, which means the audience is allowed to be a part of the show, which is just so much fun for an actor.”
Tickets for the show can be bought for ten dollars at the theater, located at the main entrance to Holt High School at 5780 W. Holt Rd.

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