Enchanting audiences with “Puffs”

Conjuring up their magical talents and trusty wands, Diamond Bar High School’s fall production, “Puffs,” rose above and beyond the expectations. Complete with activities from their pre-show Wizarding 101 Experience, the apparent effort of the entire crew to make a comeback definitely showed throughout not only the performance itself, but also its preparation.

“In the Sorting, the guests would spin a wheel and be placed in a house, whether that be as a “Brave,” a “Smart,” a “Snake” or a “Puff.” After the Sorting, the guest would choose their wand from an array of hand-crafted and painted wands,” Cal Pacis, who played the role of Sally Perks in the production, said. “Later on, when the young wizards have completed their puzzles, they would be given the ingredients to create a potion of their choice.”

“Puffs” tells the story of Wayne Hopkins (sophomore Eden Wright), his two best friends, Oliver Rivers (sophomore Angelina Tesoro) and Megan Jones (junior Aeron McCoy), and their adventures as Hufflepuffs in the magical world of Harry Potter. From humorous scenes to budding teenage romance, this year’s production was definitely one to remember.

Right from the start of the performance, I knew the cast had been tailored specifically to fit the warm and friendly nature that defines the Hufflepuffs’ house.

One character that I found particularly interesting was Jones, given her initial arrogance towards her fellow Puffs. However, as the story line progresses, with the help of her new friends and roommates, her loyal and kind personality shines through. Jones’ journey of finding herself encapsulates the underlying theme and overarching message of the play: the importance of friendship and self-appreciation. It is through her character that there’s a contrast to the generic traits associated with Hufflepuffs, overall enhancing the storyline.

The production as a whole was cohesive; this was especially so in scenes one and two, which were performed with outstanding executions in lighting and dialogue. Several times throughout the two scenes, what a character said and most importantly, how they said it was mirrored by not only the color of the lighting, but also the ways in which they appeared. For instance, if a character was mad, a bright flash of red lighting flickered, but, if a character was sad, a muted blue would gradually become more saturated.

Lighting aside, whether it be the fully functional doors and the rolling sets or the perfectly timed special effects, the transition from setting to setting was practically flawless. Created and produced by DBHS’ Stagecraft crew, the sets were painted to look as realistic as possible, and each painting on the backdrop of the entire performance was unique to specific aspects of the story line.

Taking into consideration the fact that this performance was the first in-person show since the 2019-2020 school year, the Drama Department performed exceptionally well, reconnecting its audience with one of DBHS’ most reputable skills: student-led productions.