EHS presents the ‘technical beast’ of a live show

Do you like comedy, live theater or JK Rowling’s Harry Potter series? If you answered yes to any of these questions then Edwardsville High School has the show for you.

Edwardsville High School presents comedy and performance in its fall play “Puffs or Seven More and More Busy Years in Some School of Magic and Magic” Wednesday through Saturday at 7:00 pm.

There will be a limited number of tickets available at the gate to allow for social distancing in ticket pools. Those wishing to see the show are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance from the accountant at the main EHS office. Tickets cost $ 5.

“Puffs or seven increasingly eventful years in a certain school of magic and wizardry” is a parody and comedic tale of JK Rowling’s Harry Potter book series, according to theater director Ashley Melton. The story follows events from the point of view of the “Puffs”, with 16 actors playing around 40 characters in a fast-paced game that spans the seven years spent in a certain school of magic and wizardry.

“The underlying beauty of this piece explores the idea that we are all protagonists of our own story and that in some way we are all someone’s main character,” Melton said.

“There is nothing better than magic and comedy, so a hilarious wizarding show is the best of both worlds,” said Lauren Bruss, junior at EHS. Bruss has appeared on four other main shows on EHS and enjoyed their aired version of “All Shook Up” last spring.

Ryan Whaley, a senior who appeared on 11 shows on EHS and three in college, is excited about the production.

“The majority of people who watch this performance will actually be able to relate to the show because the show is for anyone who is not meant to save the world,” Whaley said. “I’m ready to put on a show that can take people on a journey of self-realization in about 110 minutes.”

Melton said the rehearsals were “delicious” and she often finds her face hurts from smiling after a long rehearsal due to the wit and humor of the students.

“We are ready for a live audience! Said Melton. “I can’t wait for students to take ownership of their wonderful creation and revel in all the splendor of their hard work. “

Like so many other events, EHS coins weren’t typical of the past year. However, realizing that the show must go on, the EHS Theater has changed every aspect of its art form for productions to occur in one form or another.

Melton attributes their ability to do this to the “incredibly supportive” school district. She said EHS shows generally sell out.

“I believe this is the product of a wonderful theatrical community that exists here in Edwardsville,” said Melton. “Also, the theater program here has many years of incredibly supportive alumni dating back to the ’60s.”

“Plus, don’t brag, but our shows are really high quality productions,” Melton said.

More than 190 active theater participants worked to create costumes, props, sound, sets, lighting and advertising for the show and there are around 65 students running the show, according to Melton. These students rehearsed four days a week for eight to ten weeks before the technical week. Last week, students started practicing four and a half hours a day after school.

Many students are involved in several clubs and organizations, explained Melton. Several are involved in the EHS Student Council.

“An incredible amount of work goes into coordinating large-scale theatrical productions,” said Melton. She called the show a “technical beast” with over 600 light signals, 300 sound signals and thousands of quick costume changes.

“And if we’ve done our job right, it will seem effortless and you won’t even see 50% of the team behind the scenes,” said Melton.

“I’m thrilled that my senior fall show is going on and I’m thrilled to see how everything we’ve been working on over the past few months is put together to create the wonderful story that it’s meant to be,” Whaley noted.

Bruss hopes the audience enjoys “Puffs” as much as the cast.

“We’ve all put so much dedication into learning this show and putting the pieces together that now, after the dress rehearsals, the show has become an incredible combination of all of our talents,” said Bruss.

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