Third or nothing! 

Tiger Theatre Company held their fall play, “Puffs” 


Photo by Caden Rainwater

The group of wizards position themselves to prepare to cast a spell. The performance “Puffs” was held in the Sullivan Performing Arts Center Nov. 7-9.

Story by Peyton Sims and Cate Rounds

Spells have been cast. Battles have been fought. Friendships have been formed. And as a result, the curtain must fall. On Nov. 7-9, the Tiger Theatre Company put on the play “Puffs”, following the life of Wayne Hopkins and his friends as they try to survive 7 years at a certain magical school. This “Harry Potter” inspired comedy was one of the first mainstage productions that was directed by a student.

“It was a challenge in itself trying to figure out how to interact with the actors and to lead them and get them to understand how to achieve this vision that I had for the show,” student director Cate Rounds said. 

This was not only the first show of the year, but it was the first show Tiger Theatre Company performed during the pandemic. In order to follow coronavirus protocols, rows were sectioned off, and the actors, as well as the audience’s masks, remained on.

“Considering we had to put on the show while wearing masks, we had to fix some things within blocking to be sure everyone was a relatively good distance apart,” Rounds said. “We really had to work on diction and projection because even with mics, that really blocked the sound. It was a struggle, but we did it.”

Senior Miracle Shephard performs as Professor Lanny. The showing of “Puffs” was on Nov. 7, 8 and 9. (Photo by Peyton Sims )

As the last showing of “Puffs” approached, there obviously had to be an unexpected occurrence to send the cast and crew into panic: a character being quarantined. While luckily they were sent home due to exposure rather than symptoms, this still meant that another actor would have to jump into his place and learn his lines within 12 hours. 

“I was very nervous [to fill in for a character]. This was the first ever major role I had done in a play like this,” freshman understudy Tyler Unger said. “His character had a lot of energy, which was another issue I had to overcome. [The now quarantined actor] did all those roles very well, and I knew I would have big shoes to fill. I really wanted to do amazing for my fellow castmates. The hardest part was all of the entrances and quick changes. I really wanted to show, not only everyone else, but myself that I can do this, and I am capable of great things.”

The show has a very quick-paced script with many costume and character changes. The actors had to adjust to this new fast pacing along with master British accents.

“I am so proud of all of the cast’s time and effort they put into “Puffs.” It was an ensemble play that required all actors to be there at all times. I was inspired by their dedication to creating this magical world,” Theatre Instructor Melissa Newton said. 

Their momentary break from memorizing lines and attending hours worth of rehearsals won’t last for long. Auditions for the next Tiger Theatre Production are already under way.

“We are doing “Bright Star” the musical. It came out the same year Hamilton won everything, but it has always been one of my favorites. It is a fun, bluegrass musical that takes place in North Carolina in the 1920s and 1940s,” Newton said. We are currently looking for singers with a country or bluegrass quality to their voice.”

The company still has to follow COVID-19 restrictions with more adjustments now that singing is involved. The theatre is preparing in different ways to ensure the safety of all students and audience members.

“The actors have to wear masks and shields while singing, and there is a concert version just in case we have to go remote,” Newton said.

If any student is interested in starting off 2021 performing on stage or working in the tech booth, auditions are this upcoming Thursday, Nov. 19. Students can contact Newton at [email protected] for more information. 

Photo by Peyton Sims