Arts & Humanities

Utah State Theatre Parodies a Certain School of Magic in Puffs

By Whitney Schulte |

Jonah Newton, Brooklyn Bullard and Ben Quiroz in "Puffs." Costumes by Lydia Semler and Addie Mulholland. Hair by Kenlyn Shettlesworth. Props by Arden Fayard. (Photo Credit: Andrew McAllister)

LOGAN – Puffs, or Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic and Magic by Matt Cox opens in USU’s Black Box Theatre on Wednesday, Feb. 8.

The show runs at 7 p.m. Feb. 8, 13-14, at 7 and 10 p.m. February 9-, and 1 and 7 p.m. Feb.

Puffs is a comedy that follows the escapades of a group of student wizards who have not been the heroes of their own story. Playwright Matt Cox describes these characters as “funny, intelligent, silly, heartwarming, a little worn and slightly ignored.”

The show is guest directed by stage director and teaching artist Brittania Howe. Howe gradated with dual degrees in classical acting and theatre education from Southern Utah University. She has worked with Nomad Theatre Company, the Cabaret Theatre, Coalescence Theatre Company, the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center, the Utah Shakespeare Festival, and the Illinois Shakespeare Festival. Howe received her MFA in directing from Illinois State University. She is the founder of Women of Will, an organization dedicated to providing artistic opportunities for women through classic texts. Howe recently directed the touring production of Illinois Shakespeare Festival’s traveling production of Romeo & Juliet and wrote and directed Utah Shakespeare Festival’s Greenshow.

Howe says the premise of Puffs is simple: no one really wants to be a Puff, not even the Hufflepuffs.

“The story echoes themes from the original Harry Potter stories,” Howe said. “It’s ultimately about finding your purpose and your place in the world. How does one become the hero of one’s own life?”

Howe calls Puffs a “charming, entertaining, and fast-paced comedy that is very stylized.” She has seen the show produced before and thinks it is more than a parody.

“This is not just a spoof, although it is certainly entertaining to see individuals impersonate our favorite Potter characters,” Howe said. “The Puffs characters are all fully realized. They go through difficult journeys, deal with death, personal identity, relationships, and what it means to feel significant in the world at large.”

Every Harry Potter fan should see the show to come face-to-face with beloved literary characters and the cultural phenomena that comes with Hogwarts, Howe noted.

“The actors are firecrackers, the design is gorgeous, and I laugh every night at rehearsal even when I know the joke is coming,” Howe said. “We’ve made a show that is approachable for those who have not read the books or seen the movies.”

Howe hopes that audiences are not only entertained by the wit of the show but also wants them to believe the coming-of-age story about growing up and becoming your own hero.

Tickets for Puffs are $10-15 and free for USU students with ID. For more information or tickets, contact the CCA Box Office in room L101 of the Chase Fine Arts Center on USU’s campus, call 435-797-8022, or go online to


Whitney Schulte
Public Relations Specialist
Caine College of the Arts


Whitney Schulte
Public Relations Specialist
Caine College of the Arts


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