PUFFS Jan. 18-28, 2024

PUFFS

Or Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic and Magic

PUFFS, or Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic and Magic

January 18-28, 2024

Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Jan. 18, 19 & 20, and Jan. 25, 26 & 27, at 7:30pm
Sunday, Jan. 21 & 28, 2pm

Directed by Marianne Phinney
Written by Matt Cox

We’ve all heard about a certain boy who went to a particular school of Wizardry and conquered Evil. This…is not his story. This is the story of the Puffs. The people who sat next to him in class. A story for anyone never destined to save the world. Puffs is a fast-paced inventive comedy about three unlikely heroes just trying to make it through school…alive. Whether you are a fan of the original or not, you’ll love the Puffs.

Note: The show contains adult language. Parental discretion advised.

Puffs is an unauthorized parody. It is not endorsed, sanctioned, or in any other way supported directly or indirectly by Warner Bros. Entertainment, the Harry Potter book publishers, Sonia Friedman Productions or J.K. Rowling and her representatives.

CAST

Kelly McGowan (Narrator)
Graysen Mortimer (Wayne Hopkins)
J. Michael Whalen (Oliver Rivers)
Delenn Martin (Megan Jones)
Craig Lampert-Soto (Ernie Mac and others)
Morgan S. Flynn (Hannah and others)
Mark Prokes (J. Finch Fletchley and others)
Amy Klesert (Leanne and others)
Melissa Myers (Sally Perks and others)
Danica Aldrich (Susie Bones and others)
Michael Reardon (Cedric and others)

About the original off-Broadway hit show!

Cast Bios

J. Michael Whalen
J. Michael Whalen

J. Michael Whalen (Oliver Rivers) is thrilled to be part of this amazing cast. Mike is making his third appearance overall with Mass Arts Center and the first since last year’s production of Measure for Measure. He has performed with numerous groups south of Boston, including The Bay Players, Canton Community Theatre, Cohasset Dramatic Club, Curtain Call Theatre, Dragonfly Theater, North River Theater, and others. Mike thanks God for His countless gifts and blessings, and his wife Deirdre for her endless love and support. He hopes you enjoy the show!

Graysen Mortimer
Graysen Mortimer

Grayson Mortimer (Wayne Hopkins) is excited to make his Mass Arts debut as Wayne Hopkins in Puffs! This is his second time doing the show, as he played J. Finch at the Milford Performing Arts Center in 2023. He is excited about working with a talented bunch and embracing every moment that comes with the show! Some of his other performances are A Christmas Carol and Much Ado About Nothing with Roundabout Productions, The Government Inspector at Milford, and Careless People: A Great Gatsby, Rumors, and the Man in Seat 24 while attending Bryant University. Special thank you to Marianne Phinney and Jenn Rich for putting on this play! Enjoy the show!

Delenn Martin
Delenn Martin

Delenn Martin (Megan Jones, she/her) is simply chuffed to be a Puff in this fun show (no matter what Megan says)! Making her debut at the Mass Arts Center, she was recently seen as Isaac Jaggard (The Book of Will, Ghost Light Players). Perhaps unseen, she also works offstage as a Stage Manager and Assistant Director (King Lear, Gazebo Players). As a lifelong performer, Delenn is grateful to be back on the stage with such a great cast and creative team. And oh my wizard god – she has to thank her partner and favorite Puff, Jae, for all their support.

Mark Prokes
Mark Prokes

Mark Prokes (J. Finch Fletchley and others) HIIIIIIIII!!!! BACK BY “POPULAR” DEMAND! Mark Prokes is here in his 3rd production at Mass Arts Center, this absolute madman had performed in 10 shows last year, and two of them were right here! Those two being Claudio/Elbow in Measure for Measure, and… a whole bunch of Broadway celebrities in Forbidden Broadway’s Greatest Hits. In other locales, he also appeared as Mr. Bumble in Oliver, George Hay in Moon Over Buffalo, Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing, and one time… Jesus. Oh, and he’s also been in Puffs once before. That was a time… He is also a frequent director in various locals, most recently having adapted and directed a production of The Government Inspector by Nikolai Gogol down in Milford. He promises he’ll take things easier in the New Year… maybe. We’ll circle back to that after his next project, directing a production of The Wizard of Oz in March over in Millis! So… yeah. Enjoy~

Michael Reardon
Michael Reardon

Michael Reardon (Cedric/Mr. Voldy) is delighted to be performing in his first production at the Mass Arts Center, where he enjoys his role on the board of directors. Michael was last seen starring in Thirsty at the Rockwell Theater in Somerville, MA and just wrapped filming of The Other Christmas Show where he played the role of Jeremy. He has earned a doctorate from Boston College and performs with his band Relapse throughout the New York City club circuit. Michael is grateful for his family’s support and ecstatic to once again be acting in the Boston theater community. 

Danica Aldrich
Danica Aldrich

Danica Aldrich (Susie Bones, Myrtle and others) (she/her) is delighted to be making her Mass Arts Center debut in Puffs as Susie Bones, Myrtle and others! She has been an avid fan of a certain boy wizard since the tender age of 11 (still waiting on that letter…). Her previous roles include Trish in Kinky Boots (HOPE Community Theatre), Jack’s Mother in Into the Woods (HOPE), Gargoyle in The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Academy Players of RI) and Agatha Trunchbull in Matilda (AP). In her free time Danica enjoys cosplay, cooking and smothering her dogs with love. She would like to thank her family and friends for their ongoing support! IG: @Dannilizbeth  

Morgan Flynn
Morgan Flynn

Morgan Flynn (Hannah/Xavia and others) is thrilled to be living her wizarding fantasy in Puffs! Morgan is a Boston-based teaching artist and director, and Education Manager of Greater Boston Stage Company in Stoneham. She earned her BFA in Theatre Performance from Salem State University. Recently, she co-directed Ramona Quimby at Needham Community Theater. Magic managed! 

Kelly McGowan
Kelly McGowan

Kelly McGowan (Narrator/Choreographer) is thrilled to be back on stage at the Mass Arts Center! This is her second show here after Sweeney Todd in the Fall of 2022. Some of her favorite past roles include Regan (King Lear, Gazebo Players of Medfield), and Shona (Top Girls, Ghostlight Players). Kelly would like to thank the cast and production team for creating such a fun and magical environment to act in. She’d also like to thank her family for their love and support.

Melissa Myers
Melissa Myers

Melissa Myers (Sally Perks and others) is a senior at Dean College who is about to graduate with a BFA in musical theatre. She was last seen on the Dean College MainStage as Sylvia in All Shook Up! last November. This is her 3rd time performing on the Mass Arts stage, previously performing as Gretchen in Freaky Friday and in the ensemble of Urinetown. Most recently, Melissa performed at the South Shore Music Circus as the “By My Side” soloist in Godspell. She is so excited to bring Sally Perks to life in this hilariously vulgar spoof. Melissa would like to thank all of her educators and friends at Dean for constantly pushing her to learn and grow. As always, Melissa would like to dedicate every show, every day, and every breath to her dad in heaven.

Amy Klesert
Amy Klesert

Amy Klesert (Leanne and others) is excited to perform at Mass Arts Center for the first time and to be a part of this hilariously fun production! Some of her favorite past roles include Red in The Love Talker, Gertrude in both Hamlet and The Fifteen-Minute Hamlet, Lady Macbeth in Macbeth, Tybalt in Romeo and Juliet, and Essie in You Can’t Take It With You. She also enjoys working behind the scenes and has served as producer on many shows with the Gazebo Players of Medfield, The Psych Drama Company, and at Brandeis University.

Craig Lampert-Soto
Craig Lampert-Soto

Craig Lampert-Soto (Ernie Mac and others) Hi!!! Craig is thrilled to be back in theatre after a short hiatus, taking the time to foster and adopt his children. This will be his debut performance with the Mass Arts Center. His previous roles have included Professor Plum (Clue),  Roger Tramplemain (Noises Off), Stephano (The Tempest), Ross (Macbeth), and the role of Adam (The Compleat Wrks of Wllm Shkspr (abridged)).  He could not have done this without the support of his family, especially his husband, Tony. 

Marianne Phinney
Marianne Phinney

Marianne Phinney (Director, Props, she/her) is delighted to finally mount Puffs, after discovering it on BroadwayHD several years ago. Past Mass Arts Center/MMAS directing efforts include Forbidden Broadway’s Greatest Hits and The Odd Couple (Female Version). Other productions include Disenchanted!, Calendar Girls, Radium Girls, The Great American Trailer Park Musical, Summer and Smoke, Something’s Afoot, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, and the New England premiere of Hollywood Arms (Walpole Footlighters), Forbidden Broadway and The Women (Needham Community Theater), Return Engagements (Milton Players), A Midsummer Night’s Dream, All’s Well That Ends Well, The Winter’s Tale, Comedy of Errors, The Taming of the Shrew, and Much Ado About Nothing (Gazebo Players) and several virtual productions during the pandemic. Her most recent stage appearances include Shir Ovimself in Reality Romance, Duke Vincentio in Measure for Measure, Mrs. Gottlieb in Dead Man’s Cell Phone (Mass Arts Center/MMAS), the title role in Red Hot Patriot: The Kick-Ass Wit of Molly Ivins (Walpole Footlighters, Roundabout Productions), and Queen Gertrude in Hamlet (Dragonfly Theater). Marianne has served as a judge for the METG High School Drama Festival since 2005.

Jennifer Rich
Jennifer Rich

Jennifer Rich (Stage Manager, Props) returns to the Mass Arts Center to manage the mischief of this talented and crazy cast. She has previously stage managed for Mass Arts Center, Roundabout Productions, and the world premier of Queen Boudica: a metal opera. She has directed for numerous groups in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Productions include Macbeth (Enter Stage Left), Other Desert Cities (The Walpole Footlighters), Absolutely Murder (TCAN), and As You Like It (The Glass Horse Project/Reverie Theatre). She received her B.A. in theatre arts from Bridgewater State University; graduating magna cum laude with additional honors recognition. Many thanks to Mass Art for this opportunity. Much love to Rob, Laurel, Haley, my siblings, and the Rich family. 

Anthony Liapis (Lighting Designer) is happy to return to the Mass Arts Center after designing the lighting for Dead Man’s Cell Phone and The Odd Couple (Female Version). Tony works for 4Wall and Advanced Production and Design and was the Technical Coordinator at the Marilyn Rodman Performing Arts Center in Foxboro, where he designed the lights for many of the productions. He has been designing lights for the Walpole Footlighters and other community theaters for over fifteen years. Recent productions include Red Hot Patriot, The Mystery of Miz Arnette, Flemming, The Savannah Sipping Society, The Great American Trailer Park Musical, Summer and Smoke, and Something’s Afoot. Tony received a DASH Consultant’s Choice Award with Chris Sabatino for Excellence in Projection Programming for You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown. He was also nominated for a DASH Award for Best Lighting Design (Play) for Radium Girls.

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