‘PUFFS’ cast reflect on NC theater involvement


Kirchhoff and Robinson rehearse their scenes in preparation for opening night. The “PUFFS” cast and crew run through multiple tech rehearsals in the week leading up to their perormances.

Cailyn Robertson, Sports Editor

“PUFFS”, a parody of the Harry Potter book series by J.K. Rowling, was in production since the end of February. Auditions started off the six-week long development of the play. It is the last NC Theater production of the 2022-2023 school year.

The NC Theater collaborates students from each class in the common goal of producing a diverse array of plays and musicals. It is a program many freshmen look forward to joining upon entering NC, and once that many seniors are sad to leave upon graduating.

This is the case for senior Demar Robinson and freshman Ada Kirchhoff.

Robinson is in his second and final year with NC Theater, having begun his participation with the program in the midst of his junior year. 

“I wanted to do Spelling Bee my sophomore year, but I didn’t because I was still at home during COVID. But I got in right away. I didn’t do Mamma Mia because I was still pretty scared about doing theater, but One Acts came around in 2022 and that was a really great time,” Robinson said.

Since his role in the 2022 Winter One Acts, where he played Terry in “Squad Goals”, Robinson has been a part of “The Giver”, doing tech for the play, “Into the Woods”, playing the wolf, 2023 Winter One acts, narrating for “Game of Tiras”, and now “PUFFS”, where he played Wayne Hopkins as the lead of the play.

Though his role in “Game of Tiras” was, in a way, a lead role, portraying Wayne Hopkins was the biggest role Robinson has tackled.

“I had the majority of the lines and it was a lot. It was a little bit stressful trying to memorize what lines go where and what exactly the line is, as well as getting my cue right. But I have the lead and that was so much fun. The pressure is on though, but it’s been fun,” Robinson said.

Despite the pressure, this has been his favorite role. 

Robinson has acquired many takeaways from the program. His participation has revealed the depth of performing that goes farther than the acting on the stage. 

“What intrigues me the most per se is the lighting stage cues and all that. Yeah, you can have a play and you can have blocking and you can have actors and acting, but without the lighting, without the cues and differing special effects that we add, it just, it doesn’t feel the same if you don’t have those things,” Robinson said.

He has also been able to develop on and off the stage, taking notes from rehearsals into his involvement in NC News.

“Biggest takeaway is, and Mr. King would tell you, I need to enunciate. Enunciate all of your words. No one likes going to a play and they can’t hear what you’re saying,” Robinson said.

As a senior, Robinson has been able to witness the development of the underclassmen and has especially been impressed with the newcomers of the class of 2026.

“I wanna shout out Ben Milata and Ada Kirchhoff. They are freshmen and they had big roles in their first production, their first spring play. That’s huge, making yourself known,” Robinson said.

Kirchhoff performed in her third production in the NC Theater program as she took on the role of Leanne. She has previously performed in the Winter One Acts play “Game of Tiaras” and the fall musical “Into the Woods”.

Her time with NC Theater has had a positive impact on her first year of high school, introducing her to many new people as they bond over their hard work and passions.

“It feels really welcoming. It’s a nice community and I’ve made a lot of new friends through that. It’s gotten to be such a non-toxic community and it just has a lot of welcoming people. I just love the people,” Kirchhoff said.

She especially appreciated her participation in “PUFFS”, claiming that the unique character of the play and the atmosphere created by the cast and crew made the process of production very enjoyable.

“It was just a fun, funny play to participate in. Rehearsals are always fun, we make eachother laugh, so it was just a really enjoyable experience,” Kirchhoff said.

Both Kirchhoff and Robinson highly anticipated opening night of “PUFFS”, embracing the bittersweetness that comes with the end of a production.

“The biggest thing that I love is getting the bows at the end of the play. Bows, go up, down, and get my applause; I just love the ending of it, not because it is over but because you’ve worked so hard that it’s finally like the thing you look forward to in a production,” Robinson said.

Similarly, Kirchhoff is looking forward not just to performing, but the events that follow after as well. 

“I was looking forward to just seeing all of the people I know are coming and being able to see how the whole show comes together after our hard work,” Kirchhoff said.

While Kirchhoff will be returning in the 2023-2024 school year, “PUFFS” marks the end of Robinson’s time at North Central and with NC Theater. As he looks back on his experiences, he advises those interested in participating in programs like NC Theater to do so as fast as they can.

“Don’t wait like I did junior year to finally get involved. If you can get involved, get involved so quickly because it will help you out so much,” Robinson said.

Though sad to be leaving the program, Robinson is glad that its future rests in the hands of students like Kirchhoff.