What has Kingwood Theatre been up to during this pandemic? COVID-19 has not stopped the theatre department from making beautiful art. For the Varsity show this year, Kingwood Theatre did Puffs, a 110 minute play about everything that happened in Harry Potter, but told from the perspective of the Hufflepuffs, or the “Puffs.” Because of copyright issues, throughout the play they were not allowed to mention names of certain things from the Harry Potter universe. This became a quite comedic thing, because many of the names of things and characters had to be changed, for example, Hogwarts was “A Certain School of Magic and Magic” and Draco Malfoy became “Blondo Malfoy.” Because of COVID, the theatre could not be at full capacity and parties of audience members had to social distance and wear masks. Nevertheless, the show sold out every night and everyone had a blast.
Something I observed from being a part of Puffs is that it seems to be much easier to be perceived as funny in theatre if you are a boy. Though there were a lot of funny female characters in Puffs, the male characters in Puffs allowed for a lot more freedom and risk-taking that let them be even more funny and memorable. In general, female characters in comedy are a lot more surface-level and tend to fall into categories of “the annoying one” (like Leanne and Susie Bones from Puffs, or Leslie Knope from Parks and Recreation), “the hypersexual one” (like Sally Perks and Ginny from Puffs, or Midge Maisel from The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel), or “the dumb one” (like Hannah from Puffs, or Karen from Mean Girls). Even the funniest characters that were played by girls in Puffs usually were male (or inhuman) characters, like Harry Potter or Bippy. In my observation, I have seen too many women being put down and told they are not funny. There is an unfortunate stereotype that “women aren’t funny,” but I personally know so many hilarious women. Society in general tends to perceive women as more two-dimensional, especially in their humor, when in reality that is just not true. In theatre, work must be put in to combat these stereotypes and develop female characters that are funny because they are able to have the freedom to be more creative and witty.
Upcoming theatre productions include The Wedding Singer, the musical based off of the movie starring Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore. Performances will be January 14th-16th and 21st-23rd at 7pm and matinees Jan 16th and 23rd at 2pm. Tickets will be on sale soon at kingwoodtheatre.com. Get your tickets online early, because seating is limited due to COVID-19 restrictions.