Otherworld Theatre, a company founded and led by Columbia College Chicago Theatre Department alumni, is getting rave reviews for its production of the unauthorized Harry Potter parody Puffs, Or: Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic and Magic, running through July 23. The theatre is located at 3914 N. Clark in Chicago. For tickets, click here.
The show’s co-director and production designer is Columbia College alum Tiffany Keane Schaefer ’12, a graduate of the Theatre Department’s Theatre Directing program. Schaefer founded Otherworld Theatre in 2012 as a company dedicated to developing and producing theatrical entertainment in the science fiction and fantasy genres.
“Otherworld Theatre’s latest production offers a unique experience for Harry Potter enthusiasts and theater lovers alike, delving into the captivating journey of seven years at a particular school of magic and focusing not on the main wizard but on the Puffs who just happened to be there at the time,” wrote Chicago Reader criticThe energy of the cast and the well-executed pacing of the narration contributes to an engaging and dynamic performance. . . . Addressing a significant controversy surrounding the source material, it is worth mentioning that Puffs was written in 2015 by Matt Cox, prior to widespread awareness of J.K. Rowling’s controversial statements about transgender people, particularly trans women. Codirectors Tiffany Keane Schaefer and Vhenan Armitage Strange thoughtfully included a note acknowledging this context, which added a touch of consideration and relevance to the production. Additionally, Otherworld is pledging a percentage of ticket sales to Howard Brown Health’s trans health care initiatives.”
“Otherworld Theatre Company’s production of Puffs, Or: Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic and Magic is a fun take on the story of the most famous boy wizard in pop culture,” wrote Newcity critic Christine Trevino in her review of the show, adding: “This is an earnest, funny show, though not without poignant moments. Otherworld Theatre itself is a lovely, cozy venue, and this continues onto the Ray Bradbury stage. The Puffs set, by co-director and production designer Tiffany Keane Schaefer, is welcoming—beautiful and functional—with a diamond-patterned floor and doors that open and close. The ensemble is fantastic and constantly in motion. . . . It’s a joy to watch this talented cast, who make it all look effortless. You’ll have fun just watching them have fun.”