The life of a middle school student isn’t always easy.

The Cape Elizabeth Middle School is putting on a production of “Lockers” by Jeremy Kruse. The 12-scene play deals with the various struggles of a middle school student, and this is what appeals to the young actors taking part in the production.

“It is nice each scene has its own story: the ups, downs and fights of middle school,” said fifth-grader John Kennealy, who said he identifies with the play’s subject matter because it deals with many of the things that happen in school. Kennealy, 10, is working as a technical assistant: moving furniture, scattering leaves and changing backdrops.

He said when attending Pove Cove Elementary he always wanted to take part in the middle school plays and now he has his chance. One thing he has learned so far is “there are a lot more people involved with the play than are on the stage.” Someday, Kennealy hopes to do the lights for a production.

Drama co-directors Kathleen Heenan-Tuttle and Deborah Keefe, both in their first year, were busy arranging kids and technology on Monday afternoon during a Nov. 27 rehearsal.

“It’s coming together into a good, solid production,” said Tuttle. She said they are currently working on tech-week, a tough week that involves combining all the stage lighting and sounds with the acting the group has been working on up to this point.

“It’s a great play for young actors,” said Tuttle. She said the play works on basic character development for the actors and actresses and has numerous scenes, which allows for each member of a large cast to get a big part. The play is also well written, a rarity among middle school plays, said Tuttle.

The first scene of the play, “moving,” involves two best friends who have recently been in a fight. The fight becomes insignificant when one of the friends reveals she has to move away.

Fifth-grader Shannon Howard, 10, and sixth-grader Clarice Diebold, 11, brought the scene to life during Monday’s rehearsal. They found a timing that brought out both the tenderness and humor of the short scene. The young actresses also had great projection from their small frames, something that’s often difficult for young voices.

“It’s fun,” said Diebold of acting. She was in two productions with the school last year. She said she enjoyed acting and the “aspect of being someone different than you really are.” Diebold said she likes “Lockers” because it “addresses difficult problems of young adults that’re relatable.”

Howard has done some community theatre but enjoyed the school production because she got to work with her friends. She agreed that the students liked the play because they related to it in a very personal way.

While the play took up a lot of time after school, Howard said she didn’t mind because she does not like going home to start on her homework. She said she would like to keep acting her whole life, even if it is just for fun.

“It’s always fun to dream,” said Diebold about becoming an actress. She expects to continue acting as a hobby.

The fall debut of “Lockers” will be at 2:35 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 1, in the school cafetorium. Performances will also be at 7 p.m. on Dec. 1 and at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 3. Tickets are $3.

Shannon Howard, left, and Clarice Diebold act out the first scene of ‘Lockers’ during a rehearsal of the Cape middle school’s fall drama production. Shannon Howard, left, and Clarice Diebold at the end of their scene, Moving, in the upcoming Cape middle school production of ‘Lockers’.


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