At the start of “Lockers,” a new play by Triumvirate Theater, a narrator says it doesn’t matter what year the story takes place, because the high school relationships at their core are timeless — the same in the ‘80s, in the ‘90s, and even in the 2020s.
Those timeless archetypes, tensions and friendships are set to take the stage this weekend and next at Nikiski Middle/High School.
The different cliques are brought to life by local actors, themselves in high school.
Leora McCaughey leads a pack of gossips rounded out with two other girls played by Oshie Broussard and Kry Spurgeon. Jackson Hooper plays “a nerd.” Jack Meyers plays his best friend, rarely out of arm’s reach. There’s a couple that breaks up a few times a day, played by Kyler Allen and Lucia Micciche, and a pack of theater kids working on their next show: Cora Fraizer, Rainy Jenness and Bowe Meyers led by an upperclassman played by Lily Craig.
At the center of it all are two “locker buddies,” played by Kincaid Jenness and Sophia Micciche. For their first three years of high school, they’ve had lockers next to each other — leading to them talking around six times each day, but only for around 30 seconds.
“Lockers” is written by Triumvirate President Joe Rizzo, and McCaughey said Tuesday that personal connection made the cast “super excited to put it on.”
McCaughey said that the show is based in part on Rizzo’s own high school experience, and that it captures the quintessential elements of those formative years, jocks, nerds, gossips, and especially drama.
The central conflict comes, McCaughey said, when a new high school enters construction nearby, and characters are forced to reckon with the possibility that they may be split up as they enter their senior year.
“All the trios and all the groups are figuring out if they’re going to this new school or not,” McCaughey said. “They’re all freaking out because they don’t want to leave each other.”
Hooper said that his character, the nerd, comes directly into that conflict as he sees one of his closest relationships threatened by the impending change.
“It’s all relatable. We’ve all lived something similar to this,” Hooper said.
That made “Lockers” easy for the actors to realize on stage, he said, but also allowed them to bring out “really emotional scenes” toward the show’s climax. Hooper said he was excited to see those scenes played out in front of a crowd.
Lockers will play this weekend and next in the Nikiski Middle/High School Auditorium. Shows are 7 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, Sept. 22, 23, 29 and 30. The show will also feature a special presentation of “The Internet is Distract- Oh Look, a Kitten!,” a short comedy.
Tickets can be purchased at triumviratetheatre.org, $20 for adults and $15 for students.
For more information about “Lockers” and about the Triumvirate Theatre, visit facebook.com/triumviratetheater.