Geeks, posers, jocks, mean girls and wannabes.

Kendall Krebsbach believes everyone will recognize the characters of Playmakers of Baton Rouge's "13 the Musical."

"It doesn't matter how old you are," she said. "You can be 13 or you can be in your 50s. Almost everyone went to middle school, and they've had these experiences and memories that have stayed with them. So, almost everyone will be able to relate to this show."

The show opens Thursday, April 25, in the LSU Studio Theatre. 

Krebsbach directs the cast of teenagers in this musical about 12-year-old Evan Goldman, played by Joshua Tregre, who has been transplanted from New York to Appleton, Indiana, after his parents' breakup. He's out of his element, about to turn 13, and he'll celebrate his birthday with his bar mitzvah.

Evan wants to be accepted by the cool kids at his new school, so he devises a plan to get them to attend his ceremony.

"He thinks that if he can get them there, he will be accepted," Krebsbach said. "But he's not really a part of their group, either."

Tony Award-winning Jason Robert Brown's rock score will be performed on a piano on the minimalist set. And though the characters aren't exactly caricatures, they are somewhat stereotyped as symbols of middle school.

There are the popular mean girls, Lucy and Kendra, played by high school sophomore Gwen Roland and junior Kendall Claire Lamont. Archie, played by seventh grader Thomas Aulet, is hopelessly in love with Kendra, who will never return his feelings because he's not only awkward but physically disabled.

Anna-Beth Henley plays Archie's best friend, Patrice, the geeky girl everyone mocks. Patrice is Evan's next-door neighbor, and she's crushing on him.

Rounding out the circle is the school's most popular boy, Brett, played by Logan Burge. Evan attempts to win Brett's friendship lead to a series of mishaps, one of which humiliates Patrice and draws the wrath of Lucy and Kendra.

The story creates a web of angst, laying the foundation for a madcap middle school comedy.

For Tregre, the play represents something more.

"Eighth grade was a time when I realized I needed to start thinking what I wanted to do in life," he said. "I didn't have any interests or stable friendships, and I became a part of something that was fun and there were people who had the same interests as me."

That "something" was the theater.

"I didn't move from one school to another where I didn't know anyone, but I can relate to Evan in being alone," Tregre said. "But I found my place in the theater."     


'13 the Musical'

A Playmakers of Baton Rouge production

WHEN: 7 p.m. April 25-26; 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. April 27; 2 p.m. April 28.

WHERE: Studio Theatre, LSU Music and Dramatic Arts Building, Dalrymple Drive.

TICKETS/INFO: $21; $15.75 for ages 2-11. Groups of 10 or more get a 10% discount. (225) 578-6996 or playmakersbr.org


Follow Robin Miller on Twitter, @rmillerbr.