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Sarasota High to present original play ‘Safe Keeping’ Nov. 16-18

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Cast 1-Safe Keeping SHS Nov 2017Cast 2-Safe Keeping SHS Nov 2017

PREMIERE PRODUCTION: In top photo, portraying adults in the Sarasota High production of “Safe Keeping,” are, from left, SHS students Miranda Marino, Katie Terres and Frankie Lowicz. Bottom photo: In the roles of football players are, from left, Andrew Sapienza, Sebastian Hassett and Jake Sheffield.

SARASOTA, Nov. 9, 2017 – Young actors at Sarasota High School will present “Safe Keeping,” a new original play. The playwright is SHS drama teacher Lacey Knispel, who says it is “a play about finding your way back home when you have no home to go back to.” The show runs Thursday-Saturday, Nov. 16-18, at 7 p.m., with a matinee performance at 2 p.m. on Saturday. Tickets are available online at SHStheater.com. Prices are $8 for students and $10 for adults.

In this touching and relevant new play about teen issues of the early 2000s, we follow Alex and her friends, Cori and Ben, as they try to navigate life and find their ways back home. In the plot, Alex just lost her job... again. When her best friends try to cheer her up with a girls’ night in, they break out their old high school notes, and we find out just how much the past has affected her future.

Knispel presented the play to the cast of student actors and they workshopped it under her direction. The play briefly touches on issues specific to the time period —  hinting at the strange transition for kids who grew up in the prosperity of the 1990s but became adults during the recession — but some of the issues span generations. Things like family illness, identity, abandonment and just being a teenager are topics that really hit home for some of the young actors.

“Having the students involved early on in the process has been a huge asset,” said Knispel. “They have really enjoyed being a part of developing the story and creating original characters. Watching the characters come to life and develop as the actors interpreted my vision was the most exciting part for me. Even though the time period wasn’t that long ago, we had to do some research so the kids could understand that life really was different back then.

“My favorite part was taking them thrift shopping and seeing their faces as I picked out clothes they found absolutely hideous that I used to wear. We listened to music, talked about the events of that time, and discussed the implications of 9/11, the war in Afghanistan, and the economic recession. It's been quite the journey.”

Senior Frankie Lowicz, student director of “Safe Keeping,” said, “Watching this show grow into what it is has made it all worth it. From writing workshops to costume trips, to run-through after run-through, it has been one amazing ride!”

Sarasota High School is located at 2155 Bahia Vista St., Sarasota.

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