Eighth-graders at Sells Middle School are looking into their past to gain inspiration for this week's production of "How to Eat Like a Child and Other Lessons in Not Being a Grown-Up."

Eighth-graders at Sells Middle School are looking into their past to gain inspiration for this week's production of "How to Eat Like a Child and Other Lessons in Not Being a Grown-Up."

The eighth-grade production, based on a book by Delia Ephron, will take the stage of the 1919 Building at 144 West Bridge Street at 7 p.m. Feb. 24 and 25, and 2:30 p.m. Feb. 26.

The musical gives advice on laughing hysterically, having a birthday party and torturing your sister, among other things.

Eighth-grader Sydney Elkins said the biggest lesson is letting go of maturity and having a little fun.

"We're teaching adults that even when you're an adult, you can still act like a kid," she said.

"What we teach is how to act immaturely," said Robbie Markus.

The actors in the production go by their first names on stage and said the whole thing is rather casual - and they really like wearing jeans and T-shirts on stage.

"We don't have to dress up," Markus said.

"It's really fun," Elkins agreed. "And we get to wear T-shirts. It's really laid back."

But there are other reasons for students to enjoy the production.

"My favorite scene is when the kids are begging their parents for a dog," Sivan Dayan said.

Markus favors a scene he takes center stage in.

"My favorite scene is where I'm doing a solo on it being my birthday and it being my favorite day of the year," he said.

For Elkins, the fun is using her own personality on stage.

"I like it when they tell us to be something like goofy because that's me," she said.

Students in "How to Eat Like a Child and Other Lessons in Not Being a Grown-Up" were busy at work on President's Day, when others had the day off. Practice ran from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Dayan said she's happy to devote hours outside of school to the production.

"I love acting," she said. "I don't know if I'm good at singing, but the show is really fun. And my mom was an actor. She went to school in the performing arts."

A love for acting and singing has brought Markus to theater productions since the sixth grade.

"I really like to act and to sing," he said. "I'm already involved in the choir, so this is one more thing for me to do."

Addiction draws Elkins.

"I like to do plays and singing and acting year-round," she said. "I guess I'm hooked on it."

Tickets are $3 for adults and $2 for students, and can be purchased at the door.