The masks young people present to their peers will be scrutinized Thursday when Katie Greenberg and a troupe of Stamford middle school kids take the stage.

The students will perform “We Wear the Mask,” a musical, penned by the Soul Writers at Turn of River Middle School, that gives an inside look at the life of a middle school student.

“It’s about people pretending or hiding who you are to fit in,” Katie said.

Soul Writers is a group of about 10 eighth graders who met after school to write the words and music for the show and create the choreography. Additional students perform in the show and orchestra and work backstage.

The students said they tried to make the characterizations realistic, based on their observations and experiences, without actually depicting any of their class mates. They feel everyone who sees the play will understand what it’s like to wear a mask and how it makes others feel.  

“We find part of ourselves in everyone,” Anabel Siegel said describing the characters in the play.

The show is inspired by the African­-American poet Paul Laurence Dunbar’s “We Wear the Mask.”  Copies were placed in each Turn of River classroom so that the rest of the school’s pupils would be familiar with the Soul Writers’ starting point.

Turn of River language arts teacher Dawn Greco started Project Soul four years ago. She would create the plays and music teacher Daryl Gregory the music based on student writings. Now, the students do it all themselves with guidance from Greco and Gregory.

There will be three showings of the play, Thursday at 12:45 and 7 p.m. and Friday at 9:15 a.m. Parents will be able to attend the Thursday evening performance.

What do you think of people “wearing masks”? Share your thoughts and experiences below or email them to reporter Anthony Buzzeo at