“The Wolves” Review

By Megan DeHart

I recently attended a performance of Sarah DeLappe’s 2016 play, The Wolves. The play centers around a youth soccer team, as they prepare for their weekend games. Throughout the play, each of the players learn more about each other and the world around them. A unique aspect of this play is the main characters are all adolescent women. While they mention the various adults in their lives (coaches, parents, etc.), the entire 96-minute runtime focuses on them and their growth. This choice allows the audience to understand and cheer for the women like we are watching a soccer game. To add to the youthful nature of the characters, they have age-appropriate dialogue, with profanity, interruptions, and constant side conversations. It felt realistic to the spirits of the characters. The setting of the play is also unique, as it takes place during their practices and not their games. Using the practices as the setting for the play allows the audience to get to know each character as their off-the-field selves and not as the athletes scoring goals.

I loved the performance! I thought each of the actors understood and embodied their complex characters. A standout scene for me was the ending. Due to a tragedy on the team, the Wolves believe that they might have to forfeit their game against the Hornets. Throughout the play, I noticed the personality differences between the women. #46 was the overly excited new girl who wanted to fit in with the rest of the team, #7 was the rebel of the group, #13 was the stoner of the group, etc. This scene challenged the actors, and I appreciated that. They had to find a way to maintain pieces of their characterizations but also acknowledge that these are young women going through grief. The actors pull it off for a beautiful scene with sniffles heard all around the theater! I also need to commend their soccer skills. The digital program mentioned a thank you to the coaches and athletes on Shenandoah’s soccer team for helping the actors prepare back in November of last year. The coordination of their blocking along with the delivery of their dialogue led to an accurate and beautiful show!

If anyone knows of a theater company putting on this show, I highly recommend they seek this out! We are the Wolves!

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