To See or Not to See: The Wolves
See why two Pop-Culturalist writers highly recommend The Wolves:
The Wolves opens on a group of teenage girls as they warm up for a soccer match. They banter, talk about the Khmer Rouge and periods within the same conversation, and stretch. Personalities are revealed as the young women talk: one is the loud, foul-mouthed one, used to being outrageous. Another is a soft heart who knits scarves for “Mexican children in cages.” Yet another is a bit of an oddball who is homeschooled. And yet, as the play progresses, more and more facets of each character are revealed in a way that keeps the audience engaged, and also depicts fully-formed people that feel very real. The dialogue is natural, and the characters compelling. Playwright Sarah DeLappe knows how teenage girls speak to one another, and she also knows how to build suspense, even with an almost entirely dialogue-driven play. All of the actresses do a fantastic job inhabiting their roles–a standout is Lizzy Jutila who has a solo scene in which both her emotional and athletic range are on display. This play is a must-see, especially for anyone who is tired of the one-dimensional way in which women are often portrayed in media.
After an incredibly successful off-Broadway run last year, The Wolves is back. A Pulitzer Prize finalist this year, The Wolves is a brilliant coming-of-age drama that centers on a teenage girls soccer team.
Sarah DeLappe has written an ensemble play that really captures the emotions and struggles girls face. When their indoor soccer team gathers each weekend, we get a glimpse into the girls’ lives over the course of several months. The dialogue is quick, and the girls happily chatter over one another creating that familiar teenage-buzz of noise. Whether they are discussing the Cambodian genocide or an upcoming sleepover, they take each subject seriously. There are also plenty of moments of silence; these moments are full of self-doubt and feelings left unsaid. It is a testament to this fine ensemble of young actresses and the assured direction of Lila Neugebauer that these moments of no dialogue are just as strong as those with words.
Named only by their soccer jersey numbers, the eight characters are unique and full of energy. Each girl has a distinct voice and, obviously, story that each actress naturally embodies. No. 25 (Paola Sanchez Abreu) is the tightly-wound team captain; No. 2 (Sarah Mezzanote) is the religious good girl with a secret eating disorder; No. 7 (Brenna Coates) is a boisterous party girl who has a college boyfriend and is more sexually advanced than any of the other girls. Among the remaining characters (played by Lizzy Jutila, Midori Francis, Samia Finnerty, and Jenna Dioguardi), there is No. 46 (Tedra Millan) who plays the new girl on the team. She’s weird, has no filter, and has the makings of a soccer star. They collide, they intertwine, and they share. And, there is one more character that appears at the very end of the play: a Soccer Mom (played by Mia Barron). Her monologue is in stark contrast to the girls; her struggle to communicate with them shows how at odds teenagers and adults can be. It is also an incredibly heart-wrenching scene.
The Wolves is a quick 90 minute play that will have you talking about it for long after.
The Wolves is running at the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater at Lincoln Center. Click here for more information.
Photo Credit: The Wolves, Lincoln Center