The Wolves, by Sarah DeLappe, currently on stage at the Jungle Theater is a wonderful play. On its face it is a show about soccer, it revolves around an indoor soccer team's practices and warm ups. But at its heart it is about what it is like to be a high school girl on the cusp of adulthood, and the community that this team creates. What I was most impressed with was how natural the dialogue felt. During the practice conversations about the Khmer Rouge and feminine products overlapped in a way that was very funny but also felt very true to anyone who has ever been in a large social situation before. All of the teammates, who create the majority of the cast, are identified only by their numbers, it wasn’t until the end of the play that we heard the characters names at all. But these nameless characters were all so real, fleshed out wonderfully in the organic conversations that Sarah DeLappe was able to write and Sarah Rasmussen, artistic director of the Jungle and also director of The Wolves, was able to portray on stage.
The stage’s set by Sarah Bahr was simple but effective. The green turf of a soccer field covered the stage and ran up the back wall. The set is appropriate, because the actors portraying the team members (Chloe Armoa, Megan Burns, Meredith Casey, Michelle De Joya, McKenna Kelly-Eiding, Becca Hart, Isabella Star LaBlanc, Rosey Lowe and Shelby Rose Richardson), not only acted on stage they played soccer, kicking the ball back and forth on stage in warm ups.
The great amount of collaboration in this production of The Wolves is clear, and I am sure is one of the main reasons that this is one of the best plays that I have seen all year. The show is truly an ensemble piece. It doesn’t feel fair to call out an individual performance because they were all so intricately tried together.
You may have also noticed by the names that I have mentioned so far, The Wolves is an entirely female production, both on stage and behind the stage. In an industry that is so heavily male dominated (especially behind the scenes) it is exciting to see a story like this about young women told by entirely women. That is not to say that this is a play only for women. It is a play for everyone who has ever had to exist in a group or community. It is a play for people who love good storytelling and great theater.
The Wolves is playing at the Jungle Theater through April 29th. Click here for more information about the show and how to get tickets.
*Photo Credit: Dan Norman