Sarah DeLappe’s outstanding 2017 Pulitzer Prize-nominated drama “The Wolves,” a contemporary, coming-of-age character study about a girls’ indoor soccer team, has received an excellent local premiere at Wright State University.
In this delightfully chatty and incredibly insightful one-act, nine nameless teenagers walking the delicate balance between giddy adolescence and confident womanhood gather for a series of unsupervised practice drills. Unsurprisingly, the topics on their bubbly, curious, information-overloaded minds are colorfully wide-ranging. Cambodia? Check. Abu Ghraib prison? Check. Feminine health? Check. Feminism? Check. Kids in cages? Check. Instagram? Check. Jude Law? Check. “Game of Thrones?” Check. As their conversations evolve into deeper explorations of betrayal, class, jealousy, miscommunication, and grief, DeLappe ultimately brings this team to a renewed sense of maturity. By the end, and in spite of great differences, there’s no question how vital they have become to one another. They have been forever changed as a family of sisters bonded by the higher goal of acceptance, connection, love, and mutual respect.
Breezily directed by Marya Spring Cordes with an astute awareness of peaks, valleys and subtleties within casually overlapping conversation (an equally significant attribute of her 2018 Human Race Theatre Company production of “Brighton Beach Memoirs”), “The Wolves” features wonderfully compatible actresses. The strong, believably athletic cast consists of quietly reserved and focused Mady McCabe (No. 00 – Goalie) endearingly sweet Megan Ledford (No. 2 – Defense), sensitive Julie Deye (No. 8 – Defense), snarky jokester Jessica Greenwald (No. 13 – Midfield), formidable Bridget Lorenz (No. 14 – Midfield), terrifically firm Tina Hohman (No. 25 – Defense and Team Captain), effective outsider Caroline Utz (No. 46 – Bench), poignant Sophie Kirk (Soccer Mom), and breakthrough performers Lauren Eifert (dynamic as the competitive, intimidating and foul-mouthed No. 7 – Striker) and Margo Russ (vibrant as the opinionated, commanding and current affairs-savvy No. 11 – Midfield).