Review | Reality reflected, wonderfully portrayed ‘The Wolves’ reveals teenage girls’ stories
The cast of Sarah DeLappe’s “The Wolves” at in Actors Theatre of Louisville. Photo by Jonathan Roberts.
By Gracie Vanover
Floyd Central High School, Class of 2020
The lights flash off, and it gets quiet — but only for a split second as screaming girls fill the room, shuffle out into a circle and stop. Time to stretch.
Playwright Sarah DeLappe’s “The Wolves” takes place in an indoor soccer arena with a team of typical teenage girls. DeLappe’s play opened at Actors Theatre of Louisville on Jan. 10 in the Bingham Theatre.
“The Wolves” is such an accurate look into the world of teenagers and what it is like growing up. With discussions on topics from genocides to abortions, the girls’ everyday conversations become fields of land mines of what is OK and not OK to say.
Player #7 (Angelica Santiago) stood out with her snark and sass, and the conversations she filled with curse words (mostly f*ck). Combined with her best friend, #14 (Gabriel Elizabeth Kadian), who basically idolizes her, she is a top dog and a hard force to stop. Overall #7 is that snotty priss whom people cannot help but laugh at since she brings drama and hot topics to the field.
I adore how DeLappe gave the characters their player numbers rather than names. In doing this, she lets the audience see the girls as athletes and not characters to be sexualized or pawned off as catty girls. DeLappe’s intentions with this idea, which she has spoken about, are executed brilliantly.
Another strength of this play is how they deal with the underlying issues. None are blatantly stated, but as the girls talk, they bubble up to the surface through sensitivities to jokes or implications within stories. There, the girls reveal their struggles slowly to each other and show who they truly are. Director Pirronne Yousefzadeh’s staging paired with DeLappe’s writing makes these reveals marvelous and so clean. None of these athletes’ stories feel forced but are wonderfully portrayed.
The story of “The Wolves” is a show that throws you through spirals where you can find yourself laughing and gasping at sudden tragedies and strong character growth.
“The Wolves” runs through Feb. 1. The play contains mature language and sexual discussions.
Floyd Central High School senior Gracie Vanover is Editor-in-Chief of Floyd Central Bagpiper, the school newspaper; blogger at gracievanoverwriting.wordpress.com; and filmmaker and news reporter at Gracie Vanover Productions on YouTube.