Two in Actors Theatre’s ‘The Wolves’ reprise roles as teenage soccer players
Sushma Saha (#46), Avery Deutsch (#2), Ashley Hildreth (#13) and Mollie Murk (#8) in Actors Theatre of Louisville’s production of Sarah DeLappe’s “The Wolves.” Photo by Jonathan Roberts.
By Gracie Vanover
Floyd Central High School, Class of 2020
In theater, landing a role is a huge success. Landing the same role in more than one production could be counted as a double success.
With Sarah DeLappe’s “The Wolves,” playing at Actors Theatre of Louisville through Feb. 1, actors Angela Alise (#00) and Avery Deutsch (#2) did just that.
Deutsch played the same role in Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati’s production in June 2019 and Alise played her role for the first time in the production at Goodman Theatre in Chicago in February 2018.
Angela Alise plays #00 in Actors Theatre of Louisville’s production of Sarah DeLappe’s “The Wolves.” Photo Courtesy Actors Theatre of Louisville
Both said this current production gave them the opportunity to more deeply explore their characters. In a way, this was an extension of their work from their first shows where they brought their characters to life.
Deutsch described that exploration in one scene as #2, the group’s goody two shoes, when she hurts the new girl’s feelings [Sushma Saha as #46] by calling where she lives, her yurt, a “yogurt.” Deutsch said she acts by delving into her own teenage feelings and experiences during the scene’s end when #2 apologizes to #46.
“I definitely, as a high schooler, remember a couple of times where I accidentally hurt a friend or accidentally excluded someone,” said Deutsch. “I connect to that feeling in my teenage years where I was, like, ‘I did everything to make something better,’ I apologized.”
Avery Deutsch plays #2 in Actors Theatre of Louisville’s production of Sarah DeLappe’s “The Wolves.” Photo Courtesy Actors Theatre of Louisville
In addition, Alise and Deutsch had to learn physical moves with Actors Theatre’s production of “The Wolves.” With this movement-heavy show, a background in soccer or another production was helpful. Both cited challenges when pairing the movement — consisting of a wide range of stretches and warm-ups — with acting. With fast-paced drills during one warm-up scene and keeping track of lines, one could easily forget dialogue or mess up a move.
“For me, it’s just a strenuous show. I get tired and I just have to focus on being present with actors on the stage and focus on my lines and movements,” said Alise. “[But I’m] also making sure I’m being thoughtful and having a focus on my body and taking care of myself while doing the show.”
Overall, both women said this play — no matter the production — teaches them that sometimes females are powerful, which they often forget.
“I think this play for me has reminded me how strong I am and how strong women are,” said Alise. “The cast has been strong powerful women so that’s super inspiring and it’s reminding myself ‘Wow you can do this, this is a really hard show but you did it before, you can do it again,’ and it’s just really amazing.”
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.