The Wolves is being performed literally everywhere right now. If you are in the United States, the odds that there is a performance of it this weekend within a hundred miles of your present location are very high–and I recommend that you go avail yourself of the opportunity to see it.
I hadn’t seen it before, but I’m so glad I saw the production at UVA (for KCACTF). It’s a play about a traveling girls’ soccer team. It’s also about growing up, about adult realities butting in on life, about the relationships between girls.
The script is bonkers. One of my contacts at UVA gave me a copy of the script after the show, and it’s written in these columns of text because they’re all talking over each other. There’s also a lot of specific soccer-related material in there. The girls have to do a lot of ball work. I asked, during my response, if they had a “soccer dramaturg.” They shared that they did have someone who came and helped them learn a lot of it–but also that they understood that they only had to be good enough “for it not to be about soccer.”
It’s a strong ensemble piece, and this production executed that well. The script also demands a lot of raw emotion from various actors, the kind of thing that could be overblown or indicated, but they found some deep wells of real, grounded emotion.
I feel like it’s hard to summarize this show as an experience. It was a great selection of material for this group of actors, and they did it justice.
I also loved the set–the space that they used already had a stadium feel, with seating in a sharp rake that reminded me of bleachers. They covered the whole place in astroturf and hung a net on the back wall.
This show was also one of those cases of everyone knows each other in theater. Amanda McRaven, the director, is someone I interned for when I was about 20. Joann Sacco, a guest actor, was in the company at American Shakespeare Center, during that time. And Colleen Kelly, the head of acting at UVA, was one of my professors from grad school. I was surprised and delighted to have the chance to reconnect with each of them and see the work they are doing in the world now.