We tend to think of sports teams as units, their individuality drubbed by the group.
In The Wolves, Sarah DeLappe belies our assumptions. Her suburban indoor soccer team is given voice, each one nearly drowning out the others. One expects teenage girls to trivialize serious subjects and blow up the trivial, and DeLappe’s soccer players do just that. It’s unfortunate that while letting them express themselves so eloquently, she allows them to be characterized by field position and jersey number.DeLappe fails to give them names, only personal quirks and traits.
Playwrights Realm encore production at the Duke 42nd Street follows a successful run just about a month ago. It has been spirited along by the help of producing partners Scott Rudin and Eli Bush.
The nine players on DeLappe’s field gossip, chatter, and jeer at each other as they stretch and run drills. Their adolescent speech is infectious, and engrossing, a perfect simulation of how girls talk. When the conversations hit a lull, however, it feels like The Wolves have gone into overtime.
Lila Neugebauer directs the ensemble, through pattering dialogue, superb ball handling and fancy footwork, giving each of them a standout moment. #7 (Branna Coates) shows a fiery sass, while her friend #14 (Samia Finnerty) is the perfect go-along, tag-along to her, #77’s, flamboyance. The new girl, #46 (Tedra Millan) earns her outsider status with a disarming charm. The squad works well together, and their acting very credible.
It’s a sold out run, ending after the December 29th performance, but Playwrights Realm is making it possible to see the show by making a donation.
To learn more about The Wolves and Playwrights Realm, visit their site.