Soccer (or football) is the #1 sport in the world, but for some reason it just has not caught on to that level in America. Even I, as a child, played soccer in a youth league (and yes, there IS photo evidence in Montana for me to be blackmailed with). Sarah DeLappe’s “The Wolves” uses the sport as a backdrop for a story about girls coming of age, and it is currently playing at Dallas’ Wyly Theatre through April 14th.
Starring Molly Searcey, Elena Urdaneta, Lauren Steele, Ana Hagedorn, Kylie Tru Ritter, Amber Rossi, Kim Taff, Zoe Kerr, Sydney Lo as the Goalie, and Allison Pistorius as the Soccer Mom, this story takes place over a six Saturday period during winter time at an indoor soccer field in Middle America. As the girls prepare for their games, they discuss not only soccer but also life, current events, college, and relationships.
Using the “black box” theatre at the Wyly, the seats for the audience are set up on 2 opposite sides of the room as if seated in the bleachers at a game, with the stage itself covered in AstroTurf with lights on the “field” and a few props to round out the setting. I liked the decision made here as it felt like I was in the stands listening to the players just talk about life as they got ready for their upcoming games. With that is a good cast that varies in personalities, whose names are not presented without paying close attention, and in most cases are just listed in the program by their jersey number like Number 46, played by Hagerdorn, is the girl that just moved to the area and is the outcast that no one pays attention to. Number 8 (Kerr) plays the airhead type of millennial while Number 25 (Urdaneta) is the team captain who tries to keep some semblance of order. Number 00 (Lo) is the keeper and really does not speak at all until late into the production. This entire ensemble does a good job both on their own and as a group.
I did like that the production deals with real life issues for the current generation of teens in a way that seems like a new take on “The Breakfast Club”, but even though with a straight through run time of ninety minutes “The Wolves” just seemed a little long in the end. I was impressed with how the cast was doing the dialogue while actually doing soccer drills, and sitting in the front row, I found myself lifting my legs up as a natural reflex as the drills happened. However, I still questioned what the point was outside of some basic girl talk, even though it does change towards the end. There is some adult language and mature and subjects discussed in this production, so be warned, so I would recommend this production as mid-level pricing.