“The Wolves” is a heartwarming, laugh-out-loud and brutally honest look inside the world of a varsity high school girls’ soccer team working through the ever-changing process of growing up.
This latest play from the Hippodrome Theatre has been the joint effort of its own artistic director Lauren Warhol Caldwell and the UF School of Theatre and Dance.
The Wolves, the name of the girls’ soccer team, have their eyes set on winning the season-ending tournament. In each scene, the girls warm up for their next game and engage in a rapid-fire discourse that perfectly illustrates the mindset of real life teenage girls, allowing the audience to feel like a fly on the wall and gain an intimate look into the complex relationships between them.
“It’s about close and intimate relationships and also adversarial relationships,” UF professor of theatre Ralf Remshardt said.
The Pulitzer Prize-nominated production creates an accurate depiction of what it means to be young, to be a woman, to be an athlete and to experience the full spectrum of human emotion.
“A young person can find themselves in the story,” Caldwell said, “(but) I think the play can speak to people my age about what it means to bond.”
This all-female cast brings the writing of critically acclaimed modern playwright Sarah DeLappe to life with high energy and superb depiction of emotion. Each actress embodies a completely different character from her counterparts, revealing the complicated variety of emotion within female relationships and often highlighting the frustration and conflict that can arise from working with people who have lived very different lives.
“I think this play is a perfect example of the magic of theatre, which to me is the ability to ignite and invoke change and to start a conversation,” Hippodrome actress and UF alumna Ariel Reich said. “There are certain things that are really taboo to talk about and uncomfortable to talk about, but if you put it on stage and talk about it through story, that opens an avenue for conversation and understanding.”
“The Wolves” tactfully represents characters with mental illness, social ineptitude, body image, parental pressure and sexual violence victims. The girls engage in constant back-and-forth dialogue that varies from topics like getting your period during a soccer game to political debates about genocidal dictators, and from abortion to religion without weighing down the play with heavy political statements.
“It’s really a play that’s being talked about,” Remshardt said. “The author has put her finger on the pulse of what it’s like to be an adolescent.”
The bright-eyed cast of “The Wolves” will take the stage Friday, for its opening performance. The play will continue until Sep. 23 with showings on Tuesdays at 7 p.m., Wednesdays at 7 p.m., Thursdays at 7 p.m., Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 5 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m.