ETHS theater’s February production is a show unlike any done before; The Wolves features nine exclusively female actors, collaborates with the athletic department and tackles complex issues. The contemporary play, written by Sarah DeLappe, focuses on the conflicts, relationships and complicated lives of a high school girls soccer team.
“The Wolves is about nine girls who all have very different personalities. It focuses on the truth behind how teenage girls behave, and clashes typical stereotypes from other plays about teenagers,” sophomore actress Teague Sieja says.
Unlike most productions, the characters don’t have assigned names, and are differentiated by their jersey numbers. The intrigue of having three-dimensional characters led theater teacher and director Timothy Herbert into picking The Wolves as the winter play.
“You get to know [the characters] in really kind of subtle and weird ways. It’s structured unlike any play that I’ve ever seen before,” Herbert says.
As each character struggles through different events in their personal lives, the audience pieces together the plot. Some struggle with finding themselves and defining their identity, sexuality and religion, while others are caught up in relationships with other teammates, friends and family. The actors reveal snippets of information throughout their dialogue.
“You don’t really know a lot about each character when the play starts, and you have to figure it out as the play goes on,” senior Mia Rehwaldt says.
The play shows multiple conversations at once, having the audience listen in on certain parts. Rehwaldt, cast as Number Eleven, shares the challenges of playing a complex role.
“I usually know exactly what kind of person I’m portraying, but with this role I have to make up a lot of the character,” Rehwaldt says.
Herbert also notes that part of the play’s appeal was the age appropriate cast that came with having a team of all high school students. The Wolves consists of ten characters, with the cast ranging from freshmen to seniors.
“I never did sports much, so I was never on a team, but getting to play as if I was on an all girls soccer team really gives me a community aspect, ” Rehwaldt says.
Every scene takes place as the team warms up for an indoor soccer game. The constant repetition of setting provides simplicity, despite the complicated nature of each character.
Sophomore Shania Wright finds similarities between herself and her role of player number eight. “I can relate a lot, because my character is very goofy, childish and has lots of energy, which is just like me,” Wright explains.
As the cast works on decrypting their characters, they are also focusing on the sports aspect of the play. Due to the athletic setting, the actors had to train and figure out how to incorporate soccer skills. To help with this, Hebert enlisted soccer coach Franz Calixte. The actors mastered passing drills and dribbling on-stage.
“I don’t play soccer so it is challenging, but it’s cool to get a soccer player’s perspective by doing drills like a normal soccer player would,” Sieja explains.
After months of hard work and rehearsals six days a week, The Wolves premieres Feb. 13. Join the cast and crew and watch the performance on Feb. 13, 14 and 15 at 7:30 p.m. in the Upstairs Theatre. Tickets can be bought on ethstheatre.com for $6 for students and seniors and $8 for adults.